How you currently feel is a direct consequence of the habits you have instilled into your life.
So if you’re stuck in a rut, you’ve most likely managed to develop bad habits which have led to you feeling that way.
The good news is that you have the power to change these habits.
You can change them and replace them with healthier habits that can lead to a happier and more fulfilled life.
Changing your habits is no walk in the park.
You’ll need to be realistic, start small and work your way up to change those healthy habits that are on the horizon.
Let’s take a look at 9 good habits for a healthy lifestyle and why they are important.
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What is a Habit?
A habit is a recurrent, automatic, and often unconscious pattern of behaviour that becomes ingrained through repetition and routine.
It is a learned response to specific cues or triggers in our environment, which prompts us to perform a particular action or behaviour with little conscious thought.
Studies show that more than 40% of the tasks or actions you carry out daily are not conscious choices, but habits.
Habits can be both beneficial and detrimental, influencing our daily lives in profound ways.
Why Habits are Important
They are important because each habit you carry out affects your life either positively or negatively.
Understanding the nature of habits is key to harnessing their power for positive change or breaking free from negative patterns, as they play a pivotal role in shaping our lives and behaviours.
Not all habits need to be in the form of physical action, oftentimes it’s the habits which we don’t see that are the most detrimental.
These are our mental habits and if left unchecked can cause us a lot of pain and suffering.
Your thoughts have immense power, so if you’ve ingrained a way of thinking into your brain, it then becomes a habit.
9 Healthy Habits
These are our 9 top picks of healthy habits which will help you live a healthier and happier life:
1. Exercise Regularly
Exercising is one of the best habits that you can develop to get healthier.
Not only is it great for your physical health, but it brings great benefits to your mental health as well.
There are scientific studies out there that have proven that activities such as jogging, swimming, cycling and even gardening can reduce anxiety and depression.
Regular exercise has also proven to:
- Improve sleep.
- Increase energy.
- Increase mental alertness.
- Help manage weight gain.
- Improve Immune system.
- And many, many more.
The best thing about exercise is that you have a wide choice when it comes to choosing a workout routine that works for you.
Some people prefer to play sports while others enjoy going to the gym and following a workout program that consists of lifting heavy weights.
There is no perfect workout routine that rules the roost.
It’s all about finding a routine that you enjoy and will be able to consistently complete. Without consistency, you won’t feel the full benefits of exercise.
Our Pow8r platform allows our members to choose from hundreds of workouts that you can complete from the comfort of your own home, any time of the day.
Find out how you can start exercising today with POW8R.
2. Have Healthy Eating Habits
‘You are what you eat’.
These words have never been more true when it comes to your diet and nutrition.
Do you ever eat fatty processed foods and feel fantastic afterwards?
No, of course not.
How about when you eat a bowl of lean meat with a mix of leafy green vegetables?
The chances are that you have way more energy and alertness than when you eat processed food and sugar-filled snacks.
Our diet and nutrition are the fuel that we feed our body.
If we fuel our body with low-quality food such as those high in fat and processed sugar we won’t operate at optimal levels.
The opposite goes for when we fuel it with healthier and more nutritious foods. When we do this we are giving our body the energy needed to get through the day without feeling tired and lethargic.
It’s hard not to overstate the importance of eating nutritious food consistently as the benefits are overwhelming.
NCDs (non-communicable diseases) are some of the leading causes of death in the world and your diet can help fight these.
Common NCDs include:
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Chronic respiratory diseases.
There is scientific evidence to show that certain nutrients and specific food groups help prevent some of these common NCDs.
3. Getting Appropriate Sleep
Sleeping is an essential function of the human body which is why we strongly advise you to have healthy sleep habits.
Sleep is of paramount importance for overall health and well-being. It plays a crucial role in maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health.
People spend about one-third of their lives sleeping, so having a consistent sleep routine that ensures you’re getting good quality sleep is essential.
When we sleep our organs do not shut off, rather they change function.
The body undergoes significant repair and maintenance processes while you are sleeping.
Sleep is a crucial time for the body to rest, recover, and perform various physiological functions that help maintain overall health and well-being.
Some of the key repair and maintenance activities that occur during sleep include:
While you sleep, your body increases the production of proteins that are essential for cell repair and growth.
This process helps regenerate and repair damaged tissues, including muscle tissue. According to studies, when the brain is in sleep mode, there are enzymes that repair brain cell damage caused by free radicals.
When there is a lack of sleep we not only disturb this healing process but we also don’t allow our brain to function properly.
There was another study which was conducted on laboratory rats which provides physical evidence that sleep loss causes cell damage.
Immune System Function
Sleep plays a vital role in supporting the immune system.
During deep sleep, the body releases immune-enhancing substances, which help protect against infections and illnesses.
When the body is deprived of sleep we leave our body more susceptible to infectious agents.
Eric J. Olson, a sleep medicine specialist explains the reason behind this. He says it is because of the proteins your body releases during sleep, Cytokines.
If your body comes under infection or inflammation there are certain Cytokines that will be needed to fight it off.
Your body may not produce enough of this prolactin if you’re sleep-deprived.
Sleep helps regulate the release of various hormones, including those that control:
- Stress response.
Proper sleep contributes to hormonal balance, which is important for overall health. Hormone regulation during sleep is a complex and essential process that helps maintain the body’s homeostasis.
Sleep-wake cycles are influenced by several hormones that help control when we feel sleepy and when we wake up.
Two key hormones involved in regulating sleep are melatonin and cortisol.
- Melatonin – Melatonin is often referred to as the “sleep hormone.” It is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and plays a crucial role in regulating the body’s circadian rhythms.
Studies have been carried out on sleep and circadian disturbance showing the negative impact it has on hormones and metabolism.
Melatonin production increases in the evening as natural light decreases, signalling the body that it’s time to prepare for sleep. Melatonin levels peak during the night, promoting restful sleep, and then gradually decrease as morning approaches to help wake you up.
- Cortisol – Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Its levels typically follow a diurnal pattern, with the highest levels occurring in the morning and the lowest levels in the evening.
This natural variation in cortisol levels helps promote alertness upon waking and readiness for the day. As the day progresses, cortisol levels gradually decline, aiding in the onset of sleep.
Research shows that inadequate sleep can lead to a range of health issues, including chronic conditions, impaired cognitive function, mood disorders, and a decreased quality of life.
The recommended amount of sleep can vary by age, but adults typically need 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.
Establishing good sleep hygiene practices can help improve the quality and duration of your sleep.
4. Learn to Manage Stress
Stress is something that we all experience at some point in our lives. It’s completely normal to feel stress.
What’s not normal is letting stress into your life and allowing it to have a negative impact. That’s when there is a stress issue.
It may seem that you are powerless when it comes to handling stress.
Thankfully, that’s not true.
You just need to learn how to manage stress appropriately.
If you let stress go unmanaged it can cause an abundance of issues to your physical and mental wellbeing.
Studies have shown that stress can have many afflictions on the body ranging from alterations in homeostasis to life-threatening effects and even death.
So what can we do to manage stress?
We’re glad you asked.
Here are our top methods for managing stress:
- Exercise – Of course, we would pick this one. But not only because we have our very own online fitness app, but because exercise is proven to help manage stress by regulating stress hormones.
- Meditation – Regular meditation can help you stay present, reduce anxiety, and improve emotional well-being.
- Deep Breathing – Deep, slow breaths can calm the nervous system and reduce stress.
- Social Support – Sharing your feelings and concerns with friends, family, or a support network can help you feel understood and less alone in dealing with stress.
- Hobbies and Relaxation Activities – Engage in activities you enjoy, such as reading, listening to music, painting, or spending time in nature.
- Take Short Breaks – When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take short breaks to step away from the stressor and regain your composure.
5. Get Outside in Nature More Regularly
Nothing beats the great outdoors!
You may be someone who lives in the hustle and bustle of the city. You might actually be someone who enjoys living in this environment.
But there is a reason that even the busiest of cities have parks and places for nature to prosper.
It’s because nature is great for us.
In fact, being outside in general is good for us, even if it is to get some sunlight and fresh air.
A study conducted in 2019 which included 19,806 participants highlighted just how beneficial being out in nature can be.
It showed that dedicating a minimum of 120 minutes per week to being in natural surroundings can substantially enhance your health and overall sense of well-being.
6. Set Time Aside for Self-Learning
Learning a new skill or learning about a new topic can be extremely beneficial for your life.
Most people will park their learning journey after they leave school. They believe that there is no real need to learn additional skills and progress their knowledge.
But the truth is, that the learning journey never really ends.
It is something that you should continue with throughout your life.
And not just in your place of work.
You should make room for it in your own time.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by reading.
Even setting aside 30 minutes a day to read that book that’s been sitting on your shelf collecting dust is enough to accelerate your learning.
Or if you struggle to sit down and get stuck into a book you could always take an online video course. Thanks to today’s technology there are so many new avenues to explore when it comes to learning.
Self-learning is an investment in yourself, allowing you to:
- Gain more confidence.
- Improve your self-esteem.
- Increase your earning potential.
- Communicate better with people.
The list is virtually endless when it comes to the benefits of self-learning. Find something that interests you and make a plan to set aside 30 minutes a day to dedicate yourself to learning about that particular topic. One of our favourite topics is improving self-discipline.
Think of the progress you could make in 6 months or a year.
7. Limit your Screen Time
We live in a world that forces us to look at screens daily.
Whether that’s looking at the train timetable or sitting at your office desk for 8 hours a day staring at a computer screen.
Looking at screens is unavoidable at times, but what we do have control over is the screens that are found in our pockets.
Your mobile phone.
Mobile phones are probably one of the best inventions to ever been made, but on the flip side, can also be detrimental to our health if we let them.
The phones themselves are not the issue, it’s the apps that they contain.
Social media apps in particular are designed to hook us in and keep us looking at our screen for as long as possible.
In extreme cases, these apps can cause you to have as much as 7-10 hours a day of screen time on your phone. That’s up to 70 hours a week!
70 hours of your life that you’ll never get back and, for the most part, has contributed negatively to your life.
There are multiple studies out there which highlight the strong links between excessive social media use and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm and even suicidal thoughts.
As well as having a strain on our mental health, excessive screen time can affect our sleep. The blue light that emits from the phone screen can disrupt our circadian rhythm.
Meaning those late-night social media binges will leave you feeling tired the next morning, which will drastically change your mood and overall well-being.
Don’t let your screen time dictate where you put your focus. Make a conscious effort to limit your screen time.
Install apps to limit your screen time and don’t look at your phone at least one hour before bed.
Making subtle changes such as these can make a huge impact.
8. Challenge Yourself Regularly
Regularly challenging yourself is essential for personal growth and development.
By stepping out of your comfort zone and taking on new challenges, you not only expand your skills and knowledge but also boost your self-confidence.
Overcoming obstacles and achieving goals that initially seemed daunting fosters a sense of accomplishment and empowerment.
It encourages adaptability, resilience, and problem-solving abilities as you navigate unfamiliar territory.
Everyone’s perception of a challenge is different.
For you, it may be getting up one hour earlier and completing a home workout.
For another person, it may be enrolling in a night class to earn their master’s degree.
It’s through these challenges that you can discover new talents, broaden your horizons, and ultimately lead a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
Sure, challenges can be tough.
That’s why they are called a challenge.
In the moment of doing them, you may not enjoy them, but the satisfaction you gain after completing them is priceless.
That sense of achievement is something that not even money can buy.
At Pow8r we set monthly exercise challenges for our clients, allowing them to experience these moments regularly
Only if you’re willing to test yourself and complete them of course.
9. Practise Positive Self Talk
Practising positive self-talk is a fantastic tool for maintaining a healthy mindset and bolstering your overall well-being.
The way we talk to ourselves internally has a profound impact on our self-esteem, confidence, and resilience.
When we replace self-criticism and negativity with self-affirming and encouraging language, we build a stronger foundation for self-belief and personal growth.
Our default language to ourselves is usually quite negative.
We’re overly critical of ourselves and when we shoot for goals we tend to be pessimistic about them rather than being optimistic.
We can shift this negative self-talk into a more positive light.
Positive self-talk can help in managing stress, reducing anxiety, and enhancing emotional resilience, as it enables us to approach challenges with a more constructive perspective.
We can see evidence of this from a 2019 study which looks at students reciting re-affirming statements before delivering a speech or presentation.
They experienced less anxiety than the students who didn’t, which shows the power positive self-talk can have on your mind and body.
Building Lasting Healthy Habits With POW8R
There you have it, 9 habits that you can adopt to your life to become a happier and healthier person.
While it’s your responsibility to dictate what your habits are, there are always ways to help make these habits stick.
As we’re an online fitness lifestyle brand we can help you get into a healthy routine of exercising regularly.
Something we believe that will change your life for the better.
Our community is growing every day and it is full of passionate members who encourage and push each other to achieve their health and fitness goals.
We have a selection of membership options on offer to suit, so please check them out and choose one that fits your needs.