So much of healthy living is really made up of small things we do daily—things that are so small they don’t feel momentous, but that, done consistently over time, add up to produce big results.
Here are 15 tips to live a healthier, happier lifestyle—all simple, easy things that can be seamlessly incorporated into your daily life:
1. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning
Coffee’s great too, but it’s best to start your day by re-hydrating with a full glass of water. Hydrating first thing in the morning helps to aid digestion, enhance skin health and boost energy.
2. Take the stairs
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a simple way to get a little more physical activity in your daily life. It also strengthens and tones your legs and core while you’re at it!
3. Make half your plate veggies
A simple hack for healthy eating (and portion control) is to make half your plate veggies at each meal. The veggies pack in essential vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients important for health and longevity. And, because they’re rich in fiber, they help to aid digestion (aka keep you regular!) and keep you feeling full longer.
4. Get a fitness tracker + track your steps
Using a fitness tracker (like a Fitbit or Apple Watch) to track your steps is an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough physical activity each day. We aim for 10,000 steps daily, which has significant physical and mental health benefits. A fitness tracker will also remind you to get 250 steps each hour (another important measure of health—see tip #9!). Here are our favorite fitness tracker smartwatches of 2021.
5. Switch to non-toxic household cleaning products
Conventional household cleaning products are full of harmful chemical ingredients that are not good for our health (or the health of our kids or pets!). Switching to healthier alternatives is a simple way to reduce your exposure to environmental toxins in your home. See our Healthy Cleaning Guide for a complete list of recommendations, and what to look for when choosing safer household cleaning products.
6. Use non-toxic skincare + personal care products
Similar to cleaning products, conventional skincare and personal care products are formulated with toxic ingredients we should not regularly let absorb into our body’s largest organ. Reduce the toxic burden on your body by switching to non-toxic personal care and beauty products (see our specific recommendations on deodorant, sunscreen, and green beauty products).
7. Take a probiotic daily
Maintaining a healthy gut has significant impacts on digestion, skin health, immunity, mental health and more. Taking a daily probiotic with a glass of water each morning is one of the simplest things you can do to boost your gut health (which, in turn, boosts overall health in many ways too). Learn more about the health benefits of probiotics (and all the ways to get them in your diet), and shop our favorite probiotic supplement here.
8. Eat real food
Aim to eat real food that’s made of whole food ingredients you would have in your own kitchen pantry, or that your grandmother would recognize. (Yup, this rules out most packaged food, sorry!) This is a little different than suggesting you eat only “health foods” (many of which are increasingly processed!). “Real food” includes unprocessed foods like an apple, a cucumber, soybeans or a steak, as well as foods loosely processed from one (or few) real-food ingredients, like butter, olive oil, yogurt, tofu, etc. In other words, aim for foods that could be reasonably made in your own kitchen and avoid foods that can only be made in a lab.
9. Stand up every 30 minutes while working
Reduce the harmful effects of sitting (like at your desk job) by standing up and moving around for a minute or two every half hour.
10. Get sunlight every day
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for overall health, and sunlight is one of our best sources of it. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of sunlight each day—preferably in the afternoon, and without sunscreen (read more about that here). Not much sunlight in the winter where you live? It might be worth supplementing with a vitamin D supplement and/or other food sources of this essential nutrient.
11. Fill your home with houseplants
Houseplants help to cleanse your indoor air (sadly, it probably needs it!), they’re pretty, and research even shows they improve mood, creativity and problem solving!
12. Sweat every day
Aim to sweat in some way each day—whether that’s via running, biking, dancing, hot yoga, or any other physical activity you enjoy. See our Fitness Guide for more workout ideas, as well as tips and tricks for building regular physical activity into your daily life and a downloadable fitness planner you can use to outline your own custom fitness plan to stay on track.
13. Have a daily green smoothie
Green smoothies as a snack or simple, on-the-go breakfast are an easy way to get your greens in each day. Check out our curated list of healthy (veggie-packed!) smoothie recipes for our favorite starter green smoothie recipe ideas.
14. Work hard + be kind
15. Cultivate a positive mindset
“The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.” It’s true—mindset is everything! Cultivate a positive mindset by recognizing negative thought patterns and countering them with positive thoughts or affirmations. Here are more mindset resources for positive thinking.
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