Health And Vitality

Top 21 Healthy Habits For Better Health And Vitality In 2024

Every year we all make the same New Year resolutions to do something to pick up healthy habits that will improve our health and vitality. 

Yet it seems we overly complicate it or maybe just take on way too much to keep it sustainable. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of habits you can start doing that will move you towards optimal health. Even if you only pick one.

Whatever your age, current health status or whatever you’ve got going on in your life, here are a few healthy habits for 2024 that are sure to give you more physical and mental awareness and energy so you can live your best life. 

To top it off, they’re super easy to implement. What’s your excuse for not picking up at least one of them?! You ready to embark on a journey towards optimal physical and mental health for the year ahead?

What are the best habits for improving your health and vitality?

There are countless ways for you to improve your health and vitality. Here is a list of my top tips and habits, many of which I’ve incorporated into my daily routine that  have completely changed my overall vitality and well-being:

1. Hydrate Regularly

If there’s one thing that you take away from this blog post, it had better be this! Drink more water! 

And when I say water, I mean water, not coffee, not soda, not anything else. Drink water throughout the day, ideally mineral water and drink it often. 

Andrew D Huberman says to drink 8oz (236ml) of water per waking hour for the first 10 hours of the day. So if you don’t take it from me, take it from the man with a Ph.D.1

2. Go Outside

We’re all essentially just big walking, talking plants. After good hydration, we need sunlight and fresh air!

You should be making a habit of getting outside each day, ideally in getting out in nature for a walk. It will get your heart going, it will help with the production of vitamin D, supporting bone health, lowering blood pressure, preventing disease, and promoting good mental health. 2

If you can and are comfortable with it, go outside barefoot, this grounding practice will do wonders for you and also your overall posture.

3. Prioritise Quality Sleep

A good bedtime routine and adequate sleep are a must if you’re looking to maintain your energy levels throughout the day.

You might also be surprised to know that it will affect elements such as your weight, emotional well-being, blood pressure, diabetes, mental and physical performance, and more.

A few things to avoid to promote more restful sleep are snacking late at night, and consuming alcohol, sugar and caffeine closer to your bedtime. 3

You should also try to avoid exposure to blue light from screens such as computers and your phone. Aim to stop looking at screens at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep.  Oh and don’t sleep with your phone near you! Put it on the other side of the room – Trust me!

4. Exercise

Whether we love it or hate it, we all know the importance of a good exercise routine for our physical and mental well-being. 

Firstly, if you keep it up regularly, you’re gonna look good! A more toned, tighter body, will have you turning heads for sure! Not to mention you’ll enjoy looking in the mirror a whole lot more and this is sure to boost your confidence. 

You don’t even have to do full-blown workout. It’s been proven that simply going for a short walk outside is going to radically improve your long-term health.

The thing to remember is that a sedentary lifestyle is devastating for your health. You are meant to move, so pick something, anything at all, but just get out there and move. You can aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week as a recommended health practice. Your heart needs it and your cardiovascular health will thank you.

5. Stretch Often

As with exercise, you should also make sure you’re stretching regularly. Our muscles need to be worked and stretching will help recovery from exercise.

Coming from a yoga background, I often found that students with the tightest muscles were the ones often holding on to the most emotions. The body stores the emotions in the body and it can become very stiff, especially in the hips and back so any form of stretching such as yoga is gonna be a great way to let go of what the body is holding on to. 

Another thing to consider is that it’s a big part of healthy ageing. The older you get, the more you’re going to want to commit to stretching to maintain flexibility and keep your youthful mobility. It should be a top priority.

6. Meditate

You don’t have to be a Zen Buddhist monk to meditate, and it doesn’t have to be hard. The aim isn’t to completely rid yourself of thoughts. 

In fact, there are many different meditation practices available, you simply need to find one that suits you. It might just be sitting still, focusing on your breath. 

There are so many benefits, that even 5 minutes a day will do wonders: 
Improved cardiac health, Greater coherence within the brain, Improved sleep, Improved attention and focus, Reduced menstrual disorders for women.4

Why don’t you start giving it a go today?

7. Eat Right

I truly believe that nutrition is the key to wellness. When people say “you are what you eat”, there’s a reason! If you eat greasy foods, lacking in nutrients your body needs, you’re going to feel slow & lethargic.

On the other hand, if you consume a wide range of foods containing lean proteins, healthy fats, a variety of fruits and try to eat foods containing essential nutrients: vitamins A to mineral Zinc. You’ll find your overall health improving drastically.

Nutrition is key to solving a lot of health issues that exist in today’s world. I often see people struggling with their health and when I see what they consume on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that they have certain ailments. 

If you start to eat a more balanced diet alone, you’ll 100% see a shift in body weight, energy and overall mental clarity. You’ve got everything to gain by doing this.

Make the commitment to nourishing your body!

8. Cut Out Processed Foods

This links heavily with the above point about general nutrition, but if you want to help prevent premature ageing and potential health issues, you need to change your approach to health. 

This means cutting out all non-natural foods, anything processed, even the so-called “health foods” often have a load of cr*p in them that will actually deplete your energy. Your digestion will not be as efficient 

It’s always best to stick to the food itself or make it yourself. For example: eat a potato, not potato chips, a fresh mango not a mango smoothie from a store. If it comes premade with ingredients, don’t eat it. Especially if you don’t understand or can’t pronounce the ingredients. 

9. Breathe Properly

As a yoga teacher, I see this every single day in people. A lot of people just don’t breathe! 

In doing so (or rather, not doing so) you’re just inviting more and more stress into the body. The purpose of breathing is to get the oxygen into the lungs so it can pass it to the bloodstream and the blood will circulate the oxygen around to the organs that need it to function. 

When you hold your breath, you withhold the precious resource the body needs to function optimally. Deep breathing is key to keep your body alert and for relaxation.

What surprised me the most was that the way you breathe can even impact your facial structure. 

Here you can watch Dr Andrew Huberman talking about the effects of mouth breathing – If you’re a mouth breather, remember: it’s never too late to make the change.5

10. Maintain A Positive Mindset

For sure, this is one I think everyone needs to work on and it’s not as hard as you might think to make the small changes that add up over time. 

Think for a moment of all the times you talk to yourself, are you mostly self-critical, possibly calling yourself an idiot for small mistakes that you make? Or, are you kind to yourself, not taking things too seriously and knowing that mistakes are a part of every day? 

Compassion is key to a healthy inner monologue. Stay connected to the awareness and understand that if you want to prioritise mental health, you need to have a positive attitude towards yourself. 

One simple thing you can start doing right now is: every time you notice yourself being self-critical, acknowledge the thought and replace it with a positive one. For example: you make a mistake on some work you’re doing and you notice yourself saying you’re dumb and will never get it. Change this to something like: I made a mistake, it’s ok, I’m still learning and growing and this mistake helps me to improve. 

It’s all about re-framing and re-training the mind. Implement this daily and see how much more positive you become. 

11. Maintain Social Connections

Your circle of friends and social connections are deeply important for your mental well-being. They’re there to support you, inspire you to grow, and be there for you in times of trouble or sadness. 

Remember that one person alone cannot be everything for you. Your partner isn’t responsible for bringing everything that you need. Have a wider group where you share different interests, that can give you different perspectives. 

Make sure you’re nurturing your relationships. We’re social animals and we need to feel connected. 

12. Get Regular Health Check-Ups

This is one that I’m guilty of not doing. I raise my hand here! 

But as we get older, things start to change. Making sure we eat well, rest and move will help massively but you never know what else could be going on so it’s important that you consult with a healthcare professional and get health assessments.

It will give you a better understanding of what you need specifically for you!

Our bodies are so unique that what you’re going through may mean you need to alter something. One of the best ways to know is getting regular health screenings.

13. Celebrate Victories, Big And Small

This goes a loooong way to how we feel about ourselves. For some, this might be harder than others. I know I struggle to celebrate my wins, but I also know that being able to look at what I’ve done and be proud of it does wonders. It boosts your mood and will make you want to try harder to keep getting them.

Even better would be to celebrate your wins with friends and family! Make an event of it. Celebrate together as it will build stronger bonds between you. 

14. Seek Support When You Need It

When you feel down, do you sweep it under the rug, do you let it paralyse you and curl up in bed? 

Whatever your defence mechanism or response to negative emotions, dealing with it alone is not always the best answer. It’s hard to really understand what’s going on and see things objectively when we’re fully in the feelings. We may behave non-logically in a way that is detrimental to the situation.

But what are the options?

Reach out to friends, family or a mental health professional. It’s important to externalise what’s going on so that it doesn’t consume you.

There’s no shame in feeling what you do and wanting help for it. 

I’ve been working with my therapist for 4 years now and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

15. Practise Good Dental Hygiene

Again referring to Dr. Andrew Huberman, this man knows things!

“Oral health is inextricably linked to all aspects of brain and bodily health both in the short term and long term and is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of mental health and physical health.” – Andrew Huberman  6

Here’s a couple of tips you can already start implementing:
– start using a soft bristle toothbrush – it’s less likely to damage your gums and the enamel on your teeth.
– avoid; alcohol, smoking (anything), stimulants, dipping tobacco, sugar, acidic foods, or anything that changes the pH of saliva.

16. Take Breaks From Screens

Especially important at night time. You should be reducing screen time before bed as the blue light is terrible for your sleep quality.  Aim for not looking at a screen in the last 30 mins – 1 hour before bed. 

In another sense, staying away from screens will do you a world of good if you’re constantly scrolling through social media. Without conscious awareness, it’s easy to spend hours mindlessly consuming content that is likely to make us feel stressed, anxious or completely disregulating our dopamine levels. 

Take some time during the day to leave your phone behind and get out in nature. 

17. Stay Mentally Stimulated

Your cognitive function will slowly decline over the years, unless you keep your brain active. 

Consider learning a new skill, a language, and reading more books. Aim to be as active with your mind, and challenge yourself. 

The key is to avoid being a passive consumer to useless cr*p on the internet. If you consume knowledge, see how you can apply it to your life.

18. Find A Hobby You Enjoy

Anything you like! as long as it’s stimulating you in some way. Whether it contributes to your physical health or mental function, doesn’t matter. 

Usually, when starting any new hobby you’ll also meet like-minded people with whom you can build relationships. 

It will help you build discipline and gain confidence in yourself the more you stick to it and become better at it.

19. Limit Alcohol & Smoking

Do I even need to say much here? We ALL know these habits are bad for you. 

Whatever it is you do, try to simply cut down, start by a little bit, then maybe a bit more. See how you feel after you progressively change these habits. 

If you need help with quitting, seek help from a professional who will be able to guide you. 

I stopped drinking about 6 years ago (not gonna lie, I maybe have a glass of wine once a month or something). Stopping regular drinking not only was good for my wallet – this sh*t’s expensive! I felt better, had more physical strength and stopped wasting my days being hungover. 

I made the decision and never looked back.

20. Structure Your Days

This is something I recently learned. I need structure in my life. 

Freeballing it is great, but it leaves room for stress and uncertainty. It prevents you from really getting the sh*t done that you need to do and want to do. 

If you have goals you want to achieve. It’s simple! You gotta have structure, and make time to come up with a plan. 

Knowing how each day is going to play out will save you so much time, reduce stress and remove so much uncertainty. You’ll be more focused and driven. Trust me!

Start planning your day the night before, when you’ve shut off the screens and are taking down time. Take 10 minutes to write down your priority for the next day. Do this every day. Thank me later!

21. Develop A Skincare Routine

We all want to look younger than our age, the older we get the more we hang on to our youthful looks. 

In picking up a skincare routine you can help to delay the ageing process.

Earlier in life collagen and elastin production in the skin is very good but it decreases as we age. Having a routine dedicated to our skin can help regenerate skin cell production. You’ll keep the youthful look and feeling longer throughout life.7

Furthermore, make sure to use sunscreen, preferably as natural as you can find to avoid absorbing any bad chemicals into the skin. The sun is your friend and you should be outside as much as possible, but it’s also important you are aware of the damage it could cause, especially if you’re of a lighter complexion and your skin is sensitive.

If you don’t want to wear sunscreen, cover up if the sun is particularly strong where you are.

Why Should I Start Incorporating Healthy Habits To Improve My Health And Vitality?

There are multiple reasons to improve your health and vitality:

  1. It’s a preventive measure against any future illnesses or conditions.
  2. Your overall well-being will have a huge impact on your relationships, your career and other aspects of your life.
  3. Your cognitive health will be greatly improved allowing you to perform better on every occasion.
  4. If ageing gracefully is on your mind, then you want to incorporate these lifestyle changes.
  5. Everything is interlinked. You fix one thing, and naturally other parts will start to feel better too! Prioritising a balanced diet will mean you have more energy. You’ll be able to use that energy more effectively throughout the day and then get enough sleep per night to support your new lifestyle. 

Overall a holistic approach to your wellbeing will go a long way. Whatever you choose to start with, from healthy eating consuming nutrient-rich foods, to a consistent sleep schedule where you aim for 7-9 hours sleep, proper hydration, and learning to manage stress. Integrating all these healthy habits into your daily routine will allow you to make a powerful and radical shift to your health in 2024 and beyond.

Health & Vitality Habits FAQs

There are so many things to do, where should I start?

In general, integrating any of these into your daily life will help in the long term. But if you’re struggling to know where to start, here are the 3 things I would do to start taking back control of my wellness in 2024.

  1. Eat natural foods and avoid the processed ones. If cutting out a lot of processed food is hard at first, start small and keep reducing and replacing foods as you go. Eat enough fruit (raw and not in smoothies), healthy fats and proteins.
  2. Start moving more! If you’re sat at a desk all day or in the couch for a long time, get up and stretch, go to the gym or simply go for a walk but try to incorporate 150 minutes of movement each week. To start with, you can even begin to stretch while watching your favourite show. It’s better than sitting still.
  3. Sleep right – that means having a regular bedtime, avoiding eating too close to bedtime, and reducing blue light exposure (screen time) before bed. You also want to wake up at the same time each day. Another quick tip: keep your phone away from your bed, either on the other side of the room or even better, in another room.

How often should I exercise?

This depends on your goals. But as a general rule of thumb, aim for 150 minutes a week. this can be broken down to 20 minutes a day. 

You can start by going for walks or following a yoga routine online. As you build up your fitness you might like to do more, just make sure you’re also incorporating rest as you progress and have the nutrition you need to sustain you as you increase your physical activity over time. 

I’m not sure if I should be incorporating any of these into my lifestyle. How can I be sure it’s safe for me to do these?

Everyone is different, but I would always recommend speaking to your healthcare provider before you make any radical changes to your lifestyle. They can advise you best on what’s right for you at this moment. 

Remember whatever you do, a little step each day is better than rushing to do something you’re not fully ready for. 

Consistency is key!

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