What do you think is the most important thing you can do for your health? What goals are on your to-do list for the new year?
For so many years I remember making promises to myself to “eat less junk food” or “run 20 minutes every day” or to follow a “no food after dinner” rule.
Funny how things change.
These days I’m less worried about the minutiae of “healthy living.” I don’t do diets. I don’t count calories. I don’t worry myself into a self-loathing depression because I enjoyed an extra slice of cake at a friend’s party.
It’s about balance – about seeing the bigger picture for healthy living.
But still, I have to remind myself that it’s a journey. And I wouldn’t be in the place I am now if I hadn’t taken those steps to “reform” my diet. Even on my “bad” days my diet is a whole lot better than it was 10 years ago. Sometimes to find balance you have to explore the edges of both sides.
So I started thinking, what advice would I give today to someone just starting out? What do I think is the MOST important thing someone should do for a healthier life?
And then I wondered, “Is my ‘one thing’ the same thing someone else would recommend?”
My curiosity got the best of me so I reached out to some of my favorite health bloggers. These people know their stuff! We’ve got registered nutritional therapists, health coaches, certified nutrition consultants, and authors in the mix. I asked each of them the same question:
What’s the ONE thing you’d recommend MOST for a healthier life?
I got some great responses. Take a read and then let me know which ones resonates most with you.
Oh. And if you want to know what MY one thing is, don’t worry. I’ll get there.
11 takes on the “One Thing” you must do for healthy living:
Elizabeth from The Nourished Life brings a great subject to light that many don’t think about when it comes to health, and that is embracing your self-worth. Loving yourself and your body is a huge step towards healthy living. Once you can appreciate your body and love it for all that it can do, then you allow yourself to start taking care of your body the way it deserves. Take a look at Elizabeth’s own journey to embracing her self worth and it’s impact on her health and life here.
Conquer Sugar Addiction
Kristen over at MIX Wellness states that getting over that addiction to sugar is one of the best things you can do for your health. If you have a sweet tooth, then this might be a great place for you to start. Luckily for you, Kristen has some great tips on conquering that sugar addiction here.
Know How to Cook
Craig Fear from Fearless Eating explains that knowing how to cook is one of the biggest keys for living a healthy life. As soon as you know how to cook then your meals become more balanced and full of nutrients while also eliminating processed ingredients. Knowing how to cook also can help you eat out less, which means you know exactly what is going into your body. Take a look at what else Craig has to say on knowing how to cook right here.
In a face paced world, stress is not unknown to many any of us. But you don’t have to let it get the best of you! Danielle from It’s a Love/Love Thing and Mary Vance from Mary Vance NC both put the emphasis on managing stress when it comes to looking out for your health. From prayer and meditation to long walks, finding what helps relieve that stress is a big step towards healthy living. Mary Vance has a great post that can help you learn how to stay grounded and centered as well as a post on how meditation can help you.
Grow Your Own Food
Sounds simple, but Sally Oh, from Nourishing Liberty, idea of growing your own food is a great one. When you learn to grow your own food you not only develop an appreciation for food, but you get away from GMOs and other harmful chemicals that can be found on produce bought from the store. Plus, home grown food is in season and tastes so good! See why else Sally Oh says you should grow your own food to help further your health.
Get Enough Sleep
There are a few things that might seem like a no brainer when it comes to being healthy, but that doesn’t make them any less important. This is why both Lea from The Maverick Mama and Katja from The Savory Lotus put going to be early and getting enough sleep on their list of what to do to stay healthy. Sometimes going to bed early doesn’t mean you get enough sleep. That’s is why I love Katja’s post on 7 tips to sleep better at night.
Remove Toxins From Your Life
Let’s face it, there are way more toxins around us then we’d like to admit. Which is why Dawn of Small Footprint Family makes it a top priority to try and remove some of those toxins, specifically plastic toxins. This is a simple items that is easy to do but can make a big impact on your health. Take a look at what Small Footprint Family has to say about moving plastic toxins out of your life.
Krista from Krista Butler reminds us that keeping our thoughts positive has a huge impact on our health. If diet and exercise seems a bit too daunting then this is a great first step towards healthy living. Keeping positive thoughts and affirmations is a huge game changer towards living a healthy life.
Reverse Your Slow Metabolism
Catherine from Butter Nutrition‘s “to-do” on her healthy living list starts with the metabolism. Nothing is worse then dealing with a slow metabolism, and many people think that there is nothing they can do to change that! But you can! Take a look at how you can actually reverse your slow metabolism and see how it can help you on your way to healthy living.
Support the Immune System Naturally
Emily of Recipes to Nourish, considers a healthy immune system paramount to a healthy life. In today’s world too many people rely on pharmaceuticals with side effects to deal with sickness. Emily recommends making your own natural home remedies like Elderberry Syrup to help support the immune system.
Find a Balance
Lori from Our Heritage of Health talks about one of my favorite points when it comes to health. Finding balance. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all the things you need to do or “fix” when it comes to health that you can go overboard and go too far that you start to hurt your health more then you are helping. Make sure as you go through your journey to healthy living that you take a look on these 7 signs on if your healthy lifestyle is balanced or not.
What about me? What’s my one thing?
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. I think as a whole our society should spend more time moving (outdoors, in nature). I think real food is important. I think naturally living and avoiding dangerous toxins is essential.
But when I boil it all down, the one thing that keeps coming back to me is this:
The most important thing you can do is to listen to your body.
I am constantly amazed at the body’s incredible capacity to tell us what it needs. Through cravings, hunger, pain, sickness, and health we are getting daily signals that our body is happy… or not. But how many of us really stop to listen? Do we pause to think about the food we’re about to eat, the chemicals we’re about to encounter, our posture, or the like? And when we do listen, do we thank our body for the message? Do we respond by offering our bodies what they need? Or do we give into convenience and habit?
With the New Year I encourage you to really stop and listen to your body. What is it saying to you? Do you need more sleep, less stress, better food, or a good sweat session? Maybe. Maybe it needs a little love, appreciation, and rest. I don’t know what your body needs. But your body knows. And if you listen you can make this year a healthy and happy one. Without going crazy.
And that will make the world a better place.