The balance between a healthy lifestyle and the realities of daily life can feel like a challenge at times. Maintaining a full-time job, eating well, training for a marathon, making homemade green juice, spending quality time with your family, and meditating for an hour each day can be challenging.

Healthy living certainly can include all of these things (if you want it to), but it does not have to be characterised by extravagant displays of health and fitness.

Healthy living is actually made up of so many small everyday tasks – things that seem insignificant but add up to big results over time if done consistently.

You can incorporate these 31 simple, easy tips seamlessly into your daily life to live a healthier, happier life:

1. Start your day with a glass of water

Even though coffee is great, for a more re-hydrating start to the day, make sure you drink plenty of water first. Hydrating in the morning can help digestion, enhance skin health, and boost energy levels.

2. Step up

It’s easy to get more physical activity in your daily life by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. During the process, you’ll strengthen and tone your legs and core as well!

3. Half your plate should be vegetables

The easiest way to eat healthy (and control portions) is to make half of your plate vegetables at each meal. Vegetables contain important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that support health and longevity. Furthermore, since they are rich in fibre, they aid digestion (keeping you regular!) and you feel fuller longer.

4. Track your steps with a fitness tracker

It’s easy to make sure you’re getting enough physical activity each day by tracking your steps with a fitness tracker (such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch). Physical and mental health benefits are significant when we aim for 10,000 steps a day. As another important measure of health, your fitness tracker will remind you to walk 250 steps each hour (see tip #9).

5. Clean your home with non-toxic products

The products we use to clean our homes are filled with hazardous chemicals that are bad for our health (or that of our children and pets). Making a simple switch to healthier alternatives can help you reduce environmental toxins in your home.

6. Invest in non-toxic skincare and personal care products

As with conventional cleaning products, conventional beauty products are also formulated with toxic ingredients that we should not regularly let absorb into our body’s largest organ. Make the switch to non-toxic personal care and beauty products to reduce the toxic burden on your body.

7. Take a probiotic every day

The health of your gut impacts numerous aspects of your health, such as digestion, skin health, immunity, and mental well being. One of the easiest ways to boost your gut health (which, in turn, boosts overall health in many ways) is to take a daily probiotic with a glass of water each morning.

8. Having ‘real’ food to eat is important

Make sure you’re eating whole foods, which are made with ingredients you’re likely to find in your own kitchen pantry, or that your grandmother would recognise. (That basically rules out packaged food!). This is different from recommending only health foods (many of which are becoming increasingly processed). A “real food” is a food that is unprocessed, such as an apple, a cucumber, soybeans or a steak, as well as food that is loosely processed from one (or a few) real ingredients, such as butter, olive oil, yogurt, tofu, etc. Therefore, choose foods that you can make at home and avoid those that can only be made in a laboratory.

9. Every 30 minutes, stand up and stretch

Every half hour, stand up and move around for a minute or two to prevent the harmful effects of sitting (such as at a desk job).

10. Get some sunshine

The sun is a great source of vitamin D, which is one of the most important nutrients for our health. It’s best to spend at least 30 minutes in the sun each day – preferably in the afternoon, and without sunscreen. Is there not much sunlight where you live in the winter? A supplement of vitamin D and/or foods that are rich in this nutrient might be worth considering.

11. Invest in houseplants

The advantages of houseplants are that they purify the indoor air, they’re pretty, and they act as a mood enhancer, a source of creativity, and a problem solver!

12. Daily sweating

Whether you like to run, bike, dance, or do yoga, be sure to sweat at least once a day. A fitness guide can provide you with more workout ideas, as well as tips and tricks for incorporating regular physical activity into your daily life and a fitness planner you can use to outline your own custom fitness plan for staying motivated.

13. Drink a green smoothie every day

You can get your daily greens by drinking a green smoothie as a snack or a simple breakfast on the go.

14. Work hard and be kind

Enough said!

15. Develop a positive mindset

Having a positive attitude is the only difference between a good day and a bad day. There’s truth to this statement – mindset is everything! Recognise negative thought patterns and counter them with positive thoughts or affirmations to cultivate a positive mindset.

16. Make sure you sleep enough

The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night. However, quality of sleep is just as important as quantity. Consider ways to improve your sleep quality, such as keeping your bedroom cool at night, avoiding blue light after dark, etc.

17. Maintain a healthy morning routine

Set the tone for your day with fulfilling activities that set the mood for your day whether it’s inspired, relaxed, productive, or something else.

18. The rainbow is meant to be eaten

Every day, try to eat all the colours of the rainbow. Just natural colours, no Skittles!

19. Be sure to floss

You should floss your teeth daily for good dental health and overall health. Good dental health is important not just for teeth and gums, but also for immunity and heart health.

20. Alone time

It is very important to spend regular time alone – we are all constantly growing and changing. You can use alone time to reflect on your life and to determine what you’d like, in order to live it to the fullest. As a healthy source of alone time, some people enjoy hiking, running, meditating, or even sunbathing.

21. Engage in activities you enjoy

The importance of doing something you enjoy every day is often overlooked as an essential element of healthy living. No matter what you do, make sure you spend time every day doing something you enjoy, whether that’s exercising, baking, crafting, reading or watching TV.

22. When possible, opt for organic foods

There are a gazillion health, environmental and social reasons to choose organic foods. This is better for your health, the environment, and the farmworkers who grow your food.

23. Keep the doctor away with apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar cures almost everything. Adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water can aid digestion, reduce bloat, boost immunity, regulate blood sugar levels, and more. Raw, organic apple cider vinegar is recommended.

24. Smile, smile, smile!

It is beneficial to your physical and mental health to smile, so make sure to smile frequently throughout the day.

25. Overcome your fears

It is fear that holds us back and keeps us from living life to the fullest. Accept your fears and work towards overcoming them. For example, overcoming your fear of public speaking opens new doors in your career and personal life.

26. Make a yoga ball your desk chair

Yoga balls can be used as desk chairs to relieve back and neck pain as well as strengthen your core.

27. Engage in self-care activities to manage stress

Both mental and physical health are adversely affected by chronic stress. Find out what your stress triggers are (the things that cause you stress quickly or long-term) and what your stress releases are (the things that calm you when stressed) so you can proactively handle the situation.

28. Intermittent fasting promotes weight loss

Dieting isn’t fun, but intermittent fasting is more of an eating pattern than a diet. It has many health benefits, including reducing inflammation, contributing to longevity, and promoting weight loss by speeding up metabolism.

29. After every alcoholic drink, drink a glass of water

No, we’re not going to tell you to abstain from alcohol (but you are welcome to do so if you wish). If done responsibly, moderate drinking of alcohol can be part of a “healthy” lifestyle. After consuming alcohol, it is important to drink a glass of water to help metabolise and remove the alcohol from your body, as well as stay hydrated (this is the best way to prevent a hangover).

30. Gratitude leads to happiness

Gratitude can be practiced at any time of the day; on your way to work, before bed, or during your lunch break.

31. It’s better to walk around the block than not to walk at all

A little bit goes a long way when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. A short walk around the block is an excellent alternative to a long walk if you don’t have the time. Even five minutes of walking is better than none at all.

Be sure to remember:

  • Don’t cram too much in, and don’t try everything at once.
  • If you enjoy what you do, you’re more likely to do it.

Start with the healthy living tip that sounds most enjoyable to you and build from there!