Young adults need to adopt healthy habits early to prevent the onset of disease and bodily injury as they age. Although it’s never too late to start working out or eating right, you may feel more committed to making profound lifestyle changes if you start now.
However, if it were easy, everyone would be in great shape. The reality is that attaining optimal health takes effort and self-discipline. Here are seven unexpected ways to encourage healthy habits for lifelong well-being.
Table of Contents
1. Practice Mindful Eating
Obesity affects 39.8% of American adults between 20 and 39 years of age.
Additionally, a recent study found that U.S. obesity-related health care expenses reached $172.74 billion in 2019 — those with a higher body mass index (BMI) typically spent $1,861 more than those at a suitable weight for their age, gender and height.
Mindful eating is an obvious choice when trying to live healthier — it requires that you gain awareness of personal eating behaviors. For example, adjusting individual attitudes toward food can help reduce emotional triggers that lead to grazing or emotional eating.
2. Use a Subscription Service
Busy schedules may make it challenging to prepare healthy meals regularly. Long hours at work may also impede your ability to stock your refrigerator and pantry with nutritious foods. Fortunately, numerous subscription services are available, making it easier to stay on track.
Subscription services may send you a box of healthy ingredients to whip up quick, delicious meals for you and your family. Some send premade meals you can stick in the oven. Consider purchasing subscription boxes that also send healthy snacks to munch on during the day.
With a subscription service, you can encourage healthy habits and still complete all the tasks on your to-do list.
3. Get Cleaning
Dust, dirt, mold, pet dander and germs can build up and wreak havoc on your lungs if you allow them to build up. Therefore, maintaining a clean home is vital for respiratory health.
For instance, hundreds of thousands of dust mites latch onto linens, carpeting, bedding and furniture and exposure could induce an allergic reaction or asthma attack.
Commit to a morning time to clean the house once weekly — perhaps on Sundays before the start of a new week. Regular cleanings can lower your susceptibility to illness and reduce mold and mildew from forming throughout your home.
Don't just clean your home but your and your family's physical health from the inside out. Including benchtop water purifiers in your home and kitchen is an easy solution.
4. Plant Indoor Herbs
Growing herbs is straightforward, even if you lack a green thumb.
Potted herbs on your windowsill make it easier to grab fresh, nutritious ingredients for healthy recipes. Since you’ll see them every time you do the dishes, you’ll also remember to water them.
If you can’t be bothered with growing herbs yourself, a hydroponic gardening kit can do the work for you. Hydroponic gardens water plants passively and use a grow light to ensure ideal conditions year-round for plant growth.
A recent study of women between 26 to 49 years old found that gardening also had therapeutic benefits for those with depression and anxiety.
5. Schedule 30 Minutes of Exercise Daily
Like cooking, our hectic lives can get in the way of regularly exercising. However, even committing to short spurts of daily physical activity is a great place to begin adopting healthy habits.
In fact, research shows that only 30–40 minutes of daily exercise can reduce overall mortality associated with sedentary lifestyles.
Another study suggests that bariatric surgery patients that exercised from 4:00–11:59 a.m. achieved greater results than non-morning exercisers. Additionally, the research indicates more people tend to fast while exercising in the morning, which has several metabolic benefits.
6. Get Creative
Healthy habits go beyond physical health — they should also pertain to emotional and mental well-being. One unexpected way to pay special attention to your mental health is by tapping into your creativity.
Drawing, painting, sculpting or other art forms promote self-expression — a constructive approach to therapy for those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety or other mood disorders.
For example, those with PTSD store information and memories in non-verbal parts of the brain that quickly get triggered. While talking about the event isn’t always conducive to their healing, art therapy may help them better process and explain their experience.
Otherwise, art and writing are known for having relaxing effects on the mind and body. Additionally, the act of creating allows us to build our concentration.
7. Track Progress
Of course, the best way to stay on track with encouraging healthy habits is to track your progress. Start a journal and consider writing down the following daily notes:
- What you ate throughout the day
- How many hours you slept
- Time spent exercising — and the type of activity
- How you practiced self-care
- Any new goals you’ve set for yourself and whether you’ve met existing goals
- Things you can do to improve your adoption of a healthier lifestyle
- What you’re grateful for
Logging your daily progress will give you greater insight into the changes you’ve made over time.
Healthy Habits for Optimal Well-Being
There are many unexpected ways to encourage healthy habits. However, starting early is best for lifelong health and well-being. Remember that you only have one life to live, so take care of yourself now.