Yesterday, I attended the inaugural Postcards from Midlife Event in London. And from all of the inspiring talks I attended, my biggest takeaway was the importance of consistency. And in particular, consistency with daily healthy habits.
So, what is a healthy habit? According to a Medical Dictionary, it’s ‘A behaviour that is beneficial to one’s physical or mental health, often linked to a high level of discipline and self-control.‘
It’s so important to find habits that work for you and fit into your lifestyle. However, if you’re looking for a little inspiration, I thought I’d share with you some of my daily healthy habits which I try and do regularly.
1. Drink Water Before Anything Else in the Morning
The seven to eight hours of recommended nightly sleep is a long time to go without any water consumption. So drinking a glass or two of water as soon as you wake up is a good way to quickly rehydrate your body and prepare it for the day ahead. It can also help kickstart your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.
2. Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Eating breakfast also kickstarts your metabolism and provides the energy you need to start the day. It’s advisable to aim for a balanced breakfast with a combination of fibre, protein and fruits. For example, porridge oats, nuts, greek yoghurt and berries. And my current go-to is Bircher Muesli, which I make the day before.
3. Take Daily Vitamins
It’s very much a personal preference whether you get your daily vitamins from a healthy, balanced diet or from supplements. Since becoming perimenopausal about five years ago, I’ve been taking Lumity
Morning & Night Female Supplements. They feature a blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
4. Use Sunscreen
Regardless of whether it’s a sunny day or not, I use an SPF 50 sunscreen daily on my face. It’s one of the most important skincare products to use to maintain long-term skin health. And it’s vital in preventing signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles from appearing on the skin.
There are so many benefits of exercise! It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer, breast cancer in women, osteoarthritis, depression and dementia. Plus it keeps your body strong and flexible.
It’s recommended that adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week, through a variety of activities. For example, walking, jogging, swimming, cycling or any other physical activity that you enjoy. I currently do pilates three times a week and walk daily.
6. 10,000 Steps
Walking is a simple, low-impact exercise that offers lots of benefits for both your physical and mental health. And in a recent video, I shared 17 amazing health benefits of walking in nature. I try to go out first thing in the morning, before settling down at my desk. And I find it really helps me to hit 10,000 steps daily by using my Garmin watch, which tracks my step count. Also listening to podcasts really helps me get the added benefit of learning whilst I’m walking.
7. 2 Litres of Water
Staying hydrated is so important for your health, especially during midlife when apparently the risk of dehydration increases. It’s advisable to aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water per day. This helps you to stay hydrated, support digestion, and maintain healthy skin. I find using a 2L bottle helps me drink this amount of water throughout the day.
8. 7-8 Hours Sleep
Sleep is essential to our physical and mental health to rest and repair our mind and body. Ideally, it’s best to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, aiming for 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night.
9. 10 Minutes Meditation
I’ve been meditating for several years now, not only trying to do 10 minutes a day at home, but also attending an hour-long weekly class run by a local meditation practitioner. And I find it really helps to keep me calm, but also re-energises me. And studies have shown that regular meditation reduces stress, anxiety, and health issues.
10. Limit Processed Foods
I’ve always tried to make time to cook from scratch. But lately, I’ve been making much more of an effort to limit the amount of processed foods we eat, as eating fresh, wholesome food is proven to make a big difference to our general health. Processed foods contain a lot of hidden sodium, fats, and sugar.
11. Reduce or Eliminate Alcohol Consumption
Reducing alcohol intake can lead to better sleep, mental clarity, weight loss, and lower the risk of heart and liver disease, cancer, and strokes. I love a glass or two of white wine occasionally. But since having gone through the menopause, my tolerance has massively declined. And I now only tend to drink alcohol when we’re out with friends or have people around for dinner.
12. Eat Dinner at Least 2 Hours Before Bed
Eating dinner at least two hours before bed allows your body time to digest your food. And it’s something I’m trying to stick to lately.
If you’d like to watch the video version of this blog post, simply head to my YouTube channel.