What are some simple, daily habits that will improve your health?

The key words here are simple, daily, and habit.

There are many ways to improve your health, but not all of them are practical.

I’m not going to suggest cutting all carbs out of your diet because that’s not simple.

I’m also not going to suggest working out for 2 hours a day because that’s not something that most people can do daily.

Before we dive into the different daily health habits, it’s worth understanding what it takes to actually make these habits stick.

Otherwise, they won’t do you any good.

In order to successfully build a new habit, you must have a trigger and set the bar very low.

With these two criteria in mind, here are 10 simple health habits you can easily stack onto other daily “triggers” in your life.

Pay special attention to the triggers and you’ll see why they are so crucial.

1. Fill up your water bottle so that it is a third of the way full instead of completely full during your work day.

  • Trigger: Your water bottle is empty.
  • Habit: You must stand up and walk more frequently to fill it up.
  • Healthy Effect: You avoid longer durations of sitting, which are proven to be damaging to your health [1].

2. Drink the remaining water in your water bottle before you use the restroom.

  • Trigger: You need to use the restroom.
  • Habit: You finish more bottles of water throughout the day.
  • Healthy Effect: You drink more water.

3. Use stevia packets instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners in your coffee.

  • Trigger: You prepare your usual cup of coffee.
  • Habit: You swap one form of sweetener for another.
  • Healthy Effect: You ingest less sugar and artificial sweeteners every day.

4. Use organic coconut butter instead of cream in your coffee.

  • Trigger: You prepare your usual cup of coffee.
  • Habit: You swap one form of cream for another.
  • Healthy Effect: You ingest a little less unhealthy fat and a little more healthy fat every day.

5. Do a set of bodyweight exercises before you shower.

  • Trigger: You are about to take a shower.
  • Habit: You do one more set of bodyweight exercises each day.
  • Healthy Effect: You activate your muscles more frequently and build strength.

6. Take 10 deep nasal breaths when you wake up.

  • Trigger: You wake up.
  • Habit: You practice nasal breathing daily.
  • Healthy Effect: You feel more calm and present to start your day.

7. Take a fish oil or krill oil supplement with lunch.

  • Trigger: You’re about to eat lunch.
  • Habit: You take your supplement before your first bite of food.
  • Healthy Effect: You ingest more Omega-3 fatty acids daily, improving your Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio.

8. Eat protein first.

  • Trigger: You’re about to eat a meal.
  • Habit: Whatever is on your plate, prioritize the higher-protein foods over the lower-protein foods. Protein tends to fill you up more than carbs.
  • Healthy Effect: You will get full faster and eat less.

9. Set a bedtime alarm.

  • Trigger: Your bedtime alarm goes off.
  • Habit: You start preparing for bed upon hearing the alarm just like you prepare to get out of bed when you hear your morning alarm.
  • Healthy Effect: You will go to bed at a reasonable and consistent time each night and get more sleep.

10. Squat instead of bending over to reach down for something.

  • Trigger: You need to bend over to reach something on the floor.
  • Habit: You squat down instead to reach the object.
  • Healthy Effect: You practice more squatting, which is one of the best movements you can perform daily [2], and eliminate bending over which can disrupt spinal alignment over time.

There you have it! 10 simple and healthy habits that anyone can develop.

No crash dieting or rigorous exercise necessary.

The reason these habits are so effective is that most people perform these triggers every day without even thinking about them.

Everyone bends down to pick something up multiple times per day. Now that I’ve solidified the micro-habit of squatting, I’ve eliminated bending over.

I also get up out of my chair at work at least once every hour to fill up my water bottle, so I’m doing much less prolonged sitting than I could be doing.

Many sedentary office workers my age experience back problems, but I never have.

I truly believe that these tiny tweaks have made a difference in my health because I’ve been practicing them not for weeks or months, but YEARS.

Don’t wait! Go ahead and start incorporating some of these into your day. The sooner you begin, the faster the benefits will compound!

Note: Don’t try to do all 10 at once. Start with one habit and after a few weeks when that becomes routine, introduce a new one. By the end of the year, you’ll be doing all 10 and you will be living a much healthier lifestyle.

Footnotes:

[1] Sit Less, Stand More: Your Health Depends On It

[2] 5 Reasons To Do Squats Every Day

Featured image by Krzysztof Puszczyński.

First published on Quora.


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