The 10 Commandments of Easy, Healthy Living

POPSUGAR Photography | Maria Del Russo
POPSUGAR Photography | Maria Del Russo

Ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle and just feel better every day? It doesn't have to be a pipe dream. Meet the 10 commandments that will allow you to see, feel, and reap results. You're worth the effort.

1. Thou Shalt Drink More Water

If you're working with a foggy, tired brain a lot of the time and aren't sure what's affecting your health, this may be a sign of regular dehydration. Staying hydrated helps energize your body, rids it of toxins, and helps your body work at its top potential. Sip on plenty of water all day to keep energy levels up and soaring and your body working hard for you.

2. Thou Shalt Take Part in Consistent Exercise

Regardless of any weight-loss goals, exercise needs to be a consistent part of your healthy lifestyle. It keeps sickness at bay, boosts your mood, increases productivity, and so much more. You will be amazed how much healthier you feel when you exercise regularly.

3. Thou Shalt Remember That Food Is Fuel

Choosing whole, natural clean foods over processed junk puts your body in a position to perform at its top potential. Treat your body like the luxury vehicle it is, and opt for premium fuel whenever possible! Making this shift in your mind is essential to sustaining a healthy diet for the long haul. These clean-eating rules are the perfect starter kit to developing a healthier relationship with food.

4. Thou Shalt Take Time to Breathe

For those who haven't gotten the memo yet, making time to meditate is worth the effort. Studies have shown a correlation between meditation and reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, the region connected to anxiety and emotional regulation; meditation has also been shown to decrease insomnia by 42 percent. Even if you're not ready to commit to a formal meditation practice, just taking three deep breaths when you're worried or stressed can help you loosen up and feel lighter. Try it right now — it works!

5. Thou Shalt Laugh More

Laughing helps keep stress levels low and positive feelings high. You might be surprised to learn that studies have shown that adults who have a sense of humor outlive those who don't. When things feel tough, watch a funny video, read your favorite article, or call a friend or family member who always makes you chuckle. Every giggle supports your healthy, happy goals.

6. Thou Shalt Not Eliminate Entire Food Groups

All protein? All carbs? All cookies? Too little (or too much) of anything is bad news. Our bodies need a balanced diet in order to survive and function at their highest potential. Depriving yourself of certain food groups may seem like a quick fix for a short time, but it's simply not sustainable for long-term weight-loss goals, and it does not support a balanced and healthy life.

7. Thou Shalt Get Some Fresh Air

Feeling stuck indoors leaves you feeling drained and disconnected. Step away from work, go outside for some fresh air and sunny rays, and take a walk during your break. It may feel like a luxury to leave, but you'll come back to whatever you were working on with a fresh perspective and much more energy. This also goes for the weekend! Take advantage of Summer's sunny skies and warm temperatures and relax in nature and reconnect with yourself.

POPSUGAR Photography | Maria Del Russo

8. Thou Shalt Strive For 80/20

The occasional indulgence is essential for a balanced and healthy life, and that's why following the 80/20 principle is a great technique. The breakdown is simple: 80 percent of the time you focus on eating clean, good-for-you foods, and 20 percent of the time you have the freedom to indulge as you please. This means you can absolutely enjoy a meal out or refreshing cocktail, but it's not an everyday occurrence. (Your wallet also thanks you in advance for this one.)

9. Thou Shalt Listen to Thy Body

Consistently healthy people help their bodies work with them instead of against them. It can be tough when there's tons of fun plans on the horizon, but when you're feeling immunocompromised, it's essential to take a break for yourself. Folks who listen to their bodies put down their fork when they've had enough, hit up a yoga class when they need a release, and don't pour that extra cocktail when they know it's not the best idea. Once you find this awareness, you'll be amazed by how much your body has to say.

10. Thou Shalt Get to Bed

Not getting enough sleep can lead to a whole slew of consequences from higher blood pressure to memory loss. Be sure to get at least seven hours of sleep every night to keep you alert and energized to take on the day. And if you're having a hard time getting adequate shut-eye, these sleep tips will help you get to bed.