Sometimes it can feel like maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an overwhelming challenge that doesn’t fit within the realities of daily life. It’s tough to hold down a full-time job, eat well, train for a marathon, make homemade green juice, spend quality time with your family/partner, and meditate for an hour each day. 😰
Of course, healthy living can incorporate all of these things (if you want it to), but it doesn’t have to be defined by grandiose displays of health and fitness.
So much of healthy living is really made up of small things we do daily—things that are so small they don’t feel momentous, but that, done consistently over time, add up to produce big results.
31 wellness tips for healthy & happy living
Here are 31 tips to live a healthier, happier lifestyle—all simple, easy things that can be seamlessly incorporated into your daily life:
1. drink a glass of water first thing in the morning
Coffee’s great too, but it’s best to start your day by re-hydrating with a full glass of water. Hydrating first thing in the morning helps to aid digestion, enhance skin health and boost energy.
2. take the stairs
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a simple way to get a little more physical activity in your daily life. It also strengthens and tones your legs and core while you’re at it!
3. make half your plate veggies
A simple hack for healthy eating (and portion control) is to make half your plate veggies at each meal. The veggies pack in essential vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients important for health and longevity. And, because they’re rich in fiber, they help to aid digestion (aka keep you regular!) and keep you feeling full longer.
4. get a fitness tracker + track your steps
Using a fitness tracker (like a Fitbit or Apple Watch) to track your steps is an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough physical activity each day. We aim for 10,000 steps daily, which has significant physical and mental health benefits. A fitness tracker will also remind you to get 250 steps each hour (another important measure of health—see tip #9!). Here are our favorite fitness tracker smartwatches of 2021.
5. switch to non-toxic household cleaning products
Conventional household cleaning products are full of harmful chemical ingredients that are not good for our health (or the health of our kids or pets!). Switching to healthier alternatives is a simple way to reduce your exposure to environmental toxins in your home. See our Healthy Cleaning Guide for a complete list of recommendations, and what to look for when choosing safer household cleaning products.
6. use non-toxic skincare + personal care products
Similar to cleaning products, conventional skincare and personal care products are formulated with toxic ingredients we should not regularly let absorb into our body’s largest organ. Reduce the toxic burden on your body by switching to non-toxic personal care and beauty products (see our specific recommendations on deodorant, sunscreen, and green beauty products).
7. take a probiotic daily
Maintaining a healthy gut has significant impacts on digestion, skin health, immunity, mental health and more. Taking a daily probiotic with a glass of water each morning is one of the simplest things you can do to boost your gut health (which, in turn, boosts overall health in many ways too). Learn more about the health benefits of probiotics (and all the ways to get them in your diet), and shop our favorite probiotic supplement here.
8. eat real food
Aim to eat real food that’s made of whole food ingredients you would have in your own kitchen pantry, or that your grandmother would recognize. (Yup, this rules out most packaged food, sorry!) This is a little different than suggesting you eat only “health foods” (many of which are increasingly processed!). “Real food” includes unprocessed foods like an apple, a cucumber, soybeans or a steak, as well as foods loosely processed from one (or few) real-food ingredients, like butter, olive oil, yogurt, tofu, etc. In other words, aim for foods that could be reasonably made in your own kitchen and avoid foods that can only be made in a lab.
9. stand up every 30 minutes while working
Reduce the harmful effects of sitting (like at your desk job) by standing up and moving around for a minute or two every half hour.
10. get sunlight every day
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for overall health, and sunlight is one of our best sources of it. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of sunlight each day—preferably in the afternoon, and without sunscreen. Not much sunlight in the winter where you live? It might be worth supplementing with a vitamin D supplement and/or other food sources of this essential nutrient.
11. fill your home with houseplants
Houseplants help to cleanse your indoor air (sadly, it probably needs it!), they’re pretty, and research even shows they improve mood, creativity and problem solving!
12. sweat every day
Aim to sweat in some way each day—whether that’s via running, biking, dancing, hot yoga, or any other physical activity you enjoy. See our Fitness Guide for more workout ideas, as well as tips and tricks for building regular physical activity into your daily life and a downloadable fitness planner you can use to outline your own custom fitness plan to stay on track.
13. have a daily green smoothie
Green smoothies as a snack or simple, on-the-go breakfast are an easy way to get your greens in each day. Check out our curated list of healthy (veggie-packed!) smoothie recipes for our favorite starter green smoothie recipe ideas.
14. work hard + be kind
15. cultivate a positive mindset
“The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.” It’s true—mindset is everything! Cultivate a positive mindset by recognizing negative thought patterns and countering them with positive thoughts or affirmations. Here are more mindset resources for positive thinking.
16. get enough sleep
Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. But in addition to quantity, quality of sleep matters too! Follow our tips on getting quality sleep—things like keeping your bedroom cool at night, avoiding blue light after dark, and more.
17. start your day with a healthy morning routine
Start each day with fulfilling activities that set the tone for how you want to feel—whether that’s inspired, relaxed, productive, or something else. 😄 Check out our list of ideas for starting a healthy morning routine to start your day right!
18. eat the rainbow
Aim to eat all the colors of the rainbow each day. (Natural colors only, no Skittles!) Download our free fillable/printable Eat the Rainbow daily & weekly tracker to help keep track.
19. floss your teeth
Floss your teeth daily for good dental health and overall health. Not only does flossing daily protect your teeth and gums, but good dental health is also important for immunity and heart health.
20. spend time alone
Spending regular time alone helps to get to know and stay in touch with yourself (we’re all constantly growing and changing!). Alone time is an opportunity to check in with how you’re doing and what you want, so you can live your most intentional life. Some people enjoying hiking, going for a walk or run, meditating, or even sunbathing as a healthy source of alone time. ☀️
21. do things you enjoy
This often gets overlooked as an essential element of healthy living—doing things each day that you enjoy! Whether that’s exercise, baking, crafting, reading a book or watching TV, reserve time each day to spend doing activities you personally enjoy.
22. choose organic foods when possible
There are a gazillion health, environmental and social reasons to choose organic foods, so we’ll let that more detailed post linked do the talking and just remind you to choose organic foods whenever possible. They better for your health, the environment, and the farmworkers growing your food.
23. a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar keeps the doctor away
Apple cider vinegar cures everything (well… almost everything!). A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water helps aid digestion, relieve bloat, boost immunity, regulate blood sugar levels and more. We recommend organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
24. smile often
Smiling boosts your physical and mental health (it’s true!), so find ways to smile as often as you can throughout the day.
25. work on overcoming your fears
Fears hold us back and keep us from living life as our best self. Acknowledge your fears and take steps to overcome them. (One example of this is overcoming the fear of public speaking to open new doors in your career and personal life.)
26. use a yoga ball as a desk chair
Save your back/shoulders/neck and strengthen your core by using a yoga ball as a desk chair.
27. manage stress with self-care activities
Chronic stress is detrimental to both your physical and mental health. Get to know your stress triggers (the things that cause stress for you, either quickly or in the long-term) as well as your stress releases (the things that can help calm you when you’re stressed) so you can proactively cope with stress and maintain healthy levels.
28. intermittent fasting can promote weight loss
We’re not really into dieting (restrictions are no fun!), but intermittent fasting is more of an eating pattern than a diet. It has several notable health benefits for reducing inflammation and contributing to longevity, and can help speed metabolism to promote weight loss.
29. drink a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage
Nope, we’re not going to tell you to refrain from alcohol (though you certainly can if you want!). Drinking alcohol in moderation can be part of “healthy” lifestyle if done in a responsible manner. A glass of water after every alcoholic beverage helps to detoxify the alcohol from your body, as well as slow your alcohol consumption and keep you hydrated (a key factor in hangover prevention!).
30. practice gratitude
Practice gratitude each day—this could be when you wake up, before bed, or during your lunch break at work. Here are our favorite tips for finding more gratitude in your daily life, plus a rundown of the physical and mental health benefits of practicing gratitude regularly.
31. a walk around the block is better than no walk at all
When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, doing just a little bit is better than doing nothing at all. If you want to go on a walk but don’t have time for your usual hour-long walk, take a short walk around the block. A 5-minute walk is better than no walk at all!