The HERO Blueprint Infographic: 34 Powerful Healthy Lifestyle Tips

The Hero Blueprint Infographic Header healthy lifestyle tips healthy living health roomWhat does constructing Ikea furniture have in common with living a healthy lifestyle?

In both cases, you’ll recognise some of the parts that make up the whole. So these are the ‘knowns’.

You open up your new Ikea Stefan box and you can identify the chair legs. Similarly, you can probably distinguish some basic principles of healthy living, like regular exercise.

In both cases, there are also several bits and pieces that you know nothing about whatsoever. These are our ‘unknowns’.

So with Ikea, they’re those strange looking metal bits that may or may not hold your new chair together. And likewise with a healthy lifestyle, perhaps things like myofascial release or cold thermogenesis. They’re the parts that you can’t quite identify, or ones you’ve never even considered before.

So in both examples we have the ‘knowns’ and the ‘unknowns’. But aside from one being an inanimate object and the other being a way of living, there’s one major difference:

Ikea does a good job at providing a blueprint for putting together those ‘knowns’ and ‘unknowns’, to create a clear plan for success. The same can’t always be said where healthy living is concerned.

Hence, the HERO Blueprint Healthy Living Infographic.

It’s a collection of 34 experience/science backed ideas and healthy lifestyle tips I’ve picked up over the years, for anyone looking to piece together the ‘knowns’, and find out more about the ‘unknowns’.

In fact, they’re the exact guidelines I follow to keep myself on the path that I want to stay on – a healthy, fulfilling one. With a bit of luck, they may well do the same for you.

Let’s be clear – I’m not offering medical advice. The HERO Blueprint isn’t gonna cure all your ailments and free you from disease, and it’s not the gospel on how to live a healthy lifestyle.

But it’s not a bad start.

Låt oss börja… (Let’s begin)

Hero Blueprint Checklist Download Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Hero Blueprint Checklist Download Healthy Lifestyle TipsGet your free bonus checklist: This post is a hefty one, with a big old infographic and over 6000 words of content after that. Click here to download a nicely packaged Hero Blueprint Checklist that highlights the 34 healthy lifestyle tips, and how to achieve them.

The HERO Blueprint Infographic

34 Powerful Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Hero Blueprint Infographic Healthy Lifestyle Tips Healthy Living Health Room 2

Now let’s take a look at these healthy living tips in a little more detail….


HERO Blueprint Healthy Lifestyle Tips

A. Establish Your Healthy Living Baseline

Determine your starting point, before embarking on your hero’s journey.

 

 1. Sometimes You Need Help From the Pros

Here at Health Room, as naïve as it may be, one of my big goals is to help you feel empowered and take control of your own health. But that’s not to say you should neglect all outside help that’s available to you…

Sure, to maintain your general health there’s a hell of a lot you can do on your own. But in some cases, you need help from the pros.

Your Move:

Remember, not all GPs are there to throw pills at you, and not all osteopaths are out to steal your money. Most are great people doing the best they can to serve you.

By all means be proactive with your health, but don’t skimp on your regular check ups. If something’s not right, ask for help.

If for some reason you’d like to find a doctor who specialises in plant based nutrition, fellow blogger Matt Jager put together an awesome resource that helps you do just that, so go check it out by following the link above!

2. Monitor Your Own Health

I have a strange, love-hate relationship with technology.

In some respects, I think I’d be happy living a simple life in a log cabin, no Internet or fancy fitness gadgets. Just chopping wood and lifting heavy stuff. No distractions.

But at the same time, I can’t deny that some of the advancements in health and fitness tech (particularly over the past few years) have been incredible.

Fitbit-esq wearable devices are becoming more advanced as we speak, tracking everything from your heart rate variability to your sleep quality.

Wellness FX Blood Testing Health Room Hero Blueprint healthy Lifestyle TipsThat data is powerful.When used correctly, it can help you establish a baseline for your health, and it highlights right in front of your eyes the impact your everyday habits have on your state of being.

If you wanna take things to the next level and get even more geeky, you can even use online blood testing services like 23andMe to map your DNA, or Wellness FX to track your hormones, vitamins, minerals, and pretty much any other marker of health that you can think of…

Your Move:

Whether it’s via low-tech methods such as a mood diary or body fat measurement, or through an online service like Wellness FX, keep tabs on your health and monitor how it changes over time.

Just be careful not to over analyse things. Some people find that quantifying everything can suck the fun out of staying fit, and can actually induce anxiety.

3. Determine Your Current Lifestyle Habits

It’s a fundamental skill that all humans should be taught, but in reality not many of us have:

How to identify our current habits, and develop lasting healthy ones.

Apparently, 90% of New Year’s resolutions end up failing. That’s a pretty big portion of people who are looking to live a healthy lifestyle, but can’t figure out how…

Most will put it down to a lack of willpower or motivation, but I’m not buying that. I reckon it’s more to do with the method.

If you can learn the correct method behind habit changing, and figure out exactly what it is you have to do to make lasting changes, then you’re all set.

Until then, it’s gonna be a struggle to make progress.

Your Move:

Before you attempt to change your diet or start that new exercise plan, check out this article on the Golden Rules of Forming Healthy Habits, so you know what it really takes to form lasting healthy habits, and get rid of any that are holding you back.

And if you’re really serious about making changes and you want that extra bit of support, feel free to take a free preview of my online course Healthy Habits 101.


HERO Blueprint Healthy Lifestyle Tips

B. Tune Up Your Diet

You are what you eat, so make healthy decisions when it comes to your diet.

 

4. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”

Michael Pollan’s guidelines for healthy eating habits pretty much sum up my approach to nutrition too (although on a personal level I often tend to forget about the middle sentence).

Blue Zones Product Image Health RoomAnd according to Dan Buettner, author of Blue Zones, this is how most of the healthiest, longest living populations in the world eat too – lots of fresh plants, with some communities throwing in a few animal products here and there. But across the board, it’s primarily plant based.

As I discussed previously, if you’d prefer to avoid consuming animal products altogether, the majority of the benefits you gain from eating things like meat and dairy can actually be sourced on a vegan diet with a little bit of planning and a few supplements.

Your Move:

Gradually start to up the proportion of whole, plant foods in your diet.

Things like leafy greens, legumes, dark berries, pseudo grains, nuts and seeds. You could start with one plant based meal a week, and grow from there.

Go for organic foods when possible (particularly the “Dirty Dozen” most contaminated), but don’t panic if they’re not always available to you.

To take things a step further, you might also want to experiment with intermittent fasting. If nothing else, the occasional fast has helped me identify what true hunger feels like (as opposed to just wanting to eat), and has allowed me to form a healthier relationship with my food.

5. Limit Processed Products

They might taste pretty good, but most processed foods are not the conducive of a healthy lifestyle. And by processed products, I mean any food or drink that we could consume that has been created or heavily modified by man.

Most of the packaged products that line our supermarket shelves are packed full of concentrate sugars, refined fats, and a whole load of artificial ingredients that no one can pronounce. And they’re killing us.

If you’re in the States, you’ve got it even worse.

In general, the more processed a food is, the further away from it’s natural state it has become, and the less we know about how it can affect your health long-term.

I can’t remember who first said that, but it expresses exactly how I feel.

Your Move:

Begin to transition away from overly processed foods, and up your intake of whole, unprocessed stuff. Perfection isn’t necessary, but I think 80-90% whole foods is a good range to shoot for.

Here’s a few suggestions to help you do just that:

Swap This - For That

  • Processed desserts – Fruit and nuts
  • Candy bars – Dark chocolate
  • White pasta – Quinoa
  • White or wholegrain bread – Sourdough
  • Processed spreads – Mashed avocado
  • Fizzy drinks – Kombucha

6. Cook Mainly at Home

Your diet is about much more than the calories you consume, but suffice to say studies have shown that people who cook at home consume on average around 150 kcal less per day than those who eat out more often than not.

Mexican bean burritoThat might not sound like a lot, but over the course of weeks, months, and years, it adds up.

Home cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, and can actually be a great way to save money and learn a new skill.

It’s nice to enjoy a meal out now and again if that’s available to you, but you have much more control over your food and your health if most of your meals are home-made.

Your Move:

If you’re completely new to the idea of home cooking, start with one or two simple, healthy recipes per week, and build up your repertoire over time.

If you decide it’s really not for you, you might wanna consider looking at a healthy meal delivery service like Veestro.

 7. Eat Mindfully.

Healthy eating is about much more than the food you eat. How you eat it is just as important.

Once upon a time, my idea of a great meal was one that would barely fit onto my plate. I would sit there and wolf it down as fast as I could, and leave the table in a self-induced food coma…

Today, I still go for pretty sizeable meals, but the eating experience is much different.

Instead of seeing how quickly I can inhale my food, I do my best to take my time and chew each mouthful thoroughly.

The result – I appreciate my food more, and find it way easier to digest.

And back to the calories thing – people who purposely chew their food thoroughly consume on average 10% fewer calories than those who don’t. A nice bonus if you’re looking to shed a few pounds.

Your Move:

Slow down buddy.

Unless you’re trying to eat 100 hotdogs faster than the big guy next to you, eating isn’t a race (and if you are, you might wanna reconsider your life choices).

Your bowels, taste buds and waist line with thank you for it.

8. Drink Plenty of Clean Water.

Pamilar Brar, a doctor mentioned over at Lifehacker recommends 2.2 to 3 litres of water per day as a baseline (not accounting for hot weather or exercise).

I shoot for five or six 600ml bottles a day, which works out about right.

Here in Wales I think they do a pretty good job with the water quality, but if you’re elsewhere and you want to avoid heavy metals and other nasties, you might wanna invest in a decent water filter.

Your Move:

Ensure you’re getting your 2.2 to 3 litres, preferably spread throughout the day. I use the old elastic band trick to help me keep track, sliding one down to the bottom of my bottle when I finish a whole drink.

And if getting enough H2O is no problem for you, consider donating to Water Aid to help the 650 million people in the world who don’t have access to clean water.


HERO Blueprint Healthy Lifestyle Tips

C. Move Your Body

Without movement, we stagnate and stop growing. 

 

9. Move Often (Or Lose Often)

It’s interesting that most of us associate health with going to the gym and training hard. Almost living like an athlete.

But whilst swinging kettlebells and raising your heart rate can be pretty good for you, pushing yourself to the limit intermittently and resting just as hard in-between isn’t necessarily equated with long-term health…

Let me explain.

From my experience, athletes are actually some of the unhealthiest people I’ve met, most of them are overtrained, injured or suffering form some sort of hormone imbalance. I know because I was that person not too long ago.

This is a stark contrast to people who adopt regular movement throughout the day, with a few bursts of higher intensity activity when needed.

Back to the Blue Zones – pretty much all the longest living, healthiest people who the study looked at were constantly moving, be it tending to the garden or walking everywhere they went.

They weren’t pushing it hard at the gym and then sitting down the rest of the day. They led very active lifestyles, more akin to the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have lived.

Your Move:

With the risk of being a fun sponge, an hour spent at the gym a few times a week doesn’t make up for an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.

If you really want to stay lean and healthy, by all means keep your gym sessions, but embrace every opportunity you can for movement in between.

Take the stairs, go for walking meetings, bike to work, be barefoot as much as possible, and perhaps most importantly…

10. Sit Less and Live Longer

Sure, I could have just lumped this in with the last point. But it’s so important that I reckon it deserves it’s own section…

Clever people figured out that sitting more than 3 hours a day can cut your life expectancy by 2 years, even if you’re physically active. And given that the average Westerner sits for just shy of 8 hours a day (and doesn’t do much in between), that’s a hell of a lot of years wasted…

Sitting also wrecks havoc on your posture and positioning, not great if you want to be able to move your body freely – which I assume you do…

Your Move:

Gradually transition to a life with less sitting.

That might mean building or buying a standing desk, driving less, kneeling on the floor to eat, or even purchasing a squatty potty to poop. As far as we can see, less time spent on your bum means more quality time spend on this planet.

And going back to the calories thing – depending on your size, standing rather than sitting can help you burn 20-50% more calories per hour.

Just remember that although standing is a better option, the human body isn’t really designed to be in any static position for a prolonged time period. So I like to switch it up when I’m working, and try not to stay in the same posture for more than 20 minutes at a time.

11. Don’t Overdo It

Hitting the gym and training like an animal can be good fun, and can potentially benefit your health in various ways. But it is possible to overdo it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I was raised in competitive sports, and had that ‘go hard or go home’ mentality. In my late teens, after pushing it day in day out, my body decided enough was enough, and I burned out.

Now I’m a little wiser (although not much) I try my best to prioritize recovery and avoid getting to that point where I’m drifting around like a zombie from the Walking Dead.

Instead of just finishing my workouts with a quick cool down and a shower, I add in box breathing exercises, foam rolling and hot/cold contrasts to down-regulate. Essentially, to help bring my body out of that fight or flight response, and back to homeostasis.

I also make sure to take off-days from the gym, and periodize my training to take off-weeks before my body breaks and forces me to take them…

Your Move:

It doesn’t sound as cool as ‘go hard or go home’, but remember this – you can do a lot more damage overtraining than you can undertraining.

Instead of busting your gut day in day out without any thought as to how you’re going to recover, have a play around with some of the ideas I mentioned above.

Perform regular stretching, down-regulate after your workouts, program in rest time, and switch up your training now and then to avoid overuse injuries. That variety will also help keep things interesting for you, and will help you build a well-rounded body that’s useful in an emergency and can adapt to any given situation.

Whatever your poison, approach your training or movement practice a little smarter, as opposed to just training hard.

12. Don’t Neglect Your Sleep

Again, this probably could have been part of the previous section, but it’s just too big a topic to skim over.

Sleep is a massive part of the health picture, but it’s one that most of us neglect. We all know it’s essential, but the truth is that very few of us get close to the recommended 8 hours a night, and we suffer for it.

Forty-five percent of Americans report that poor or insufficient sleep affects their daily activities in any given week. Lack of concentration, low mood, weight gain, and a whole host of chronic diseases ensue.

Your Move:

Ensure you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of undisturbed, good quality sleep per night.

My top five tips (go here for more):

  1. Get a sweat on during the day to wear yourself out.
  2. Eat plenty of foods rich in zinc and magnesium. Nuts and seeds are great.
  3. Avoid stimulants in the afternoon and high intensity exercise towards bedtime.
  4. Wind down with an evening routine with a hot shower, guided meditation, or reading.
  5. Prep your environment for sleep, with blackout blinds, earplugs and a comfortable mattress.

HERO Blueprint Healthy Lifestyle Tips

D. Keep Your Environment Clean

What you surround your body with is just as important as what you put in it. 

 

13. Be Mindful of Substance Abuse

If you’re a smoker or you have any sort of addictive behaviour issues, addressing that issues is probably the single most important thing you could do for your health.

It’s unfortunate, but according to Action on Smoking and Health, around 50% of smokers are by a condition related to their addiction. I’ve seen what it can do to loved ones, and it’s not nice. No matter how tempting it is to light up, those short-term gains are significantly outweighed by the long-term consequences.

Similarly with other substances and even pastimes – whether it’s alcohol consumption, playing video games or eating concentrated sugars. They can all damage your health and act as a crutch that holds you back from realising your potential and unleashing your inner HERO.

Your Move:

Take a closer look at your relationship with any substances or pastimes you might be using, or indeed abusing. Whether that’s cigarettes, alcohol, hard drugs – anything that you feel may be controlling your current life situation.

If you deem that relationship to be an unhealthy one, think about taking steps towards quitting and replacing that relationship with something more constructive. With smoking, that might mean swapping your usual smoke break with exercise or meditation, whilst joining a support group and using vaping as an intermediate step.

Again, it goes back to understanding that habit-forming process and the reasons behind our destructive behaviour patterns.

14. Take a Tech Break

We’re in the era of technology, and it’s estimated that Westerners spend nearly nine hours a day using media devices of some sort, be it laptop, phone or TV.

That’s significantly more than most people spend sleeping…

It has it’s benefits, but the way we currently use tech is messing up our vision, destroying our posture, and dampening our social skills in the process.

Your Move:

Human integrated tech is on the near horizon, but until it get’s here, make sure you take regular screen breaks from your computer to focus on objects in the distance.

And do your best to have a day or two each week where you’re completely tech free. Go for a walk or read another book. Anything other than scrolling though Facebook or checking your emails every ten minutes…

If it’s available to you, you might wanna even do a complete technology detox now and again, like you might do a week-long juice fast to clear out our system and reboot.

15. Maintain a Healthy Home

I don’t want to sound like a nagging parent, keeping your home clean is so important.

There are whole host of things in the home environment that could be messing up you health, from electrical pollution to asbestos and toxic mold.

All of the above can be damaging. Sticking with mold, aside from looking a bit gross, prolonged exposure to various types of mold can cause allergic reactions, respiratory issues and even neurological problems. And it’s estimated that 25 percent of US homes are infested.

Your Move:

Aim to minimize any deleterious polluters in the home. A few simple ideas:

  • Minimize mold build-up by wiping down wet surfaces after use (e.g the shower and areas around the sink). You could also invest in a humidity monitor, and ensure your house is getting enough ventilation. Consult a professional if you already have an overgrowth.
  • You can reduce electrical pollution by investing into EMF plug filters, negative ion generators, laptop grounding cables, and a whole host of other simple gadgets mentioned in this awesome video by Ben Greenfield.
  • Check out this blog post I put together with the guys at the Asbestos Awareness Centre for building healthy lungs, dealing with asbestos and air quality in the home.

HERO Blueprint Healthy Lifestyle Tips

E. Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health

It’s just as important to your wellbeing as legs are to a table. 

 

16. Manage Your Stress Levels

It’s becoming increasingly clear: stress is a killer, linked to just about every degenerative disease known to man.

Our primate bodies just aren’t built to keep up with the sheer quantity of potential chronic stressors in the modern world. We’re designed to deal with acute events: fight, flight, and be done with it. But modern-day stressors can last days, months or even years.

Thankfully we have an increasing number of stress-busting tools and methodologies at our disposal to help us deal with the issue.

Your Move:

Keep those stress levels under control with regular meditation and breathing exercises.

Studies show they can reduce perceived stress levels by up to 31%.

Journaling, exercising, reading and talking things out with others are also great methods. Experiment with a few modalities and find what works best for you.

17. Be Proactive

Reactive people let outside circumstances dictate their lives. Their mood is often determined by things that are completely out of their control. If the weather is bad, it’s a bad day. Their favourite team loses, they’re probably not gonna be that talkative.

We’re all reactive to some degree, but the more we make a conscious effort to be proactive, the more fulfilling life can be.

Proactive people bring their own weather with them. They focus on the things that they can control, and they live life on their terms – not dictated by external events.

Your Move:

You’re not gonna become completely proactive overnight, but you can make a start by noticing how you deal with everyday situations.

Are you being reactive most of the time, and how could you act differently?

Becoming aware of your behaviour patterns and habits is a big first step towards changing them.

18. Learn New Stuff for a Healthy Brain

Our education systems are set up in a way that many people leave school with a bad taste in their mouth with regards to learning.

They’ve been force-fed information that they didn’t really want to know about for most of their life, so when they finally have the freedom to choose their education, they stop altogether.

But it’s so important to keep challenging your brain. Studies show that learning a new skill is one of the best ways to keep you sharp as you age.

And although I can’t find the source, I remember Stephen Jepson of Never Leave the Playground talking on the Move Smart Podcast about the changes in your brain that occur even if you don’t succeed with conquering that new skill.

If I remember correctly, the study he mentioned showed that just attempting to learn a skill and failing brought about the same neurological benefits as trying and succeeding!

Your Move:

Make a conscious effort to learn something new every week.

Whether it’s attempting a new language, taking a course on Udemy, trying to balance on a slack line or even starting BJJ.

19. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Modern life (particularly in the West) is all about staying comfortable.

We have soft sofas, padded shoes, and flat sidewalks all aimed at minimising discomfort.

But as I’m sure you’ve heard before, life begins when you take that daring step outside of your comfort zone. No one ever achieved anything great without taking a few risks and doing things they’re scared of.

Your Move:

One of my most important tips for healthy living: challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone often.

That might mean taking a daily cold shower, speaking to strangers in the street, or picking up a new hobby that you currently know nothing about.


HERO Blueprint Healthy Lifestyle Tips

F. Find Your Calling

Discover what drives you, and put your ideas into action. 

 

20. Ikigai – Have a Clear Purpose

Ikigai is a concept that once again, I stumbled upon whilst reading about the Blue Zones study. It’s an ancient Japanese concept adopted by the Okinawans that roughly translates to the ‘reason for being’.

It may sound a bit woo-woo to some, but it’s actually thought to be one of the big contributing factors to their long, healthy lifespans.

Even as they age, the Okinawans have a clear purpose and code that keeps them moving forwards.

Your Move:

Find what it is that really makes you tick. You know what it is deep down – you just have to uncover it.

Then chase whatever it is ferociously.

As Dr. Viktor Frankl once wrote, “He who has a why, can bear any how.”

21. Become a Productivity Hero

During my lunch break the other day, I watched a really interesting TED talk by Tim Urban all about productivity and procrastination.

In short, it was about how our rational, decision-making part of the brain is often overpowered by the short-term ‘instant gratification monkey’. In his must read book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield refers to it as the ‘resistance’.

It’s essentially the same thing.

And if we really want to get things done, be in our work or our everyday lives, we need to become more aware of this monkey or resistance, and figure out how to best manage it.

Your Move:

Look at ways you can be more productive:

  • With regards to getting more done in work, one of the most effective tools I’ve used is the Pomodoro Timer – 25 minutes on, followed by a 5 minute rest. I repeat that around 12 times throughout the day, with longer breaks every 4 sets, and my productivity has never been higher.
  • And in terms of beating procrastination and becoming more productive in everyday life stuff (like looking after your health or tending to relationships), nothing beats a good old life calendar that counts down the days/weeks until your impeding doom…

22. Chill Out, Man

Just like with movement and exercise, the recovery time in between your work is just as important as the work itself, if not more so.

Even if you’re lucky enough to be following your passion, you need a break from time to time to rejuvenate.

You might even want to consider reducing your work hours altogether, if that’s available to you. An experiment in Sweden showed that a 6 hour workday significantly improved productivity and reduced staff turnover.

A fresh brain is usually one that’s more creative and more effective. Just something to think about.

Your Move:

Work hard, but give yourself time for leisure and to recharge your batteries. You might wanna use that time to learn a new skill, move your body, or even to…


HERO Blueprint Healthy Lifestyle Tips

G. Be a Social Animal

We’re social beings that thrive off interdependence. 

 

23. Build a Strong Support Network

I know this is probably the fifty-millionth time I’ve mentioned Blue Zones in this post (I’m not sponsored by them I promise, but that is an affiliate link to the book).

But social support is another key characteristic of the healthiest, longest living populations. They mostly live in tight-knit communities where people look out for each other and regularly get together for a good chinwag. Hence, they live longer.

And this isn’t just blue sky thinking – there’s plenty of science out there to back it up. One study actually showed that having a strong social support increases your odds of survival by 50% over any given time period.

Your Move:

Social support is a key part of living a healthy lifestyle. So, don’t neglect real, human interaction.

You don’t have to maintain a massive group of friends, but make sure you’re making time to spend with loved ones. You could even join a sports team, get involved with a club, or give your time to help out at a shelter.

Solitary time is also important, I get that. But living your whole life as a lone wolf isn’t fun for anyone.

There will come a time when asking for help and working interdependently with others is a better option than going it alone.

24. LMAO (Laugh Often)

I have a bit of a confession to make:

I’m probably one of the worlds worst when it comes to keeping a straight face when I know that I should.

It’s always really childish things, like someone saying a potentially rude word in a serious conversation, or tripping over their water bottle at the gym and trying to casually walk it off….

And it’s especially bad if I catch the eye of a friend who’s thinking the same thing. I just can’t help myself.

But anywho, uncontrollable giggling probably has more benefits than it does drawbacks. In fact, a good belly laugh has been shown to help reduce anxiety, boost immunity, and even improve heart health.

Your Move:

Life is too short to be straight faced all the time. If you go too many days without laughing, that’s a clue that something probably needs to change.

And it’s especially important to not take yourself too seriously.

As Joe Rogan once said:

If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.

25. Avoid Toxic People

I’m extremely lucky in that I have a loving, close-knit family, and some great friends from school and uni that I see from time to time.

But I realise that not everyone has that good fortune.

Your time is precious, so it’s important not to spend it being weighed down by toxic people who only want to complain or take from you.

No more. Heroes don’t have time for that.

Your Move:

It’s been said that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. So choose carefully.

Examine your current social circle, and think about what it means for you.

As ruthless as it may sound, sometimes you need to cut away the dead weight to allow room for the people that are really worth making time for.

26. Build a Healthy Relationship

I’m no relationship guru. Let’s get that straight for starters…

But if you’re in a relationship, I know how important it can be to maintain a healthy bond with your significant other. It takes work, but it’s worth it on so many levels.

Not only does having a strong relationship improve your mental health and general sense of fulfilment in life, it’s also been linked with improved heart health and a longer lifespan.

Your Move:

Don’t take the relationship with your partner for granted. It’s like a plant that needs tending to.

Make time for each other, do special things for them just because you can, and be willing to drop your ego and compromise.

27. Have a Positive Relationship With You

It’s all well and good having a strong social network, but the most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. How can you truly be present and mindful with others if you have no self-esteem or self-respect?

There’s an old quote that goes something like:

“Wherever you go, there you are”.

And it’s true.

You might think that if your circumstances were different or if you had more money you would be happier. But in reality, most people’s discomfort and unhappiness occurs because they treat themselves like crap.

Your Move:

Think about how you would treat a close friend if they made a mistake or a bad decision. You wouldn’t beat them up or hurl insults at them. You would forgive and forget, and help them to bounce back any way you can.

Aim to treat yourself the same way.

Trust your instincts, stand by your decisions, and give yourself a break now and again.


HERO Blueprint Healthy Lifestyle Tips

H. Get Spiritual Up In Here

Surrender to a cause bigger than you. 

 

28. Connect to Something Bigger

I’m not going to get all preachy on you here, but I truly believe that you’re more likely to live a healthy lifestyle if you can dedicate some time to a cause that’s bigger than you.

Now for some that might be religion. Seems to work pretty well for a lot of people.

Others it could be a good cause or a dream they want to carry out. Again, it kinda goes back to the idea of your Ikigai, or the reason for being.

It’s nice to belong to some sort of community or shared goal, and by focussing on the big picture and thinking outside yourself, your everyday worries and stresses seem to matter a hell of a lot less.

Your Move:

How can you connect to something greater than you?

Whether it’s religion, an idea, or a dream. Find something that fills you with awe and wonder.

29. Spend Time in Nature

When I was a kid, going up the mountain to clamber over rocks, swing from trees and build dens was one of my favourite things to do. And it still is today.

Just like some of the ideas I mentioned in the previous point, being surrounded by the vastness that is nature is humbling. It puts things into perspective.

Plus, it’s great for you health. A 2013 study found that walking in nature significantly helps people suffering with depression, improving mental health and overall wellbeing.

Your Move:

Take time out each week to reconnect with nature. Whether it’s a walk in the park, a run by the beach or a hike in the mountains. Just switch off, and be.

30. Help People

It goes without saying really – just doing what you can to help others, when you can. That’s part of the manual for being a human being right?

But sometimes we’re so busy, we tend to forget.

I noticed it when I lived in London a few years back. Everyone’s got somewhere to be, and stuff to do, so simple little things like holding the door open or smiling at the person serving you food often go out the window.

Aside from just being the right thing to do, research suggests that going out of your way to be kind and help people out might also reduce your overall mortality rate by 28%, and boost your mood.

So it’s a no brainer really.

Your Move:

Don’t let people walk all over you like a doormat, but make a conscious effort to help out where you can.

Whether it’s carrying someone’s shopping or volunteering with charity, a little can go a long way.

31. Be Grateful

Gratitude is without doubt one of the most important habits you can develop.

When you’re grateful for what you have right now in the present movement, then what is there to fret about?

Again, it puts things into perspective, and research even suggests that being more grateful increases your self-esteem, empathy and psychological health.

Your Move:

Before you go to sleep each night, or before you start your day in the morning, think about the things you’re grateful for.

You could write them down in a gratitude journal, voice them to your significant other, or even just visualise them in your head.

Whatever you’re doing next, being grateful sets you up right for it.


HERO Blueprint Healthy Lifestyle Tips

I. Think Globally

Your actions on a small-scale can impact the health of the planet as a whole. 

 

32. Cut Back on Those Animal Products

I feel like I’ve almost beaten the horse to death with this one here on the blog, but alas it just keeps popping up.

Although we might not like to admit it, animal agriculture is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to most of the environmental issues we face today, including global warming, fresh water scarcity, deforestation and pollution.

You can check more facts over on the Infographic I made for the documentary Cowspiracy, but a few of the big ones are:

  • One hamburger = 660 gallons of water = 2 months of showering.
  • Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of the deforestation occurring in the Amazon rainforest.
  • Cutting out meat from your diet would cut your carbon footprint by 50%.

Your Move:

I’ve never claimed that everyone should go vegan, and I never will.

But I do think that we could all benefit from cutting back on the amount of animal products we consume, as individuals and on a global scale.

You could just start with Meatless Mondays, and see how you go from there.

34. Live Minimally

Our Western society is built upon consumerism.

There are always new products coming out that we’re told we must buy. Some are pretty useful, and can even be beneficial for your health.

But most are just distractions.

The truth is, we don’t have to consume everything that’s plated up to us, be it the brand new iPhone or the latest celebrity gossip story.

We can choose to live simply. As mentioned in our minimalism starter guide, a minimalist lifestyle is one with fewer distractions, less stress, more spare cash, and more flexibility. To do the things you really love.

Your Move:

Have a good think about the things that you consume.

Whether it’s products you fill your home with, or the media that you take in.

Think about whether that thing really adds value, or just distracts you from living life to the full, and unleashing your inner HERO. Then start to cut away the excess.

34. Share Your Gifts

We all have our own unique talents and we all have our own fascinating stories to share. That’s you included, even if you don’t agree and think I’m crazy.

The truth is that the world is made better when you share those gifts or stories with others.

You shine bright, and you pave the way for others to do the same.

Your Move:

Your voice matters. Take action, and put your self out there.

Express yourself in whatever way feels natural to you. Whether that’s through music, art, writing, playing sport or running a business. Everyone benefits if you go after the thing you’re really passionate about.

As the Buddha apparently once said:

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened.


What’s Next For You HERO?

 

So there we have it.

The healthy living infographic – 34 tips to help you kickstart your wellness journey.

For now, my work here is done, and it’s over to you guys.

Before you go, I want you to do three simple things:

  1. Download the HERO Blueprint Checklist (it’s free) and use it to see which areas in life you could perhaps work on to take you closer to unlocking your potential.
  2. Share your thoughts with me. If you’d add anything to the HERO Blueprint or take it away, then let me know in the comments section below, or by email.
  3. Spread the word. If you benefited form the HERO Blueprint or you know someone who will, give it a share on Facebook, Pintrest, Stumbleupon, Twitter, carrier pigeon or any other medium you like using. And feel free to host it on your own site with a link back to this page!

 

Hero Blueprint Checklist Download Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Please note that the healthy lifestyle tips presented above and in the HERO Blueprint are for information purposes only, and are not intended to replace advise from a medical professional.

Some of the links in the article are affiliate links, meaning Health Room receives a percentage of the sale if a purchase is made (at no extra cost to you).

Some of the images used in the HERO Blueprint IHealthy Living nfographic were designed and adapted from Freepik at www.flaticon.com 

Luke Jones

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