Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution or a sudden realization at any time of the year, becoming healthier is a challenge many people take head-on. The hope of a fresh start and a better tomorrow drives us to make changes in our lives, big and small.

But often, these resolutions and realizations are short-lived, and we find ourselves right back where we started within weeks or months.

Why is it that so many of us struggle to maintain healthy habits?

The answer lies in the fact that most people try to make too many changes at once. They try to overhaul their entire lifestyle overnight, and when they inevitably fail, they feel like failures.

So how can you avoid this trap and become healthier? By making small changes that can have a much larger lasting impact.

Read on to discover the top five habits of healthy people that you can take on without feeling overwhelmed.

Stay Hydrated

When 55 to 60 percent of the human body is made up of water, it’s safe to say that water is essential for human life. Water helps regulate our body’s temperature, transport nutrients and oxygen, and helps cushion our organs.

But that’s not all.

Some other benefits of staying hydrated include:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Aiding in weight loss
  • Keeping your skin healthy
  • Preventing headaches and migraines
  • Replenishing lost minerals and vitamins

One of the simplest and most effective habits for becoming healthier is drinking enough water. For adult men, this means drinking 15 and a half cups of water a day, and for adult woman, it is slightly lower at 11 and a half cups.

Get Active

We get it. Exercise is typically the last thing on your mind after a long day at work. And unless you’re in love with exercising, waking up at 4 am isn’t usually an option. However, getting active can mean something other than following a coordinated plan down to the last minute.

A short walk after lunch is an easy way to get your body moving and help shed a few pounds. If you’re a morning person, you can start your day with a quick jog, a five-minute stretch, or an entire morning yoga routine. It is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity in a day.

Even if it doesn’t feel like enough, incorporating any regular movement into your daily routine is beneficial.

Regular physical activity, big or small, can help improve other health factors, including:

  • Improved brain health
  • Managed weight loss
  • Reduced risk of disease
  • Improved ability to accomplish everyday tasks
  • Improved bone and muscle strength

Don’t Skip Meals

One of the healthiest changes you can make today is to start eating every meal. When you skip meals, you deprive your body of essential nutrients and energy. This can lead to fatigue, irritability, and lack of focus.

Eating regular meals helps keep your blood sugar stable and prevents cravings for unhealthy foods later in the day.

Additionally, eating late at night can disrupt sleep patterns and cause other unintentional health difficulties. If you’re not active, eating late at night can cause the excess calories to be stored as fat which can lead to obesity and stomach problems.

Lessen The Liquor

It may seem like common sense but reducing alcohol consumption is an excellent way to limit unnecessary calories and improve energy. Save the drinking for celebrations, and always know your limits. Some benefits of cutting down liquor consumption include:

  • Controlled waistline
  • Increased savings
  • Improved mental state
  • Improved emotional health
  • Improved skin complexion
  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have a problem with alcohol, SAMHSA can help. Call the 24/7 helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or go to the SAMHSA website for more information on alcohol addiction and the road to recovery.

Keep in Touch

In a world dominated by social media, we frequently prioritize physical health and let our mental well-being take a backseat.

The recent pandemic has changed many people’s lives through strenuous lockdowns and isolated work environments with remote work. These changes made isolation the “new normal” when it’s not.

Maintaining strong social connections plays an important part in maintaining overall mental health. Our moods and health tend to suffer when we feel isolated or alone.

Chronic isolation has been shown to lead to increased risk of:

  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia in older adults

If we want to improve our overall health and well-being, we must also work on these other aspects of our health.

Staying in touch with others doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. There are plenty of free (or very cheap) ways to connect with friends and family members. Some ideas include:

  • Joining a club that shares your interests
  • Meeting up for coffee or lunch with friends regularly
  • Reaching out to a friend for a quick chat
  • Hosting game nights or movie nights

In conclusion, making small steps to prioritize your health and well-being can make a world of difference down the line. You may not even notice changes at first, but these small changes can help with weight loss goals, and even boost your mood. Don’t forget to focus on small goals outside to make your bigger resolutions more attainable, and less stressful.

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