Being healthy is a broad term. It can relate to what you eat, how much you exercise, if you’re overweight or underweight, if your brain is sharp, how much stress is in your life, and even your level of happiness. All of these things work together to create a person’s level of health.
Two years ago, I published a massive list of 75 Ways to Be Healthier in 2015. January is the perfect time to reflect on your health and look at how you can improve it in the coming year, so I revisited the list. I wanted to spark some ideas on what I need to remember when it comes to my health. If we aren’t proactive, it’s easy to let things slide. It’s easy to settle and become complacent, thinking we are “healthy enough.”
I don’t want to be “healthy enough.” I don’t want to settle for feeling okay or pretty good. I want to be my healthiest. Yes, it is hard to maintain healthy habits over a long period of time. It’s much easier to be unhealthy. That’s why I’m here, in this online space, talking about health. I hope to keep myself on track while motivating others to be their healthiest, too.
So let’s revisit this list together and see what we can do to improve our health in the next year. Some things on the list are rather predictable (see #1-3), some are simple (see #21), and others are more complex (see #14). All of them, if adopted, will make you healthier to some extent. You can be an over-achiever and work on all 75 this year. Or simply pick a few to be your focus. Small changes can yield great results. Some of these have been my habits for years, others I’m still working on. Go through the list and see what you can work on to be healthier. Let’s do this together!
75 Ways to Be Healthier This Year
1. Drink more water.
Water is essential for life. It carries oxygen to your cells, can help flush out toxins, and keep you from getting fatigued. Aim for at least 64 ounces a day.
2. Get the sleep your body needs.
Most adults need 7-9 hours a night. Sleep is when your body restores itself and heals itself. If you aren’t sleeping enough, your body isn’t getting the chance to perform these vital tasks.
3. Make exercise a part of your life.
If you don’t already, get in an exercise routine. If you already do, try to bring it to a new level.
4. Sit less.
Sitting has been called the smoking of our generation. Don’t let it get the best of you.
5. Work on your posture.
Whether you are sitting or standing, straighten that back. You will feel better about yourself, look better, and your breathing will be better.
6. Chew your food more.
As I tell my kids, “Chew! Chew! Chew!” Chewing food makes for easier digestion and makes the nutrients in your food easier to absorb.
7. Get sunshine exposure.
If that’s not possible where you live, take a vitamin D supplement.
8. Eat less processed foods.
Whenever someone asks me what’s the one thing I can do to eat healthier. This is it. If you eat less (or totally eliminate) processed foods, you will automatically be eating healthier. Do it!
9. Smile more.
Do it now. Don’t you feel better already?
10. Eat at least one anti-inflammatory food every day.
Here’s a list to help you know what you should be eating more of and what inflammatory foods to avoid.
11. Be more organized.
Being more organized will mean you will likely be more productive and be late less. That will lead to less stress. Stress can destroy your health, so anything that minimizes it is a good thing.
12. Adopt a meditation practice.
13. Lift weights.
Strength training has been shown to extend our life. It is certainly one of the most effective ways to build muscle, which ultimately leads to fat loss as muscle burns more calories than fat.
14. Foster your relationships.
According to the (amazing and inspiring) book Healthy at 100, strong relationships (friendships/family connections) correlate with longer lives.
15. Eat more fiber.
Eating enough fiber keeps our blood sugar in check and helps control fat absorption. Read more about the importance of fiber here.
16. Eat more greens.
Every day, people! I’m talking to myself here, too.
17. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
Eating a variety of colors will ensure you are getting a good balance of all the nutrients you need. Make sure each day and each week you are getting fruits and vegetables from all the different colors of the rainbow.
18. Eat less sugar.
Sugar is addicting. As addicting as many drugs. I know this is probably the most difficult one on the list for the majority of people. It can also have the greatest health benefits. Almost every major disease can be linked to excess sugar consumption.
19. Spend less time inside and more time outside.
20. Open the windows of your house once per day, even in the winter.
I struggle with this one in the winter when it’s freezing and the summer when it’s super hot. Even 10 minutes a day helps!
21. Put lemon juice in your water.
22. Don’t drink sweetened beverages like soda, juice, or coffee creamer.
Just stop. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel! I know from experience here.
24. Stretch everyday.
25. Make getting to your healthy weight your focus. Don’t lose that focus.
Staying at your healthy weight is such an important part of your health. Whether you are overweight or underweight, talk to your doctor to determine your healthy weight. Come up with a plan to get to your healthy weight.
26. Be active with your family. Make family events active family events.
27. Plan your meals.
You will be so much more likely to eat healthy if you are planning for it. Click Here to Get my FREE Meal Planning Toolkit .
28. Eat organic when possible.
Follow the Dirty Dozen List to avoid the most pesticide laden produce.
29. Drink green tea.
30. Eat at restaurants less frequently.
99% of the time the food is going to be less healthy than what you’d eat at home. Restaurant food often seems to taste better than what we cook at home. Why do you think that is? They use much more fats like butter than you would at home. Fats taste good. I’m not against fats, but your body doesn’t need as much as restaurants use. If you are in the habit of eating out a lot, try cutting back this year.
31. Use healthier oils.
My favorites are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. Avoid vegetable oils and any hydrogenated oils.
32. Make your own salad dressings.
I need to get back into this habit. When I don’t have time, I know I can simply top my salad with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and some balsamic vinegar. It’s delicious!
33. Eat more whole, in tact grains, and less processed grains.
34. Add a probiotic to your diet.
Your gut health may just hold the key to your overall health. Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”
35. Eat more omega-3 fatty acids.
Here’s a helpful Omega-3 Shopping List.
36. Don’t overeat.
Listen to your body and stop eating when you’re full.
37. When you can’t workout, fit in some functional fitness exercises.
38. Exercise during TV commercials.
I know we live in a world of DVR where commercials practically don’t exist. Don’t fast forward. Get a few minutes of movement in.
39. Vary your exercise routine.
Doing different forms of exercise often is great for your body. Doing the same thing over and over can contribute to you hitting a plateau or can even result in overuse injuries.
40. For better sleep, avoid electronics 30 minutes before bed. Use anti-blue light glasses if this is impossible.
41. Reduce clutter in your life.
Last year I made a New Year’s resolution to spend 10 minutes each night getting rid of clutter. It’s helped my life tremendously. Less clutter in my house leads to a less cluttered mind.
42. Drink alcohol in moderation.
Overindulging in alcohol is hard on your body. When you drink, do so in moderation.
43. Use less pharmaceuticals and more natural remedies to fix your ailments.
44. Avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as much as you can.
Here’s a handy Non-GMO Shopping Guide.
45. Switch to natural personal care and home care products.
46. Read more books.
A healthy brain is as important as a healthy body.
47. Brush your teeth and floss everyday.
This simple habit is linked to a longer life!
48. Try oil pulling.
This one is on my list to try! (Still. Maybe this will be the year I get into this habit.)
49. Drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar everyday.
It has many health benefits.
50. Practice gratitude.
Start a gratitude journal and write down 5 things you are grateful for everyday. I have done this off and on for years and it’s great to be able to look back and see what I was grateful for at different times in my life.
51. Have more sex.
Yeah, I said it.
52. Don’t surround yourself with negative people.
53. Choose to be positive everyday.
Release negative thoughts as soon as they enter your mind and transform them into positive thoughts.
54. Learn something new often.
Force yourself to never stop growing.
55. Don’t hold grudges. Practice forgiveness.
56. When difficulty hits your life, look for opportunities for growth rather than dwelling on the negative.
57. Pray more.
58. Make time for yourself.
Even if it’s once a week, make time to do something you love, have time to relax, or just be by yourself.
59. Do what you are passionate about.
60. Don’t compare yourself to other people.
Comparison is a waste of time and energy and will only leave you feeling bad. Focus on improving yourself from where you are, not where someone else is.
61. Don’t dwell on the past.
Focus on the present and making it the best it can be.
62. Eat seasonally.
63. Set goals for yourself. Work to achieve them.
64. Say “I love you” to the people you love often.
65. Laugh everyday.
If it doesn’t happen naturally, seek out things that will make you laugh. If you’ve had a non-laughing day, turn on your favorite comedy and let yourself forget about the outside world and just laugh.
66. Practice random acts of kindness.
67. Park in the farthest parking spot rather than the closest.
68. Push yourself more in your workouts.
It shouldn’t be easy. It shouldn’t be comfortable.
69. Use black out shades for better sleep.
70. Hug someone everyday.
71. Adopt a schedule or routine for your day.
You will likely be more productive and less stressed.
72. Keep a well-stocked healthy pantry and you will be more likely to eat well.
73. Find opportunities to walk more.
Whether you can walk to the coffee shop to get that cup of coffee or walk the dog around the neighborhood or just walk up the stairs to get the laundry. Find more opportunities.
74. Use essential oils.
75. Choose to be happy.
Happy people live longer. Find a way to make happiness happen.
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When this list was originally published, I teamed up with over 40 fabulous bloggers to bring you even more ways to make this year your best year yet! Please check out their posts below.
1. How to Set and Keep Goals to Make This the Best Year Ever | Jen @ Girl in Garage
2. 15 Ways to Stay Organised at Work During 2015 | Elizabeth Harrin @ A Girl’s Guide to Project Management
3. How Personal Style Will Help You Achieve Goals Faster in 2015 | Cherene Francis @ Aura Image Consulting
4. Completing Those Unfinished Projects in the NEW YEAR | Angela Lerew @ Unexpected Elegance
5. 42 Ways to Practice Perfectly & Become an Expert at Almost Anything | Amy Garro @ 13 Spools
6. Easy Exercises to do on a Cruise Ship | Amanda Woods @ Adventures All Around
7. 10 Simple Ways to Eat Healthier This Year | Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health
8. 31 Days to a More Fabulous You | Julie Bonner @ Mom Fabulous
9. How to Make This the Best Gardening Year Ever | Kendra Spencer @ a Sonoma Garden
10. 5 Ways to Make this Your Best Monarch Season…Ever! | Tony Gomez @ Monarch Butterfly Garden
11. 12 Scriptures for Goals and Guidance | Julie @ Loving Christ Ministries
12. How to Build a Starter Emergency Fund in 30 Days or Less | Jackie Beck @ The Debt Myth
13. Family Verse of the Week Challenge for 2015 | Jamie Yonash @ Life is Sweeter By Design
14. Hot Work at Home Jobs for 2015 | Holly Hanna @ The Work at Home Woman
15. A Year of Intention | Hilary Bernstein @ Accidentally Green
16. 2015: Our Best Year Yet | Ashley @ Leaving the Rut
17. Create a Better Life Story | Bronwen Warner @ Tummy Time and Beyond
18. Get Ready to Get MDfit | Tom and Anne @ Eat & Be Fit
19. 5 Free Ways to Learn Something New This Year | Sarah Fuller @ Earning and Saving with Sarah Fuller
20. Healthy Leek Soup | Mirlandra @ Mirlandra’s Kitchen
21. Health Resolutions: Baby Steps to a New You | Ellen Christian @ Confessions of an Overworked Mom
22. 5 Ways Busy Moms Can Get Motivated to Work Out | Diane Nassy @ philZENdia
23. Be Prepared for the New Year | Jennifer Dunham Starr @ The Memory Journalists
24. 3 Steps to a Healthier Life in 2015 | Joe Goodwill @Average Joe Cyclist
25. New Year’s Resolution: Cook More Often! | Kim Pawell @ Something New for Dinner
26. I Should What? 28 Ways to be Happier | Karen Young @ Hey Sigmund
27. 9 Ways to Get Healthier In The New Year | Amy Maus @ Home and Farm Sense
28. In 2015 Resolve to Take Control of Your Money | Kristia @ Family Balance Sheet
29. Eucharisteo: A Year of Thanksgiving | Lani Padilla @ Simply Fresh Vintage
30. No More Tears at IEP Meetings: Make This Your Best Year Ever! | Lisa Lightner @ A Day In Our Shoes
31. Learn to Save Money on Groceries | Melissa Buckles @ Everyday Savvy
32. How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution – For Real This Time! | Michelle @ Dishes and Dust Bunnies
33. 52 Weeks to a Better You: Week 1 – Go to Bed Early | Mindi Cherry @ Moms Need to Know
34. Food Street: How a Community Has Joined Forces to Start a Street Farm | Sam Walker @ Bubble ‘N Squeak
35. Organizing Coupons with the Binder Method | Sara Steigerwald @ Sisters Shopping on a Shoe String
36. How to Make This Year the Happiest Yet | Shambray @ Shambray.com
37. A New Year, A New You | Sharon Rowe @ How to Get Organized at Home
38. 5 Ways to Get Paid for Losing Weight This Year | Anna @ Real Ways to Earn Money at Home
39. Tips for Successful Whole30 | Deanna Michaels @ From This Kitchen Table
40. 75 Ways to Be Healthier in 2015 | Maryea Flaherty @ Happy Healthy Mama
41. How to Make 2015 the Best Year Ever! | Jennifer @ My Boys & Their Toys
Fashion Resolutions: How to Add Style to Any Outfit | Ellen Christian @ The Socialite’s Closet