Don’t be fooled by the gym selfies and abs on Instagram. The healthiest people around aren’t spending all day in the gym, eating nothing but bland chicken and broccoli, and drinking protein shakes.
Health is all about consistency, and that comes from making small, positive choices every single day. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, and it shouldn’t be. Everyone’s body is different. But there are some things everyone can do to get a bit healthier, right now.
Here are 8 things healthy people do daily (or at least… most days!)
They Move Their Bodies In A Way They Enjoy
If you are constantly trying to do exercise you hate, that feels like a punishment, you will never fall in love with exercise. Healthy people find ways to move that are fun, pleasurable, and exciting. Whether that’s hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, dancing, surfing, yoga, roller blading, gardening, Pilates, pole dancing, trampolining, skiing or golf, finding an activity you enjoy is key. Because when you find a movement you love, exercise won’t feel like a chore, but something you look forward to.
They Drink Water, Lots Of It
It’s no secret that drinking water is critical for our health, but most of us still don’t drink enough. Healthy people make a habit of drinking water – carrying a bottle with them, keeping the glass filled up on their desk, enjoying regular cups of herbal tea.
If you find it hard to get your eight-a-day in, get a drink bottle you love and carry it around with you. You’ll naturally drink more, and your digestion, skin, and energy will improve in no time.
They Get Good Quality Rest For At Least 8 Hours
High quality sleep is the cornerstone of good health, and without it, we cannot thrive. If you are not a good sleeper, this can be hard. But there are plenty of ways you can improve your sleep hygiene and get a better rest.
Firstly, cut caffeine from 9am and turn off screens early in the evening to prepare your body for bed. Blue light from devices prevents your body from producing melatonin, which makes you tired, and you get that horrible tired-but-wired feeling.
A hot bath or shower, a calming cup of tea, candles, and sex are other great ways to de-stress and prepare your body for quality rest.
They Make Time For Loved Ones
Spending quality time with friends and family fosters our sense of belonging and connection, which is important for both our physical and mental health.
Instead of getting caught up in the dreaded social media scroll, healthy people will meet or call a friend, watch a movie with a family member, write someone a letter or card, or have a nice long chat with someone they love.
They Know How To Relax
Relaxation looks different for everyone. Whether their preferred method of relaxation is a massage, a bath, a long walk along the beach, or snuggled up in front of the TV, healthy people make time to relax each day.
But here’s the important bit: relaxing is only healthy if it helps you de-stress and unwind, and ultimately improves your mental health and quality of life. Don’t confuse it with numbing, which is essentially checking out of your emotions (perhaps with TV, alcohol, food or sex).
They Have A Positive Relationship With Food
Eating nutritious food is important, sure. But healthy people understand that your relationship with food is also critical to leading a healthy life.
Healthy people understand how to nourish their bodies with foods that make them feel good, give them energy to thrive, and add to their health in a really positive way. They are also relaxed about food, and are able to enjoy treats without guilt. They don’t beat themselves up over a ‘bad’ meal, and generally don’t subscribe to strict diets or food rules.
They Are Willing To Do The Work (And ‘Fail’ Along The Way)
There’s no way around it – being healthy does require some discipline and certain sacrifices. Healthy people understand this and build their lives in a way that supports them to achieve their goals.
For example, they may arrange to meet a friend for a morning workout so they aren’t tempted to hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off. They may stock their fridge with fruit and veggies so they have great options on hand when hunger strikes.
However, they also know that ‘failure’ is part of learning and growth. They appreciate that health is not a destination but a journey, and that if they skip a workout, it’s not the end of the world.
They Have A Healthy Tribe Around Them
Who we spend our time with has a massive impact on our health. They reinforce, challenge, or support our habits. So surrounding yourself with people who are going to encourage positive, healthy habits is a crucial step to leading a healthy life.
For example, say you’ve just come home from a long day at work, and you feel like diving headfirst into the couch, turning on the TV and ordering takeaway. Your partner, or friend, or husband, or child comes in, wraps you in a massive hug, and gently encourages you to come for a super quick walk, just to watch the sunset. You go (reluctantly). But a few steps in, you start to find some energy and joy. You smile.
If your loved one had also dived headfirst onto the couch and said, ‘let’s order pizza’, the night would have been quite different.
That’s not to say we can’t occasionally veg out in front of the TV with a pizza – the point is who you surround yourself with can dramatically impact your health, in both positive and negative ways.