Have you ever been around someone who just radiates health? I’m talking clear skin, fit, in shape, radiant skin, happy and healthy from the inside out…
If you know someone like this, you might’ve wondered what their secret is. What’s the magic potion that makes them so healthy?
As it turns out, there is no magic potion or quick fix that’s going to make you healthy, and cancel out those late-night ice-cream binges.
While there’s (unfortunately) no quick fix, staying healthy is actually not that complicated.
There are a number of simple things that healthy women do every day to help them stay fit and healthy.
1. They Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, with most adults needing between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
We all know how wonderful it feels to wake up after a good night’s sleep, and how terrible it can feel having to drag yourself out of bed after a restless night.
Researchers have discovered that getting a quality night’s sleep has many benefits beyond alleviating bags under the eyes. Some of these benefits include:
- Helping to maintain a healthy weight
- More creativity
- Longer life span
- Reduce inflammation
- Improved memory
- More emotional stability
If you’re struggling with getting a good night’s sleep, here are some simple tips that may help:
- Set the room temperature between 60-67 degrees
- Buy a good quality, supportive mattress and pillow
- Avoid bright screens 1-2 hours before bed (this means don’t lay in bed using your cell phone!)
- Stick to a sleep schedule (even on the weekends)
- Avoid heavy meals in the evening
- Exercise during the day
- Avoid caffeine in the evening
- Practice relaxation techniques before bed, such as meditation, deep breathing, a warm bath, etc.
2. They Stay Hydrated
Water is a vital source of life, so it makes sense that healthy women prioritize their water intake.
Consider the following:
- The human body can survive weeks without food, but only days without water
- An adult woman’s body is made up of 55% water
- The human brain is 70% water
- The human lungs are 90% water
In addition, drinking an adequate amount of water can help to prevent constipation, helps to eliminate toxins and waste, helps your muscles perform better, improve brain function and help to curb overeating.
You’ve probably heard the age-old recommendation to drink 8 cups of water per day. However, this is not entirely accurate. There are a variety of factors that determine how much water you should be drinking per day, including your sex, age, activity level and whether you’re breastfeeding or pregnant.
According to The Institute of Medicine, the current recommended daily water intake for women over the age of 19 is 2.7 liters (about 0.71 gallons.) Bear in mind, this is the recommended overall fluid intake, and includes the fluid you consume from eating fruits and vegetables. The IOM recommends that fluid intake should be 9 cups per day.
Struggling to drink enough water?
Here are some tips to help you increase your water intake:
- Flavor your water with fruit – an infuser water bottle like this is the best way to do this.
- Set a timer on your smartphone to remind you to take a sip throughout the day
- Download an app like Daily Water Free
- Use a water bottle with a hydration tracker
- Want to get high-tech and fancy? Grab yourself a Hidrate 2.0 Smart Water Bottle.
3. They Move Their Body
The human body was designed to be active but unfortunately, we are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
We drive to work, sit behind a desk for 8 hours, drive home, then lay on the couch watching tv for a few hours before we go bed and then repeat the cycle the next morning.
Government health guidelines recommend that we spend 30 minutes every day engaged in exercise. In fact, this is the bare minimum amount of exercise we should be getting in each day.
If you have a job that makes it difficult to find the time to exercise, here are some tips:
- Make it a point to stand up every 20-30 minutes and walk around the office
- Invest in a Fitdesk Under Desk Elliptical
- Convert your desk to a standing desk (this height-adjustable standing desk makes it easy)
- Utilize your lunch break – even going on a short walk is better than sitting down
- If you’re a mom at home with the kids, here are some tips:
Incorporate the kids into your workout! If you’ve got a small baby, strap them into a baby carrier and head out for a walk, do some squats, etc.
Take the kids to the playground and get creative. Do some tricep dips, incline push-ups and step ups on the park bench, chin-ups on the monkey bars, play chase around the park, see how many jump squats you can do in one minute, etc.
Invest in a home workout program. There are hundreds of options – Beachbody on Demand is a popular one (they offer a free 14-day trial.)
4. They Manage Their Stress Levels
Healthy women know that stress can wreak havoc on your health, so they make it a point to keep their stress levels under control.
Here are some simple ways to help you to stress less:
- Practice self-care – treating yourself to a massage, taking a walk outdoors, dancing around the house to your favorite music, treating yourself to a nice dinner and movie or hiring a sitter for a couple of hours to stroll around the mall kid-free can all go a long way towards reducing your stress levels.
- Exercise regularly – exercise releases endorphins which help to reduce stress levels
- Get adequate sleep – aim for 7-9 hours every night
- Practice relaxation techniques – yoga, meditation, and deep breathing are all proven stress relievers.
5. They Plan Ahead
You’ve heard the expression, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” right? Healthy women know the importance of planning ahead, especially when it comes to meals.
How many times have you arrived home after work or extra-curricular activities with the kids and realized that:
a) There’s nothing in the house to eat
b) You’re too tired to cook
So what ends up happening? You order takeout…
A little meal planning can go a long way towards avoiding this situation!
You can spend some time each week planning your meals out, or you can let a service like $5 Meal Plan do it for you (I go for the $5 Meal Plan option because it saves time and I enjoy the convenience. Try it out free for 14 days.)
6. They Keep Their Gut Healthy
Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician once stated that “All Disease Begins in the Gut.” While we now know that all disease doesn’t start in the gut (for example, genetic diseases) science has taught us that a lot of diseases do, in fact, have their beginnings in the gut.
Healthy women know this, so they make sure they’re keeping their gut in good health.
To maintain good gut health, avoid eating sugary foods and drinking sugary beverages, take a high-quality probiotic supplement, and consume probiotic rich foods and drinks like kefir, kimchi, kombucha and other fermented foods.
7. They Keep Their Heart Healthy
Although heart disease is often thought to be a disease that primarily affects men, heart disease is actually the leading cause of death for women in the United States.
1 out of 3 deaths of women the United States is attributed to heart disease.
However, the good news is this:
According to MedicineNet, heart disease can be prevented and even reversed with lifestyle changes, including:
- Eating a heart-healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reducing sugar, sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat consumption
- Reduce stress levels
- Daily physical activity
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking
8. They’re Careful What They Put on Their Skin
Healthy women know that their skin is their largest organ, and because the skin is porous, it absorbs whatever you put on it.
It’s for this reason that healthy women are conscious of the beauty products they use on a regular basis, and make sure they avoid harmful chemicals.
Your makeup and skincare products contain thousands of chemicals, many of which are known irritants, endocrine disruptors and are carcinogenic (yes, it’s legal for skincare companies to use these kinds of ingredients…)
While it’s impossible to list all of the chemicals you should be avoiding, here are a few of the worst offenders:
- Parabens – associated with an increased risk of breast cancer
- Artificial colors – banned in the European Union due to being carcinogenic
- Phthalates – associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, endocrine disruptor, linked to reproductive birth defects
- Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate – skin, lung and eye irritant
- Propylene Glycol – skin irritant
For more information, check out EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.
9. They Keep Their Alcohol Consumption In Check
Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to a whole host of diseases. According to Medical News Today, these include:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Ulcers and gastrointestinal problems
- Immune system dysfunction
- Brain damage
- Malnourishment and vitamin deficiencies
According the Mayo Clinic, women should drink no more than one standard drink per day. Red wine is one of the healthiest alcoholic beverages. It’s loaded with antioxidants, can help maintain a healthy heart, and my help to protect against some types of cancer.
Remember – everything in moderation, including red wine. If you find yourself unable to stop at one glass, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether.
10. They Avoid The Comparison Trap
Finally, healthy women avoid falling into the comparison trap.
Comparing yourself to others does nothing to improve your health, wellness, fitness or self-esteem.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using other people’s achievements as a source of inspiration and motivation. However, if you find yourself starting to compare yourself to others, and start to feel depressed or worthless then you’ve fallen into the comparison trap.
Unfollow people on social media who make you feel anything less than inspired and motivated.
And always remember, never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.