Let's be honest. Being healthy is not always easy.
It's far easier to eat whatever you want. Easier to sit on the couch and watch TV than go for a walk or exercise. More fun to stay up late at the bar than to go to sleep early.
But to be healthy means making sacrifices, doing the little things, and having a disciplined plan. It means setting non-negotiables that you can follow every day.
Here are five to get you started:
Prioritizing Water Intake
Is it the flashiest or tastiest? No, but water is so much more important to your health than that coffee, soda, or energy drink. Water helps with over a thousand bodily functions per day, from digestion to brain function to metabolizing fat to nutrient delivery and countless other important daily necessities.
The amount of water a person should be consuming every day depends on a variety of factors. Still, a good baseline, according to the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies, is around 91 ounces for women and 125 ounces for men.
Whether you're looking to bulk up and gain strength, improve flexibility and balance, or simply maintain a healthy weight, resistance training may be the best thing you can do for your health. And it doesn't have to be hours and hours of major lifting.
Simple at-home workouts with a small set of dumbbells or calisthenics can give you a great workout without going nuts on a gym membership.
We all know sleep is essential, yet roughly 33% of the population doesn't get enough every day.
In terms of your health, experts agree that getting enough sleep is just as important to weight loss as diet and exercise. And don't think that one night here and there is harmless. One study from the University of Colorado showed that one week of sleeping about 5 hours a night led participants to gain an average of two pounds. So, get those 7-8 hours of sleep a night!
Protein at Every Meal
If you're serious about your health, then you need to get serious about your protein intake. That means including some sort of substantial protein in every meal to make sure you hit the minimum .5 grams per pound of body fat you should consume every day.
How can you do that? Add grilled chicken to your salad—snack on nuts instead of a granola bar. Bring protein bars or shakes with you everywhere you go. These things will not only keep you feeling full longer but also aid in improved muscle recovery and performance.
Movement Every Day
We're, unfortunately, more sedentary as a species than any time in our history. That's not a good thing.
We were built to move and should do so every day. Maybe that's going for a walk or run, doing yoga, lifting, playing sports, or whatever. The thing is, every day, you need to move and be active to keep your body limber, get your heart pumping a bit more and improve your strength.