Healthy habits to start now, to build a better future. You can make simple, gradual changes to your life that build on themselves to make the next ones even easier. I’ve done it and so can you.

How do you start a healthy habit? In general, I start small.

I’ve spent the last several years making small changes in my daily life that ultimately lead to personal growth and development for me, to a healthier lifestyle and really, to happiness. To peace of mind. It’s a work in progress, as life should be.

Here are a few healthy habits worth adopting.

10 Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Drinking ample water daily.
Engaging in regular physical activity.
Prioritizing quality sleep.
Practicing stress-reduction techniques.
Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol.
Regular health check-ups.
Maintaining a healthy body weight.
Staying connected with loved ones.
Practicing good hygiene.
Healthy habits to start

Truly Healthy Habits to Start Today

There are dozens of easy habits you can develop to make your lifestyle a healthier one, to improve every aspect of your life.

Central Park Skyline
Avocado toast in Oxford
Relaxing in front of a fire

1. Eat a Balanced Diet Rich in Fruits and Vegetables

A balanced diet including a variety of fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that support overall health.

These nutrients help in boosting the immune system, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and promoting a healthy digestive system.

Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal, incorporating a wide range of colors to ensure a diversity of nutrients.

What are some healthy eating habits?

  • Include a fruit or vegetable with every meal.
  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, before anything else.
  • Eat as many colors of the rainbow as you can.
  • Replace dessert with fruit.
  • Fill half your dinner plate with vegetables.
  • Have salad for lunch, regularly.
  • Sit down at the dinner table together.
  • Plan meals ahead of time.
  • Look at the restaurant menu before going and decide what you’ll eat.
  • Cook at home more often.

Proper nutrition, even in your snacking habits, is a major component of making the most of your every day, today and in the years to come. It’s a matter of finding the right balance for you.

2. Drink Ample Water Daily

Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining optimal body function. Water aids in digestion, absorption of nutrients, and elimination of waste. It also helps regulate body temperature, keeps joints lubricated, and can improve mood and energy levels.

The general recommendation is to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but needs can vary based on activity level, climate, and individual health.

3. Engage in Regular Physical Activity

Regular exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. It strengthens the heart, improves circulation, boosts mood, and helps manage weight.

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, along with muscle-strengthening exercises on two or more days. Activities can vary from walking or hiking, cycling, swimming, to resistance training, ensuring something enjoyable for every fitness level.

Make physical activity a habit now or even better, a lifelong hobby – for energy, coordination and confidence out in the world.

What are some healthy habits for fitness?

  • Don’t stay seated for more than 60 minutes at a time. Set a timer and listen to it.
  • Take the stairs. If you see an elevator, there are also stairs. Find them.
  • Park your car further from the entrance.
  • Go for a walk after dinner every day.
  • If you’re able to walk to your destination, do so.
  • Set up your exercise machine in front of your tv and use it every time the tv is on.
  • Switch to a standing desk.
  • Set a regular walking date with a friend.
  • Schedule time into your day and week for a regular exercise class.
  • Bring lightweight, inexpensive workout travel gear with you when you travel.

4. Prioritize Quality Sleep

Good sleep is foundational to good health. It allows the body to repair and the brain to consolidate memories and process information.

Poor sleep can lead to weight gain, increased disease risk, and impaired concentration.

Aim for 7-9 hours per night, establishing a regular sleep schedule and creating a restful environment by reducing screen time before bed, and limiting caffeine and large meals in the evening.

What are 10 healthy habits to start for sleep?

  • Go to bed roughly at the same time each night.
  • Avoid taking naps during the day.
  • Get regular exercise each day.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks in the afternoon or evening.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, or even better, not at all.
  • Avoid snacks right before bed.
  • Keep a notepad by your bed so you can write down any thoughts you don’t want to forget.
  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Develop a bedtime ritual.

5. Practice Stress-reduction Techniques

Chronic stress can have harmful effects on both physical and mental health. Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can help manage stress levels.

Regular practice improves resilience, reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, lowers blood pressure, and enhances overall well-being. Find a technique that works for you and incorporate it into your daily routine.

What are some habits for a healthier mindset?

  • Reduce screen time.
  • Avoid gossip as much as possible.
  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend comparing yourself to others.
  • Practice every day acts of kindness.
  • Spend time outside.
  • Listen to music.
  • Ask yourself every day, “What is MY why?”
  • Connect with someone in some way, big or small.

6. Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are major risk factors for chronic diseases. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term health benefits, including reduced risk for heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

Limiting alcohol intake can prevent liver damage, cardiovascular disease, and can help in weight management. Aim for moderation if you choose to drink, and seek support if you’re trying to quit smoking.

7. Regular health check-ups

Regular visits to a healthcare provider for check-ups can help catch potential health issues early, when they’re often easier to treat.

Screenings for cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes, and cancers such as breast and colon can guide lifestyle adjustments and prevent complications.

Vaccinations and preventative measures can also be discussed during these visits to ensure long-term health.

8. Maintaining a healthy body weight

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. It involves a balance of eating healthily and regular physical activity.

Focus on nutrient-rich foods and watch portion sizes. Setting realistic goals and tracking progress can also support weight management efforts.

9. Staying connected with loved ones

Social connections can improve mental and emotional well-being. Strong relationships with family and friends provide support, reduce stress, and contribute to a sense of belonging and happiness.

Make time for regular check-ins, social activities, and meaningful conversations, either in person or through digital means, to nurture these important relationships.

10. Practicing good hygiene

Good hygiene practices prevent the spread of infections and illnesses. Regular handwashing with soap, dental care, and keeping personal and shared spaces clean are essential habits.

These practices not only protect individual health but also contribute to public health by reducing the transmission of viruses and bacteria.

How Long Does it Take to Start a Healthy Habit?

It takes just a minute to get started with most habits and you start by making the commitment to carry it out. Often that’s the hardest part.

Establishing your habit, or following your plan, can take a month or so of effort and after that, it starts to feel normal. Once you’ve mastered one, you know how to build healthy habits and can apply the same process to any of the rest of them.

Healthy Habits, FAQs

What is the healthiest daily routine?

The healthiest daily routine includes regular exercise, consuming a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, managing stress effectively, practicing good hygiene, maintaining social connections, and prioritizing self-care for mental and emotional well-being.

What are some easy healthy habits?

Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, drink plenty of water, aim for regular physical activity, prioritize sleep, practice mindfulness or meditation, limit processed foods and sugar intake, and take short breaks to move or stretch during long periods of sitting.

Final Thoughts on Good Habits to Start Now

You need only pick one to get going, to move forward every day. Remember that the choices you make every day will influence more than just that hour or day. Your choices affect your every day and your future. They are the biggest influencers for a long, happy and healthy life.