10 Simple Things I Do (Almost) Everyday to Stay Healthy
How to be healthy everyday:
It’s a conundrum that we’ve been trying to solve for millenia, and although we’re arguably closer than ever to figuring out an answer, we’re not there yet.
I wanna start this article off by sharing with you a little secret:
I’m not always that healthy…
I know, shocking right? This coming from the person who runs a site that’s all about living a healthy lifestyle…
Sure I’m sharing my ideas and my experiences with my articles and videos, but really they’re just small snapshots of my life. There’s plenty of other stuff that you don’t see (and you probably don’t want to).
In reality, whilst I try my best to practice what I preach here on the blog, I don’t get things right all the time. I still have plenty of habits that I struggle with.
But perfection is overrated I say, and it’s what you do most of the time that matters.
So in order to make sure that I stay on the right track and that I’m living as healthily as I can, there are a few habits that I’ve really worked on over the past few years that I now perform most days without too much thought.
They’re kinda my foundation, if you like – the things that support me, that I can fall back on. Even if I’m going through a bit of a rough patch for whatever reason or if I’m not in my regular routine, I know that if I’m doing most of these things most days, I’m probably going to be alright.
Let’s get to it…
1. Make Time for Meditation
By meditation I don’t mean sitting cross legged with incense burning, chanting ohms. I’m not really about that.
I simply just sit, squat or lie down and focus on my breath. Sometimes I use guided meditations, other times I go solo. Often it’s just a few minutes each day, but sometimes it’s 15-20.
Although it may not always seem that way, I’m someone who has a tendency to stress and worry quite easily. It’s not a massive difference, but I do notice that when I’m meditating regularly I’m able to stay more calm and centred, and I can keep things in perspective more easily.
Although I’m no expert, here’s my simple guide to getting started with a practice of your own if you haven’t already.
2. Don’t Forget to Breathe
This is something I’ve added into my repertoire fairly recently, and I’ve definitely noticed the benefits.
I like to play around with a few different exercises, including some box breathing, one-two breathing, and alternate nostril stuff. I realise it all sounds a bit weird, but the general idea is that by becoming conscious of the breath and altering your breathing patterns in various ways, you can bring your body into that beneficial ‘rest and digest state’, which is optimum for recovery and all round health.
Sometimes I’ll do a few exercise before a workout to open up my lungs and get them ready for action. Other times I’ll use them during the cool down or just before bed to help me chill out, or sporadically throughout the day (much to my girlfriend’s bemusement).
I’m working on another article and video where I’ll go into the breathing techniques in a bit more detail, and that should be ready in the next few weeks. So make sure you’re subscribed if you want to catch that as soon as it’s out!
3. Prioritise Movement
Movement is a massive part of my life. I think I’d be a bit lost without it. In fact, I have been lost without it in the past.
Aside from the obvious benefits of staying fit and mobile, I’ve realised that movement is the number one thing that can have a positive impact on my state of mind. Nothing really compares to it, other than spending time with loved ones.
It’s kinda nice to know that no matter what’s been going on in the day, no matter how stressed I’m feeling or how worn down I am, moving my body will almost definitely make me feel better.
That’s why I make it a priority to do some form of movement every day. Sometimes it’s just some simple mobility exercises or animal movements. Other times it’s work on the gymnastic rings, a walk or a run.
As long as I’m moving, I’m pretty happy.
4. Plenty of Healthy Food
Food’s another big one that’s had a sizeable impact on my life.
Like a lot of people, I first got into this whole nutrition thing because I wanted to get fitter and build more muscle. It was all about the brotein and making gains…
Now my goals are a lot different. I still eat for performance, but I primarily eat for health, and to some extent for reasons that are bigger than me. I now realise how important it is to fuel my body with high quality food – lot’s of plants.
I’ve talked about this before, but I usually start the day with a big green smoothie, followed by a salad-y meal at lunch, and a cooked meal in the evening (with several snacks throughout the day, depending on how much I’m moving).
You can check out some of my favourite recipes over on our recipe page if you’re in interested making changes, and you can find out more about healthy eating habits in this monster of an article: 26 Healthy Eating Habits to Help You Look and Feel Amazing.
Just remember to start small, be kind to yourself, and enjoy the process.
5. Writing Things Down
I’ve written a lot over the past couple of years.
This site alone has more than a hundred articles on it, and on top of a few eBooks, I’ve probably written more than 100 for other sites as well.
Sometimes it’s a bit of a slog and I have to put in a considerable amount of effort to string together a coherent sentence. Other times, writing acts as another form of meditation for me. It helps me to clear my head and get my thoughts out properly, which is something I often struggle to do when I’m speaking (I specialise in getting tongue tied, saying words wrong, and generally making things awkward).
As well as writing articles, I also do a little bit of journalling most mornings as a part of my morning routine (which I’ll admit has been a little temperamental lately as we’re moving all our stuff into the new flat). Journalling helps me to get into a state of gratitude, which is always a good state to be in.
When you’re grateful for what you have, great things continue to happen. You can quote me on that one if you like…
6. Don’t Forget Social Interaction
This is something I’ve not always been the best at.
I mean, I have a really close family and some great friends, but I’ve never really been an overly social animal, which is strange because at heart, human beings are social animals. We evolved in tribes and we work best in small groups, all coming together with a common goal. Social interaction is something that we’re designed to do, and something that’s crucial for our wellbeing.
That’s why I try to make a conscious effort to interact with people. I do it online all day, but it’s way more important and real, to do so in the flesh.
Although I can quite happily carry on as a lone wolf in my own little world for quite a while, I do get a lot of joy out of spending time with others and helping them out wherever I can.
7. Plan Ahead
Being in the present moment is something that gets talked about a lot lately, and whilst I agree that it’s a good thing and is probably the state that we should be in most of the time, I also think that it’s important to take a step back now and again to plan ahead.
This goes for any part of your life really – anything that you want to improve in anyway…
I try to set time aside to check in and figure out where I want to go and what I want to achieve in the next few months, weeks and even days. That’s for my business, my movement practice, and even my personal life.
It’s good to have a plan, but its also good to be flexible and to be ready for the obstacles that will inevitably pop up. As Bruce famously said, be like water, my friend…
8. Get Good Quality Sleep
This isn’t something that I always get, but it’s something that I always strive for. When I’m well rested, I wake up early and I feel good about myself, whereas if I’m tired I’m more likely to sleep in, get frustrated with myself, and head down that shame spiral…
Because I come from a sports background, I tend to link a lot of these health concepts back to performance, and this is no exception. We all know that recovery is an important part of the health puzzle, and sleep is a key component of that recovery process. So it’s worth prioritising.
I know that I can work okay off seven hours, but prefer to hit eight to ten, especially if I’ve been training hard. Quality of sleep is arguably more important than quantity, so I use a few tricks to make sure I’m getting the most out of it.
9. Spend Time in Nature
As I’ve written about before, getting outside is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s where we’re designed to be.
I was really lucky and spent a lot of my childhood outdoors, exploring the mountains and playing down the fields. Because of this exposure form an early age, I developed a healthy relationship with the natural world, which I think a lot of kids miss out on.
As I’ve grown older it’s been harder to stay in touch, but I do my best to get out whenever I can. That might mean a short walk by the river, or if possible a long tree climbing session in the woods.
Aside from getting some much needed Vitamin D, I find it a great way to destress and reconnect to something that’s far more powerful and complex than I can comprehend. It’s humbling.
10. Chill out
Last of all (as it often unfortunately comes on my list of priorities), relaxation.
Working hard is great, and it’s a virtue that I admire and always want to strive towards. But it’s equally important to switch off sometimes, to give your mind, body and soul a rest.
Often for me this comes in the form of movement, reading or listening to a good health podcast, but every now and then it’s just chilling out watching a film, or simply doing nothing.
In this modern world we live in, I feel like there’s an immense pressure to always be busy. To always be doing something, working towards some goal.
Sometimes it’s nice to let go of all that crap, to step out of the crazy game we’re all playing and just be.
What are the habits that you tend to fall back on to keep you living healthy, or what ones would you like to work on?
Let me know in the comments section below – it’s always great to hear from you guys!
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