Simple Habits to Kickstart a Healthier Lifestyle

You can feel this growing sense of excitement bubble up: It’s time for a fresh start, with a healthy new lifestyle to unleash your full potential.

Inspired by all the success stories about former coach potatoes who ended up running a marathon in one year, you go all in. You work out at the gym five days a week and you start a juice fast before definitely cutting out all sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol and caffeine all at once.

At first, the positive effects of exercising and healthy eating rub off on the rest of your life. You wake up early and refreshed and you have no trouble saying “no, thank you” to that piece of chocolate cake on birthday parties.

Until after two or three weeks, life suddenly throws you off course. After being up all night with your child, you’re desperate for another shot of caffeine, and you miss your yoga class because you’re so swamped with work. When you finally get home at night, you feel too tired to cook up a healthy bowl of quinoa with grilled vegetables.

Of course you’ll jump back in the saddle tomorrow, but you can’t shake that feeling that you’ve somehow failedIt starts to feel like a lot of effort to keep up this perfectly healthy lifestyle, and the next time life gets in the way of your resolutions, you automatically fall back into your old routine of crashing in front of the TV with a microwaved meal after a stressful day.

Does this story sound familiar?

A total transformation of your health surely sounds appealing, but too many drastic lifestyle changes at once usually isn’t the recipe for longterm success. Research shows we only have a limited amount of willpower each day. So when you want to improve your health, it’s much easier to focus on creating small, doable habits  –  those automated, healthy behaviours you do without thinking about it. Visit

Start small: pick one tiny health habit at a time, until it’s a natural part of your routine.

To help you kickstart a healthier lifestyle without too much stress and effort, here’s a list of 21 simple habits that can make a big difference.

Kickstart Healthy Habits: Herbs
#1: Use herbs and spice to boost your health

1. Spice up your food with herbs

Adding herbs and spices to your meals is one of the tastiest ways to boost your health. Not only are these seasonings packed with antioxidants and other nutrients that protect your health, but herbs and spices can also be used to replace salt and sugar in recipes without sacrificing flavour. Spicy food may even help you control your weight, as studies show people eat smaller portions of meals with fat-burning chili peppers than of bland-tasting dishes.

So make a conscious effort to spice up your favorite foods. You can sprinkle cinnamon on your cappuccino, sip on a fresh mint tea or cook up a flavoursome dinner – make your own tomato sauce with garlic, basil and oregano; add ginger or turmeric to a stir fry; or toss fresh parsley into your salad.

2. Go for a walk in the park

Going for a 20-minute walk every day, especially in green environments, has many health benefits. Besides the more obvious invigorating effects of physical activity, moving around outdoors provides you with fresh air and exposes your skin to sunlight, which helps your body to produce vitamin D. A stroll through green surroundings is even an effective way to ease brain fatigue and to boost your happiness.

Make walking outside a regular part of your day: go for a stroll through a nearby park on your lunch break or after dinner, join Nerd Fitness’ Morning Mile Challenge or explore nature with a leisurely Sunday hike.

How to Create Your Own Action Plan for Recovery | The Health Sessions

3. Mind your mental diet

Since ‘we are what we eat’, we all know we have to chose wisely what we put into our bodies. But have you ever stopped to think about what you put into your mind every day?

According to the Buddha, “we are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.” Whether you’re angry, scared or aroused, your thoughts trigger neurochemical reactions in your body, preparing you to fight, flight or make love. Even more, what you think regularly shapes your deepest beliefs about yourself and the world – and what you believe ultimately steers your actions. Check out these meticore reviews.

How does the information you consume all day long affect your thoughts and your mood? Does watching the news make you feel pessimistic about the state of the world? Do you get agitated from reading the flaming discussions in comment sections online? Are your shivering under the covers because that horror movie scared you more than you dare to admit?

The first step to cleaning up your mental diet is to become aware of what you fill your mind with. Notice how the books and magazines you’re reading, the articles you’re browsing online or the TV shows you watch every week make you feel. Take a good look at what kind of people you surround yourself with, both in real life and on social media. The goal is to spend less time with media and people that suck away your energy or create pointless drama and focus more on those who inspire and motivate you.

4. Eat veggies with two of your meals

Eating plenty of vibrant veggies is a key element of a healthy lifestyle. But it’s not always easy getting your five a day, especially if you have to get it all in at dinner time. So why not make a small effort each day to add vegetables to not one but two of your meals?

You won’t just benefit from the wide range of health-boosting nutrients, but thinking of how you can fit veggies into your breakfast of lunch helps you make overall healthier food choices too. I mean, it’s hardly tasty to add greens to a bowl of artificially coloured cereals or greasy snack, right?

Luckily, consuming more vegetables can be as simple as mixing spinach into your morning eggs, putting slices of tomato and sprouts on your regular sandwich and having a glass of fresh beet-carrot-apple juice. For more ideas, check out 40 Delicious & Easy Ways to Eat More Vegetables Every Day. Read more about nutrisystem.

21 Simple Habits to Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle | The Health Sessions

5. Give yourself a bedtime

Waking up feeling energised after a good night’s sleep is high on most of our wish lists, and yet it can be so challenging to head to bed in time to make that happen. Just one more email to check, one last chore to do, just five more minutes staring mesmerized at the screen…

Pinpointing when it’s time to go to sleep can help you get in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and keep a more regular sleep schedule. According to happiness author Gretchen Rubin, giving yourself a bedtime is one of the secrets to more happiness and energy. So what are you waiting for? 🙂

(And if you still need convincing why you should prioritize getting seven or eight hours of shut-eye each night, have a look at this horrifying picture of what sleep deprivation will do to you.)

6. Practice gratitude

Being thankful for the little things that are going well in your life is one of the most powerful techniques to feel happier. Studies have shown time and time again counting your blessings every day trains your mind to focus on the positive  – and being optimistic in turn is strongly related to an overall better health.

This week, try this simple gratitude exercise from Martin Seligman’s positive psychology book “Flourish” and see how it makes you feel: “Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well.

7. Pack healthy snacks

It’s an all-too-common scenario: As 3pm rolls around, you find yourself craving that chocolate chip cookie to beat the afternoon slump. But although sugary or fatty snacks can give you a temporary boost, they will quickly lead to a blood sugar crash that saps your energy. Keep your energy levels stable throughout the day by carrying healthy snacks with you. Plain yoghurt, a piece of fruit, raw unsalted nuts or a boiled egg are all convenient and portable bites, but you could even jazz up your snack supplies with homemade treats like Green Kitchen Stories’ sesame seed super bars.