I’ve been meaning to share these 7 Healthy Daily Practices with you for while now, as I’ve found these to be life-changing and thought I’d pass them on to you in case you’re looking to incorporate new healthy habits.
I’ve found that getting to most of these in the morning really helped me solidify them as a habit; also, adding some of these right before/after other hard-set habits helped me stick to them faster, too.
Remember that consistency is key when trying to form a habit, so at the beginning, if you want these to stick long-term, try to work on ways to “force yourself” to practice them. Perhaps setting an alarm or adding them to your calendar could help.
I personally recommend that you do these things at the same time every day, that way they become easy to remember to do. I also suggest that you find someone in your life to do these with if you can; have your hubby, mother, daughter, friend or neighbor practice some of these with you for accountability and enjoyment.
I hope you find these 7 practices helpful.
1. Water Upon Waking
This right here is the best thing we can do to start our day.
Water is essential for life, about 60% of our bodies are made of water. All organs and tissues depend on water. Water:
- allows for blood circulation, transporting nutrients to our cells and removing waste
- keeps our body temperature stable in cold and warm environments
- lubricates our joints and aids our lubricant fluids (saliva, gastric/intestinal/respiratory/urinary mucous)
- absorbs shock in our bodies, helping maintain our organs and tissue’s cellular shape
And after a good night’s sleep, we haven’t hydrated and we’ve perspired, so we must rehydrate as soon as possible.
I use this 36 oz water bottle, fill it all the way up with room-temperature filtered water, and drink it in about 5-10 minutes upon waking.
36 oz of water upon waking makes me feel completely energized and refreshed.
2. Oil Pulling
This is one of my favorite daily practices! I’ve oil pulled for over 5 years now, and I practice this every morning after drinking my water. The only exception to doing this daily is when I travel, as it’s hard to bring my oil with me and to incorporate the practice when my schedule is not as solid as it is when I’m at home.
I have a full blog post where I talk about oil pulling, its benefits, how I go about it and how doing it has helped me. Be sure to read about it here.
Oil pulling has given me stronger gums, whiter teeth, improved oral hygiene and less cavities.
This is a newer practice for me, I started it at the beginning of the year. And even though I’ve been doing it for a short amount of time, I can honestly say, it’s changed my life.
I have made meditation a priority in my day, meaning, I make sure I incorporate it in my life every single day. No matter what.
To do this, I have “bundled it up” with other practices that are pretty set in my routine: after drinking my 36 oz of water and after putting oil in my mouth for 20 minutes of oil pulling, I sit down in my meditation chair by my cozy fireplace along with my soft blanket, and start my 10-15 min meditation practice. That picture above is literally my meditation spot (be still my heart 🙏💛).
Meditation has helped me be more present, improved my focus and concentration, given me clarity, increased my self-awareness and lowered my anxiety levels.
For most healthy adults, the department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 mins of moderate-aerobic activity or 75 mins of vigorous-aerobic activity (or a combination fo both) per week. This means about 20 mins of moderate aerobic activity every single a day. With that being said, that is the very minimum that’s recommended to be healthy. So at the very least, we need to do 20 mins a day. Humans need movement. We are meant to move and be active.
I try to move for at least 1 hour every day. The way I break my week down is 4-5 days of active workouts and 2-3 days of active rests. My workout days consist of weights + HIIT cardio, and my rest days consist of things like walks, sports or dance.
My biggest advice to you is to move in the ways that you love. If you love to dance, dance more. If you love to feel connected with nature, walk more. If you love competition or body shaping, get more involved with sports or wight training. Whatever works for you, do that!
There is no better way to stick to fitness than by doing the things that bring us joy. For me, I LOVE weight training + HIIT cardio for my active days, and outdoor walks and pilates on my active rest days.
Movement has given me major flexibility and mobility, mental clarity, reduced stress, better sleep, clearer skin, and confidence.
Stretching comes in perfect right before and/or after our movement sessions. That’s when I tend to do it, unless of course, I am feeling extra tight and in need of more stretching at other times of the day. I typically spend 5-10 minutes stretching, and do a combination of self-myofascial release, static stretching and dynamic stretching (in that order). I’ll get into specifics below.
First, I warm up a bit; especially if I’m stretching in the morning when my body is cold and stiff. What I’ll do is get my heart pumping and my blood flowing with light cardio, like running in place or jumping jacks for about 2 minutes.
Then, I get right into it….
- Self-Myofascial Release (foam rolling): apply gentle pressure on a knot, so that the knots break down and muscle tension is released. I find a tender spot, add pressure with my a foam roller and sustain that pressure for a minimum of 30 seconds. Repeat this once on all tender spots.
- Static Stretching: take a muscle to the point of tension and hold that stretch so that the muscle relaxes and its elongation increases. I find a tight muscle, stretch it and hold the stretch for 30 seconds; I repeat this processed for that SAME muscle 1-3 times. Repeat this process on all tight muscles.
- Dynamic Stretching: use the force of a muscle and take the joint through the full available range of motion. Good examples are hip swings, medicine ball rotations and walking lounges. For each dynamic stretch, I do 1 set of 10 reps.
Two other great muscle stretching approaches: a). using tools such as Theragun, and b). deep tissue massages (especially if you workout rigorously).
Stretching daily has helped me release muscle pain and tension, become more flexible and in turn avoid injury, and increased my overall mobility.
This is something I don’t do daily, but it is something I do twice a week. I like to do it for both my body and face. It’s a great practice to help your skin get rid of dead skin cells, which in turn helps uncover fresh new cells and prevents bacteria build-up.
For the body: I have a major hack; I mix my favorite body wash with pure cane sugar to make my own homemade exfoliator (super affordable and super effective). I damp my skin very lightly with water in the shower, turn the shower off, and go to town with my sugar exfoliator. Oh-boy, does it leave you with baby skin.
For my face: I do at-home microdermabrasion 2x a week right before my daily nighttime skin care routine (cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, eye cream). The exfoliating product I LOVE is Refining Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub by Cowshed, but they no longer sell it in the USA, so I bought Bioelements Pumice Peel for when I run out.
Two other great exfoliating solutions: dry brushing (body), facial microderm/peels at spas.
Exfoliating twice a week leaves my skin brighter and smoother, prevents clogged pores, and helps my skin absorb skin care products much much better.
I’m a firm believer of getting most of our vitamins and minerals through food, however, there are a few supplements that I do love taking on the daily.
The way I went about figuring out my supplements was through a nutritionist; I love consulting with experts I trust and who know my background and history. My nutritionist takes into account my food sensitivities, medical history, lifestyle and nutrition, and then, based on my particular needs, she points me to supplements she believes to be beneficial.
I suggest you consult with a nutritionist as well, but for the sake of an example, let me share what I’m currently taking:
I have also added Athletic Greens to this mix; I’ve been taking it as an insurance policy in case I don’t get enough veggies on certain days. I drink it after my daily movement practice, and I LOVE IT!
Supplementation has helped me fill in all of my nutritional gaps. It has also given me peace of mind, and helped me stay healthy in the midst of a pandemic.