I would like to try out an idea I’ve seen a number of other bloggers and youtubers do: Friday Favorites. This will be the first installment of a series here on my blog where I take note of different things that I love. The items I write about will span from activities that I partake in every day, to foods that I love, to TV shows or books that I’m hooked on. Yes! My interests run the spectrum so I’m sharing it all here with you all 🙂
My daily activities may vary but there are some parts of my routine that I consider essential to my well-being. I have practiced the following healthy habits almost daily for several weeks now and I can confidently state that I have seen positive changes since implementing them. I notice great differences in my energy, mood, and overall health. Read along to find out what my favorite healthy habits are. 😀
1. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
I find a lot of inspiration for healthy recipes from the Tone it Up Nutrition Plan. One thing that the plan vouches for is the benefit of drinking apple cider vinegar in the mornings to jumpstart your system.
You can take between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of ACV and add it to some lemon water, a bit of fresh squeezed juice, or drink it as is. You’re hardcore if you go the latter route.
The most important part is to take it in the morning. You can read up on the nutritional benefits of apple cider vinegar elsewhere but I will name some changes I’ve seen in myself:
- My metabolism seems to run more efficiently and steadily than pre-ACV.
- My digestion process is smoother and faster.
- I find myself cravings sugary sweets less.
- My overall system feels better!
Organic apple cider vinegar is best but if you have plain apple cider vinegar on hand then give that a try. Both will be effective and if you like the way ACV starts to make you feel then give the organic version a try.
2. Chug That Water
Okay, I promise not all of the items on this list are beverages but I could not write about my essential healthy habits without mentioning water.
I once heard that we should all be drinking at least half of our body weight in water DAILY. If you have ever measured the amount of water you drink in a day then you might be surprised by how far you may be from that number.
When I first decided to try to reach half of my weight in water intake in a day, I literally felt like I was forcing myself to drink water. I felt like I was not thirsty but after a couple of days I started to willingly reach for my water bottle—and frequently!
To begin drinking more water, you’ll want to have a reusable water bottle handy. There are some reusable water bottles that you can buy with oz measurements listed on the exterior of the container. Alternatively, you can measure out a couple of cups of water into your favorite clear bottle, or container of choice, and add tick marks with a permanent marker at every 8 – 10oz point. If you can remember how many oz your bottle holds, you could also skip over the marking part but just make sure to refill it immediately after finishing it.
3. Break out the Foam Roller
The foam roller is not just a piece of equipment for runners or athletes. Anyone and everyone can benefit from rolling out their muscles at the end of the day. It helps to alleviate muscle tension built up in various parts of the body. There are tutorials on YouTube that demonstrate how to properly use it though it isn’t difficult at all.
Foam rolling is the one thing on this list that I may not do every single day but I do use it at least 4-5 days out of the week. My favorite part to roll out is my upper back and the backs of my thighs. I especially like to spend anywhere from 5-20 minutes rolling before bed. It relaxes my muscles and also encourages a more restful sleep.
4. Practice Gratitude
I can remember what it feels like to have a bad day and think that the world is against me. I do still have bad days sometimes but what is different now is my perspective.
Oftentimes, I start my day with yoga. That personally helps me feel centered and open to appreciate what the day will bring. It is an activity that I find uplifting but there are other ways to go about creating gratitude.
If you wake up in the morning and dread the day ahead, I challenge you to think of one thing you are grateful for. Just one. It can be the love you have for a family member, your pets, the sunshine outside your window, heck—it can be the overnight oats you’ve got waiting for you in the fridge. What? Is it just me who gets excited for oatmeal? Well, basically, I’m saying you just need to recognize one thing you are grateful for. It is a great way to start the day: with appreciation. At the end of a particularly trying day I will also dig through my mind for a subject of gratitude. All may not have been well in the day but there is still ________ . Fill in the blank with whatever you are glad to have around or glad to have experienced. It can be anything at all!
5. Find a Moment to Relax
I realize that time to relax sound like a luxury to some. Moments of relaxation do not necessarily need to be time-consuming. I like to find small moments throughout the day to do things I enjoy. Some relaxing activities for me are: reading a magazine article or a chapter in a book, watching a video on YouTube, freestyle stretching or yoga, and my favorite—sitting down in a chair and simply taking 10 deep breaths.
These are just a few of the activities that I practice several times a week. The only thing on this list that is 100% necessary to do daily is drink water. I cannot stress the importance of drinking water enough.
The other items also make my days much more pleasant when I keep them habitual. I feel like a happier person now because everything I do is for the betterment of my health.
Tell me: do you practice any of these habits? If you have some other healthy habits that you’ve found to be helpful, please share them in the comments.