The Best Ways To Start (and Keep!) a Healthy Lifestyle

We’re always looking for that magic diet or exercise routine that’s going to get—and keep!—us feeling at the top of our game. But what if the key to looking and feeling our best is more about our everyday routines than it is about finding a quick fix?


Studies show that lifestyle changes are more effective at promoting long-term health than diet or exercise alone. Try these simple changes to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Cook Meals You Enjoy

One of the biggest temptations for anyone trying to change their diet is indulging in processed food. One way to help break the habit of eating out or eating processed, premade food is to start cooking.


Try and build cooking into your weekly routine. Host friends for meals instead of going out. Start meal planning, so you know what you’ll be cooking in advance. And don’t forget to cook food you enjoy!


Experts say the most healthy diet is plant-based and low in added sugars and fats. But for most people, suddenly sticking to salad every day isn’t sustainable. The key is to build a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables that you’re actually going to want to eat. 

cook meals

Meditate or Journal

Making time for reflection and mindfulness is important to maintaining your mental health. One way to do this is by meditating or journaling. Meditation reduces stress and increases your self awareness, helping to safeguard you against addictive, unhealthy behaviors. 


Thinking about trying meditation, but not sure where to start? Check out yoga to get the most bang for your buck—exercise and meditation all wrapped up into one class!


Get Outside

There’s no doubt that spending time outside is good for our mental and physical health. Even working next to a window has benefits! 


Build some time outside into your daily routine by walking to work or enjoying your morning coffee on the porch. Even 15 to 20 minutes per day is enough to decrease stress and boost your overall health.

Limit Screen Time

The dangers of screen time are still being quantified, but we can all feel it—from doomscrolling to issues with self image to impulse buying, excessive screen time does not make us into the best versions of ourselves. 


It’s hard to quit cold turkey, so try setting aside your phone when you typically binge screen time and replacing it with another fun activity. Read a chapter of your guilty-pleasure romance novel before bed instead of scrolling Instagram, or walk on your lunch break instead of checking your email.


In today’s world, it’s almost impossible to completely eliminate screen time, but limiting it in your free time is a good way to reduce your hours spent scrolling every day. 

Exercise Regularly

OK, we’re not talking about running a marathon or anything. But there are significant health benefits to practicing some form of exercise at least 30 minutes a day, every day.


Before you say you don’t have time or you’re too out of shape, try and think about this creatively. Instead of meeting your girlfriends for happy hour, maybe you could get into the habit of taking a weekly spin class together instead. You know how you talk to your mom for an hour every Tuesday? Pop in your headphones and have your weekly chat while you walk through your neighborhood.

Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Nobody likes to think about the amount of calories (and sugar, if you’re drinking wine or cocktails) in their happy hour drink of choice. But alcohol has negative effects beyond just the added calories to your diet. In fact, drinking alcohol is bad for your blood pressure and heart health and can increase your risk of developing cancer.


The best way to develop a healthy lifestyle is to replace unhealthy behaviors with new healthy ones you enjoy. You might have to be the one to suggest hitting up the yoga studio after work on Friday instead of the bar, but everyone will appreciate a nudge towards practices that bring lasting benefits instead of temporary ones

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