I often hear people say that time has just run away with them. As things change and the years roll by, it can be easy to let our daily routines fall to the wayside. We may even get to the point where taking care of ourselves becomes less of a priority than it once was.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you are in-fact, worthy of self-care and making yourself a priority, no matter your age.
These six simple and easy to form habits are key to a healthy, happy life. Because that’s what you deserve.
- Nourish your body
It should be no surprise that we kick off this list by talking about nutrition. As the old adage goes, ‘we are what we eat.’ I’m sure if we were to consider this when reaching for something greasy or crispy, maybe we’d think twice. Fresh, juicy, whole foods are where we should be aiming and homegrown produce gets you bonus points. Sounds better already, doesn’t it.
To put it simply, eating vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein helps keep your heart healthy and fuels your body so that you can get out there and enjoy yourself. Try to say ‘Yes’ to more of these beneficial foods and you’ll find that there’s naturally less need to reach for the foods that damage our health.
Are you drinking enough water? Most adults live their lives perpetually dehydrated and that takes a huge toll on our health. If you struggle with your daily water intake, it might help to follow this basic rule; for every other type of beverage that you consume, drink a glass of water. If you do exercise, drink even more to replenish your body. Keep an eye on your intake and bear in mind that water is a natural anti-ageing treatment, so if you’re looking to help your skin, drink up.
- Natural activity
Weight lifting and extreme sports aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. There’s good news for those of us that prefer something a bit more gentle.
Just 30 minutes of low-intensity activity can help preserve both our memory and mental function as we age. Walk as often as you can and make it a daily habit. Consistent exercise can help keep your heart healthy and the more spread out your exercise throughout the day, the better.
Using your muscles has so many benefits and you don’t have to go to a gym to do it. Increasing your strength can help deter chronic diseases and reduce depression as well as improving flexibility, increasing bone mass and lowering body fat. That sounds great for the next time you need to get up off the floor!
Taking the stairs, cleaning your condo, doing the food shop; all of these little daily steps help keep you fit and healthy. For something a bit more exciting, try canoeing or paddleboarding. A swim is a wonderful way to start the day off or even a stroll out in nature will get your heart pumping.
- Get outside
Being outside in gardens, forests and near water is proven to be good for our overall health and wellbeing. Take some calming time for yourself outdoors and relax in the restorative presence of nature. Allow yourself to immerse fully with no distractions, just taking it all in. You’ll be left with reduced cortisol levels and a much better mood.
A change of scenery can do wonders to re-energize your senses. Some fresh air and a walk with friends combines exercise and social time, that’s a win-win.
Walking outdoors as opposed to the treadmill exposes us to vitamin D, air movement and varied terrain to work our muscles. People who live in areas of steeper terrain tend to live longer so don’t shy away from that hill.
- Make connections
In later life, people often struggle with loneliness having relied on the same small group of people for company. Broadening our social circle brings many benefits and surrounding ourselves with happy people has a direct, positive effect on our life expectancy.
Let yourself have fun. Forming friendships and spending time with people that make you laugh will keep you feeling young. There’s a myriad of research demonstrating that laughter is key in reducing pain and improving the oxygen flow to your brain and heart.
Science shows that we build and maintain habits over just 66 days. In such a short time, with the support and involvement of your like-minded peers, in an environment designed to help you thrive, you’ll have the foundations set for a healthy, fulfilled retirement.
- Exercise your mind
It’s the most valuable asset we have so it’s important to keep it healthy. Your brain needs exercise every day, just like your body and it doesn’t require anything complicated.
Learning new things is one of the best ways to keep your brain in tiptop condition. Pick up a new skill or try your hand at something different. Join a class or get involved in groups with friends. You’ll likely meet some new people along the way.
Getting to know other people and engaging in discussions will naturally keep your mind moving. Actively listen and pay attention to get the best out of your brain and your relationships. Reading, writing, playing games and instruments are also great ways to keep that mind sharp.
The key to success? Your environment. Living somewhere that’s specially designed to help you lead a healthy lifestyle, is the best way to set yourself up for success and cultivate those habits.
Living in a community that makes you happy, has plenty of green spaces, is safe and offers activities that you enjoy is important. If that’s not something you have at the moment, maybe it’s time to make the change. People are often surprised at the quality of life and the social scene they enjoy when they move to a condo living community.
A healthy, happy life.
If you keep these six habits in mind, hopefully, you’ll find yourself making good choices and saying yes to the things that keep you on the path to a healthy, fulfilling life.
And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings. ― Meister Eckhart