A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step ~ Chinese Proverb
When we think about our health and fitness goals, our minds usually jump straight to a big, dramatic transformation, which can make us feel like there’s a huge mountain to climb ahead of us.
This doesn’t mean we can’t eventually reach these goals, but it does mean we need to be careful in the way we approach working towards them.
It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed when setting big goals. The key is to focus on the little health wins and celebrate all our smaller achievements along the way.
Over time, these little wins will snowball into the manifestation of your biggest goals.
Here’s a list of 50 simple, little health wins you can take each day to keep you on the path to achieving huge results. Try to add a couple new wins each day and in no time you’ll have achieved big wins!
1. Drink more water. Having a big glass of water is one of the most important parts of your morning routine and should be made top priority - after going to the toilet, of course!
For an even bigger health boost, stick to purified, alkaline water and make sure you drink at least 2 litres each day. Carrying a large water bottle with you throughout the day is a good way to track your intake.
2. Only shop in the produce aisles. Just try it out! See if you can do a week’s worth of food shopping without adding a single item of processed food to your shopping trolley.
Your fridge will be stocked full of fresh fruit and vegetables and none of those tempting nasties will be staring back at you from the fridge when you’re feeling hungry and vulnerable. Need some whole foods meal inspiration? One Green Planet is a recipe resource to drool over.
3. Add Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt to your diet. There is a huge difference between processed table salt and real, unrefined sea salt. Himalayan and Celtic sea salt are particularly rich in minerals and support the health of our bodies in many ways. Here are 6 Essential Health Benefits of sea salt.
4. Drink lemon and ginger tea. This tasty beverage can be enjoyed hot or cold, and is an easy little health hack with big benefits. It’ll boost your immune system, assist in healthy weight loss and make your skin and hair glow - find out how.
5. Get some sunshine. The sun gets a pretty bad rap, especially in sunny Australia, where sunburn is synonymous with a day at the beach. However, the health benefits of getting a bit of sun each day, far outweigh the risks of getting a bit too much.
6. Meditate for 10 minutes. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health - in fact, mental and physical health are deeply intertwined. Fortunately, just 10 minutes of meditation each day is enough to help keep our minds clear and healthy.
7. Cut out dessert. … Not! Dessert doesn’t have to have a negative impact on our health. In fact, with the right ingredients, our sweet, gooey indulgences can actually be really good for us.
We do have one pro-tip for this one though: Eat the sweet stuff in the morning, instead of after dinner. This way, you can burn it off during the day and allow your digestive system to rest while you sleep. How good does vanilla protein cookie dough truffles sound?!
8. Take opportunities to move. Incorporating little bits of exercise into each day is much less daunting than committing to even one full workout. It can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the lift, parking a little further from work and walking, or maybe even challenging yourself to a certain number of bodyweight squats each day.
9. Avoid using technology an hour before bed. Good quality sleep is vital for good health, but bright screens and distracting notifications can get in the way of our body’s natural preparation for bed time. Switch to flight mode and put your devices down at least an hour before you go to bed, to make sure you get the most out of your time in bed.
10. Relax in an epsom salt bath. This cheap and handy household item is a naturally occurring, pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulphate - a combination which has very powerful health benefits for our joints, muscles and brains. Detoxifying Epsom salt baths not only restore balance to our bodies, but have also been shown to improve the symptoms of many health conditions.
11. Opt for natural skin care. Lets face it - if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, you shouldn’t put in on your skin. Our skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs everything - good and bad. So, when it comes to personal hygiene and beauty products - avoid the mainstream, chemical-based toxic stuff with the false and flashy marketing, and opt for products with natural, organic and health-promoting ingredients.
12. Find the healthiest version of junk foods. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t have naughty treats every now and then. If that was the case, hardly anyone would be interested - right? Opt for organic coconut ice-cream instead of dairy-based ice-cream, or organic dark chocolate instead of dairy milk chocolate - It’s all about reading ingredient labels! To take it to the next level, you could make your treats at home - try our Matcha Mint Choc Chip Nicecream - it tastes like junk food, but it isn’t (shhh).
13. Create a sleep schedule. This one is really simple - go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier. Ideally, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, because having a solid sleep routine has a surprisingly profound effect on your wellbeing.
14. Avoid caffeinated beverages. Like alcohol, caffeine is a legal drug - and its impact on our health is often downplayed. If you’re a big coffee drinker, see if you can cut down a little - perhaps replacing a few cups of coffee with a lemon and ginger tea? Coffee is pretty delicious, but keeping our caffeine intake as low as possible will help us stay calm, get more in touch with what our bodies are trying to tell us, and get a good night’s sleep. If it’s energy you’re after - try this healthy and powerful, caffeine-free vitality buzz.
15. Do a 4 minute workout. Yes, you read correctly – 4 minutes! Getting your heart rate up with High Intensity Interval Training for as little as 4 minutes is enough to keep you in shape when your schedule is too tight to squeeze in regular gym sessions.
16. Buy a salt lamp for your bedroom. Traditional bedroom lighting is too bright and could be preventing you from getting the best possible sleep. Not only do Himalayan salt lamps solve this problem with their subtle and natural light, but they also have the power to purify the air and balance out your body and your surroundings by emitting negatively charged ions.
17. Practice gratitude & positive affirmations. No one can really understand just how powerful positive affirmations can be until they experience it for themselves. Combine this thought technique with an attitude of gratitude, and get set to transform your health and any other aspect of your life.
18. Try coconut oil pulling. Swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil around your mouth for 10-20 minutes a day has been proven to be even more effective than flossing in promoting healthy teeth and gums. It’s also one of the best ways to naturally whiten your teeth.
19. Spend time with health-conscious friends. We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so spend more time with the friends who are into health and fitness. It turns out we are much more heavily influenced by our relationships than we’d care to admit.
20. Eat two Brazil nuts. Getting enough selenium is essential to many aspects of our health, from our mood to our thyroid function. The best way to make sure you’re getting enough of this mineral, among many others, is to eat two Brazil nuts each day. Two nuts? Too easy!
21. Make a superfood smoothie bowl. Smoothie bowls are probably the most deliciously indulgent, nutrient-packed health hack there is. You could go out to a cafe and spend anywhere between $9 and $18 (sometimes worth it…), or you could make a superfood smoothie bowl at home, whenever you like, for a fraction of the cost. Head on over to our recipes section where you’ll find some smoothie bowl inspiration.
22. Prioritise probiotics. Whether you take a plant-based probiotic, or consume fermented food and drinks like kimchi and kombucha, getting a gut full of good bacteria can make you feel better in more ways than you’d expect. These 5 facts will make you want prioritise probiotics.
23. Get it on. Having sex could be at the top of the list when it comes to fun ways to give yourself (and your partner) a health boost. It can be a pretty good workout, and it’s quite well known as a great stress reliever… But sex also comes with a bunch of other health benefits, from improving our immune function to preventing serious diseases.
24. Just add garlic. Although garlic is a great source or a number of essential vitamins and minerals, it’s the sulphur-containing compounds in garlic that make this highly medicinal plant stand out. It’s an amazing immune support which fights inflammation, and may assist in keeping our blood pressure steady while aiding in heart and lung health… but there are even more reasons to eat more of this smelly superfood.
25. Eliminate alcohol. Drinking booze is seen as very normal and sometimes unavoidable part of life. However, this really doesn’t need to be the case (see number 19 in this list). Let’s get real - if you made an honest pro’s and con’s list about alcohol, you’d be tea-total by today.
26. Eat more whole foods. When it comes to whole foods, we should all be eating more - not less. ‘Let food be thy medicine’ and feast on legumes, beans, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit. When you’re eating a whole foods plant-based diet, there’s no need for eating tiny portions or counting calories. Eating an abundance of real food is the key to real health.
27. Breath deeper. It’s through our inhalations that we deliver oxygen to our blood, which then carries it to all the cells in our body. Taking deep, slow and deliberate breaths is not only calming and invigorating, but it also keeps our bodies healthy and performing at their best. Here are 18 benefits to deep breathing (and how to do it.)
28. Poop in a squat. Yes, poop - we’re talking about poop. Everyone does it, but not many of us are doing it right. Sitting on a conventional toilet is actually pretty terrible for our digestive health, as it doesn’t allow our Puborectalis muscle to release the kink in our colon. Our bodies are designed to eliminate waste in a squat position, but this doesn’t mean we need to start standing on the toilet seat or going outside… A Squatty Potty allows us to sit in a squat from the comfort of the toilet seat, or alternatively, we can just keep a crate in the bathroom.
29. Choose plants and avoid processed meats. There’s findings regarding associations between processed meat and disease. The great thing is eating a plant-based diet is really easy these days, given the ever-growing number of delicious plant-based products on the market.
30. Visualise health and fitness. The ability to achieve a goal can be unlocked by first mastering the ability to visualise it. We perceive real world experiences and imaginary experiences no differently on a neural level, and this can be used to our great advantage. Make a daily habit of closing your eyes and visualising your goals to begin carving our the neural pathways that will lead you to achieving them.
31. Make movement part of your morning routine. Whether it’s a 5-minute yoga routine when you get out of bed, or an early morning stroll around the block with your furry friend, making movement a part of your morning routine is the healthiest way to start the day. It’s a good way to get energised without needing a coffee, and it sets you up to have a positive and healthy day.
32. Use ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode. Don’t be afraid to disconnect when you need some time to yourself - like when you’re sleeping, studying, or simply relaxing. Those notifications aren’t going anywhere - they can wait until you’re ready.
33. Clean out your social media “friends.” Similarly to number 32, it’s important to take a step back from social media so you can connect with your immediate reality and foster your true sense of ‘self.’ However, cleaning out your social media ‘friends list’ to weed out any sources of negative energy can provide a big boost to your mental health by making room for more positive interactions and genuine connections.
34. Smile more and stress less. We tend not to acknowledge the power we all have to relieve ourselves from mental distress and the related physiological symptoms. It’s often easier said than done, but simply letting go and smiling peacefully is one way you can have a little win and feel a lot better.
35. Avoid white, refined carbohydrates. Never cut carbs, because carbs are life. However, it’s important to understand that not all carbs are created equal. White, refined sugar, breads and other highly processed foods offer very little nutritional value.
36. Plan your day. Rarely do we intend to make unhealthy choices - it just happens. Sometimes we get hungry or bored and we don’t have a plan in place to deal with these situations in a healthy way. Planning out a healthy day not only sets up our positive intentions, but it prevents indecisiveness and poor productivity, as well as confusion about what to eat, where to go and who to see.
37. Read something. Even if it’s just one page of a book, reading something each day can improve our mental health and promote the healthy functioning of our brains. Here are just 5 ways that reading can improve your health. So yes - reading this blog post is a health win!
38. Spend time with animals. Animals are much more onto it than we give them credit for, and there’s a lot we can learn from them. Our furry friends can improve our health in a variety of ways, from keeping us calm and making us laugh, to getting us outside and keeping us active.
39. Spend some time alone. We know social interaction is important for our mental health, but it’s equally important to get a good dose of solitude every now and then. The amount of alone time required varies from person to person, but we all need it and can benefit enormously from becoming comfortable with our own company.
40. Cook with vegetable stock or water instead of oil. Not many people realise that oil isn’t a necessary part of cooking, nor do they realise that it isn’t so great for their health. Fortunately, water or vegetable stock works perfectly fine for cooking absolutely anything. Or - if you’re roasting veggies - just lay them on a sheet of baking paper.
41. Walk, run or ride to where you need to be. If you have the time and can make the distance, choose a healthier way to get to where you’re going. Walking, running or riding your bike will help you save money, save the planet, and get fit and healthy all at once. The less time we can spend driving cars, the better life we be for all of us.
42. Incorporate stretching into your day. We can all benefit from a good stretch, whether we’ve been working at a desk all day, or training for a marathon. Stretching not only improves our flexibility and prevents injuries, but it also helps eliminate the body’s waste products that are stored in our muscles.
43. Eat more greens. The green stuff is the good stuff, and the more we eat, the better - so challenge yourself to have some greens with every meal. Whether you opt for a big salad, a green smoothie, or steamed greens on the side - get them in!
44. Eat more fruit - especially in the morning. Fruit makes for a great snack during the day, but it’s also the ideal base for your breakfast - it gently wakes up your digestive system and provides you with a quick and clean source of energy and vital nutrients.
45. Chill out in the evening. To aid your body in its preparation for a good night’s sleep, choose relaxing and quiet activities to end your day. This is especially important after a particularly hectic day at work or school.
46. Heels are out. Swap your unhealthy high-heeled shoes for some flat-soled kicks. Your ankles, knees, calves, hips and back will thank you, and you’ll be much more willing and able to walk around. The damage wearing heels can cause to your body is not worth that bit of extra height, and hey - activewear is so in right now.
47. Opt for daytime activities. If you’ve ever tried to get into a good sleep routine, you’re probably familiar with the way a fun weekend can ruin all that. Instead of accepting all the invites to late night shenanigans, opt for daytime activities so you can still get a good night’s sleep. If there are no day time events on your calendar - create your own!
48. Practice mindful eating. Just because we can eat our lunch whilst changing our clothes and talking on the phone, it doesn’t mean we should. Although it’s pretty normal these days, it really isn’t healthy. Mindful eating is the practice of being fully present in the experience of eating, and can do wonders for our relationship with food and help us to reconnect with our bodies.
49. Sit up straight. Becoming conscious of your posture when sitting, standing and walking is a simple way to make a massive difference to your wellbeing. A great way to improve your posture, engage your core and reduce back pain is to swap your office chair for a swiss ball.
50. Intermittent fasting. Fasting sounds scary, but with intermittent fasting, you can follow the 16/8 protocol and be asleep for most of the fasting period. Finishing dinner by 6pm and waiting until 10am before you eat breakfast is a great way to potentially reduce body fat, gain muscle and improve your overall health - and it’s much easier than traditional dieting.