By Jill Levy

Because it can seem overwhelming to overhaul your entire wellness routine all in one shot, many experts who study habit formation believe that it’s better to break bigger goals into smaller, more achievable steps.

By choosing just one or two goals at a time to focus on, this removes some of the initial obstacles standing in your way to a healthier you, such as procrastination or self-doubt.

Below you’ll find a list of wellness habits, broken out by category, that when practiced over time can contribute to better physical and mental health. The key for most people is to begin by focusing on just 1 to 2 simple things you can do to get the ball rolling, such as by picking a couple of the habits below that you think will make the biggest impact.

Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to starting any new diet or lifestyle regimen.

Healthy Weight Management

1. Keep A Food Journal

A food journal is a log you keep of all your meals and snacks each day, perhaps along with other info like your mood, energy level, workout, etc. The main purpose is to help you become more mindful of your choices, rather than eating without much thought.

Benefits:

  • Boosts self-awareness about dietary choices and patterns
  • Increases mindfulness about portion sizes
  • Can help with healthy weight management (or even weight loss in some cases) and making overall healthier choices

Who Should Try It:

Anyone who is struggling to improve their diet despite trying other methods, such as cutting calories.

2. Give Intermittent Fasting a Try

Intermittent fasting involves eating within a certain window of time each day, usually over about 6 to 9 hours, and having nothing but water or coffee for the remainder of the day (including overnight).

Benefits:

  • Can help support healthy weight management or even weight loss, in some instances
  • Has appetite-regulating effects
  • Supports general metabolic health
  • May help promote a healthy inflammation response
  • Increases mindfulness about food choices
  • May improve digestion

Who Should Try It:

Those who feel okay going extended periods of time without eating who are looking for metabolic and digestive support.

Move More (And Feel Good Doing It!)

3. Try Wearing a Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers are devices usually worn as bracelets or rings that measure your daily steps and activity, as well as vital signs like your heart rate, respiratory rate and sleep patterns (depending on the kind).

Benefits:

  • Can motivate you to move more throughout the day
  • May push you to workout harder and get more active over time in order to beat your own record
  • Clues you in on important info like your sleep and heart rate patterns
  • May be helpful for indicating when you need a “rest day”

Who Should Try It:

Those who are looking to be less sedentary, or who benefit from having more personal data about their activity patterns and health metrics.

4. Take Your Workout Outdoors (Sunlight Is An Added Benefit)

Exercising outdoors (brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, etc.) is known to help lift people’s moods while also having calming effects, which means it may be easier to adopt these workouts as a regular part of your routine.

Benefits:

  • Can help you maintain a positive mindset
  • Can support healthy vitamin D levels if you're also getting sunshine exposure
  • Known to help promote restful sleep
  • Something you can do socially
  • Offers many of the same benefits as indoor exercise, such as help with healthy weight management, building strength, heart health, etc.

Who Should Try It:

People who prefer to get outdoors in nature rather than exercise inside, those who like working out with others, anyone looking to boost their vitamin D or promote a healthy mindset, and people who spend most of their working hours inside.

5. Supplement With Collagen Protein (For Your Joints and Beyond)

Collagen is a type of structural protein that helps to form connective tissues throughout the body, including the joints, gut lining, skin, tendons and ligaments. While you can obtain collagen by drinking real bone broth, a highly convenient way to add more to your daily diet is to consume Multi Collagen Protein powder (which can be unflavored and very versatile).

Benefits:

  • Supports joint health, comfort and mobility
  • Can help with exercise performance and recovery
  • Supports gut health by promoting integrity of the gut lining
  • Aids in skin health, such as by supporting skin elasticity

Who Should Try It:

Whether you’re an athlete or just an aging adult looking for joint/gut/skin support, collagen protein makes a good great addition to your diet since it supplies amino acids that you may be missing out on from other protein sources.

Nervous System Support

6. Begin Your Day With Intention

When you practice a grounding and energizing morning routine — such as one that involves exercise, meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, reading or affirmations related to self love — your whole day is bound to feel calmer and more organized.

Benefits:

  • Promotes a positive mindset and mental clarity
  • Provides stress relief
  • Helps you schedule your day better, prioritize important tasks, and say no when necessary
  • Can aid in building confidence, resiliency and purpose
  • Can help you get in a workout before the day becomes too busy

Who Should Try It:

Those who feel rushed or frazzled during the day, or who struggle to workout regularly or find time for relaxation due to a demanding schedule.

7. Add In Adaptogens for Stress Support

Adaptogens are herbs and botanicals (such as ashwagandha, astragalus, ginseng and functional mushrooms) that help keep the body in balance (aka homeostasis) and promote a healthy stress response, such as supporting healthy levels of “stress hormones” including cortisol.

Benefits:

  • Helps the body and mind cope with stress
  • Supports a healthy immune system, due to how the gut and brain are connected (the gut is where the majority of the immune system is located)
  • Can help promote restful sleep and daytime energy
  • Supports a positive mindset and outlook
  • Supports cognitive health and functions including alertness

Who Should Try It:

Anyone who feels stressed, burnt out or fatigued on a regular basis. Even if you’re generally happy and healthy, adding adaptogens into your routine can support a healthy response to stress and promote healthy cognitive function.

8. Prioritize Getting Enough Sleep

Getting adequate sleep, between 7 to 9 hours per night, is needed to restore your energy, support a healthy mindset and for things like detoxification and normal tissue repair.

Prior to getting into bed, run through a relaxing night time routine that helps you unwind physically and mentally. For example, rather than scrolling on your phone, try some yoga, taking a walk outside when the weather allows, meditation, reading or journaling.

Benefits:

  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Aids in cognitive functions including concentration, decision making and memory
  • Helps keep your outlook positive by promoting hormonal balance
  • Can aid in appetite control and maintenance of a healthy weight

Who Should Try It:

Everyone, adults and children alike, need enough sleep to feel and function at their best. Sleep is particularly important when you're stressed or very active.

Nutrition

9. Increase Your Fiber Intake (At Least 25–30 Grams/Day)

Fiber takes up room in your stomach and contributes to feelings of fullness, and at the same time it can’t actually be digested and absorbed, so it’s basically like eating “free calories.” Additionally, a high-fiber diet tends to include lots of nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, plus it’s helpful for fighting occasional constipation.

Benefits:

  • Can help decrease cravings and hunger
  • May support a healthy weight or even boost weight loss
  • Associated with higher intake of healthy, whole foods
  • Benefits digestion, regular elimination and gut health, by “feeding” probiotic bacteria in the gut
  • Supports cardiovascular health and healthy cholesterol levels

Who Should Try It:

Those who struggle with occasional constipation, a big appetite, and high cholesterol levels. This approach is also beneficial for people who eat high-protein or low-carb diets, since it assists in digestion and intake of essential nutrients.

10. Eat Some Type of Greens Every Day

Considering how low in calories they are, greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc. are among the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. They’re great sources of antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids that fight free radicals, plus vitamins K, C and A, magnesium, calcium and more.

Benefits:

  • Contributes to healthy aging, including heart, eye, bone, cognitive and skin health
  • High in fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients
  • Low in calories

Who Should Try It:

Just about everyone can benefit from adding more greens to their daily diet, including those following vegan, Paleo, keto or Mediterranean diets. Since it can be tough to incorporate fresh greens into meals each day, Organic Supergreens Powder (which contains alfalfa and oat grass, algae, and many other greens) makes a great alternative or addition.

11. Choose Healthier Oils/Fats

Fats in our diets are needed to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, E and K) and for many other functions like cognitive health and maintaining normal cholesterol levels. However, it’s not always easy to consume the ideal kinds of fats — like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter, ghee, nuts, seeds and avocado — and to ditch the processed kinds like sunflower, safflower and corn oils.

Benefits:

  • Helps promote a healthy response to inflammation
  • Needed for cardiovascular health and brain health
  • Supports a positive mindset
  • Helps with satiety and controlling your appetite

Who Should Try It:

Anyone who tends to eat a decent amount of processed foods that are often made with refined vegetable oils. Switching to healthier oils and performance oils when cooking (like olive and coconut oil) and adding in fats like avocado and nuts are easy ways to practice this habit.

Jill Levy has been with the Dr. Axe and Ancient Nutrition team for six years. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Fairfield University, followed by a certification as a Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Jill takes a “non-diet” approach to health and really enjoys teaching others about mindful eating, intuitive eating and the benefits of eating real foods.

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Featured Product

Multi Collagen Protein Powder Pure (45 servings)

$52.95

Shop

Ancient Elixirs - Superfood Matcha Powder (20 Servings)

$39.95

Shop

Organic SuperGreens Powder Mint Flavor (25 Servings)

$39.95

Shop