They say it takes three weeks to build a new habit: Three weeks of messing up and getting back on track. Three weeks of forgetting then remembering, creating post-it reminders, and giving yourself the occasional bit of tough love with the much-deserved pat on the back.
It comes with time and practice, trial and error, do and redo, a bit of struggle, and in the end, a lot of reward.
Health is a habit.
Being healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle is a habit, or a series of habits, that one has to follow every day–through all the ups and downs, the set-backs and successes.
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to form the habits and get them to stick; that’s why we have to practice. A daily practice of doing the best you can do and being the best you can be becomes a process of forming new, healthy habits.
Here are five things you can practice every day to start forming your healthiest self. Daily diligence will make these doses of health a habit. Then, you can give yourself a pat on the back: Practice is the first step!
1. Morning Exercise
This is perhaps the one thing that most keeps me on track for health. If I exercise in the morning, I generally feel better for the rest of the day; It sets me up with the extra energy and a healthy mindset. If things go awry later at work, or something comes up in the evening, I always have the little voice in my head that says, "Yeah, but at least you had a really awesome run this morning!"
2. Planks and Push Ups
No matter what happens day to day in terms of my exercise, I make sure to plank and do push ups. It's a good way to gradually increase your upper body strength, and if nothing else, it maintains the core and arm strength that you have already achieved. Just taking a moment to do these will help you hold on to your achievements.
3. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a healthy habit that I use 3 to 4 times per week. It involves swishing 2 to 3 teaspoons of coconut oil around in your mouth for 10 to 15 minutes. This helps flush out any toxins in your mouth and leaves it (and your teeth) feeling smooth and refreshed. I have found it is also helpful if you tend to regularly get a dry mouth or feel thirsty.
4. Hot water and Lemon
I start every morning with a cup of hot water and lemon. It gently wakes up my digestive system and helps to flush out any toxins that lingered overnight. I then typically drink 500 to 700ml of cold lemon water to finish the process. Not only does it help my digestive system, but it also gives me my first litre of water for the day!
5. Greens, Greens, Greens!
I always make sure to eat a daily dose of greens. Whether it be throwing a cup of spinach or kale in my smoothie, making a green juice in the morning, or having a kale salad with dinner, greens are a staple. Pop them in recipes any chance you get! This way, you will easily meet your daily requirement and will start to feel the tremendous, healthy effects they have on your body.
Start practicing healthy habits today by using these five tips. You’ll appreciate it later when they’re all habits!