10 Easy Habits to Help You Feel Healthier, Happier, and More Badass in 2019
New year, new you, right? It's a great time to reset, to make yourself a priority, and to adopt healthy habits that will help you feel more vibrant, joyful, in control, and badass. Do these 10 things every day, and make 2019 awesome!
Get "Me Time" Every Day
To stay energized, happy, and emotionally balanced, take time each day to do a little self-care. Meditate, read a book, write in a journal, turn on some music and dance, take a hot bath, sip some tea, get a massage, or get creative. Recharging a little each day will make a huge difference in your mood and how much you're able to offer the world.
Exercise Every Day
Commit to being active 20 to 60 minutes every single day. Be sure to include 45 minutes of heart-pumping exercise five days a week. Three to four times a week, your workouts should include strength training to get stronger, prevent injury, and maintain your weight. Include two rest days, which can be active rests, like going for a leisurely walk or doing some yoga at home.
Eat Veggies With Every Meal
Eating a more plant-based diet is healthy for you in so many ways. And focusing on eating more veggies is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight, according to certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition. Veggies are also full of vitamins and antioxidants to keep you energized and prevent disease. Fiber is another reason to eat veggies throughout the day, to not only prevent certain cancers, but to keep you going to the bathroom regularly, which will prevent belly bloat.
The easiest way to eat more veggies is to include them in every meal and snack — even breakfast. Have a sweet potato for breakfast, snack on honey-roasted chickpeas, have a big mason jar salad for lunch, and make carrot fettuccine as a side dish with dinner.
Choose one time each day to recognize all that you have, whether it's something big like your health or your family, or something small like getting the last bike in your indoor cycling class. Being grateful cultivates positivity, which makes you feel more emotionally satisfied and content.
Drink at Least 64 Ounces of Water a Day
Trade all the other unhealthy beverages you drink, like soda (even diet soda), energy drinks, and sugary juices, for nature's beverage — water. You'll save on calories and sugar, and drinking more water makes you feel more alert, fills you up so you eat less, and prevents constipation that can cause bloat.
Leslie suggests making your daily goal to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. Buy a huge reusable water bottle, and keep it with you at all times. If you tend to forget to drink, set reminders on your phone.
Indulge Once a Day
Don't give up any foods completely. Denying yourself the bites you crave can backfire, causing you to feel deprived, resulting in bingeing. So make a point to keep yourself happy and your cravings satisfied by allowing a small treat every day, such as a square of dark chocolate, one of these vegan Peppermint Patties, or a small glass of wine.
Connect With People Who Will Support You
Whether it's with friends, family, or a community of like-minded people with similar goals, take time each day to make personal connections. These interactions will keep you happy, inspired, and remind you what's really important in life.
Get Enough Sleep
Life gets hectic, so make sure you're getting enough sleep. Besides strengthening your immune system and giving you energy to be awesome and productive all day, proper rest also ensures healthy eating habits. On a daily basis, sleepy people eat more, and since the body functions poorly when sleep-deprived, it ends up storing more fat — inadequate sleep can lead to an extra three pounds a year! Besides, think about all the workouts you skip when you're too tired to get to the gym.
Swap Artificial and Processed Sweeteners For Natural Sources
The more we eat refined white sugar, the more we crave it — sugar addiction is real! Studies show that eating sugar has been linked to cancer, liver damage, heart failure, and other serious conditions. Eating artificially sweetened foods and beverages also makes you feel more hungry, so you'll end up eating more total calories. If that's not enough, sugar can also make you feel bloated and cause acne.
Avoid the obvious culprits such as candy, desserts, and soda, and also avoid processed foods, as these contain tons of hidden sugars. When sweet cravings strike, go for fresh or dried fruit, or these healthy dessert recipes like date-sweetened cookies.
Go Easy on the Salt Shaker
Too much sodium not only affects your blood pressure, but it can also damage your organs and tissues and cause that bloated feeling that leaves you feeling sluggish and uncomfortable.
Aim for no more than 2,400 milligrams a day (under 1,500 milligrams is even better) by avoiding processed foods that are high in sodium. Make sure to read the labels on everything, because even bread, dressings, and sauces can contain obscene amounts of sodium — and try not to reach for the salt shaker simply out of habit. Season your food with fresh herbs or garlic instead. Also, go for unsalted nuts, seeds, and the butters made from them.