10 Healthy Habits to Start Now: Drastically Improve Your Life + Gain Energy, Confidence, & Happiness
Updated: Apr 26
10 Healthy Habits to Start Now
Ever wish you could improve your life, but feel overwhelmed with the amount of information and advice out there? Want to be happier, healthier, and more energetic and confident, but just don’t know how to get there? Know that you should exercise and practice other healthy habits, but can’t seem to maintain the motivation to keep going?
I’ve totally got you. That’s exactly how I felt, and I lived in the state for a long time before I realized I was just so over it. Gosh darn it, I was going to exercise and eat healthier and meditate and drink more water, and I was sick of making pledges to myself that fell through after a few days. I just had to figure out how to actually maintain these healthy habits and use them, over time, to accomplish my goals and improve my life.
So, I did a ton of research, read so many books on health, wellness, habits, and happiness, and tried out multiple strategies for myself. I figured out what actually worked, and even what actually worked when I was lazy or feeling down. I narrowed down the absolute essentials - what healthy habits to start right away, what order to implement my new daily habits, and how to maintain those small habits to reach your goals and aspirations, and I wrote a blog about what I learned.
For a great starting point, this post will introduce the most critical ten habits you should include in your days, as well as the best tools to be successful with each. This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Thanks for supporting The Superhero Handbook!
When we try to build habits, many of us tend to focus on the capacity of our own motivation to get us to stick to a healthy new habit. In reality, our motivation shifts from day to day - which typically becomes incredibly clear to me about a week into my New Year's resolutions. The better way to build a habit is by focusing on making it easy for you to do and by setting up a routine and environment for healthy habits to seamlessly fit into.
I absolutely guarantee that, even if you only begin doing the first five of these habits the large majority of your days, they will totally and completely change your life. Incorporating all of these habits into your daily life will make you feel like a superhero so much faster!
Weekly and Monthly Habit Plans
Not sure how to start implementing these habits into your day-to-day life? Don't feel like you need to do it all on your own! Check out my FREE Weekly and Monthly Habits plans spreadsheet to track your habits, know where to start, and have a ready-made plan for you to start reaching for success right at your fingertips.
Exercise is one of the absolute best habits you can begin daily to increase energy and joy, and support your physical and mental health. The endorphins exercise provides make us happy and help drive our day, keeping us motivated and positive. Exercise helps with weight loss, makes you stronger, and boosts body-image and confidence. It reduces stress and anxiety, and it even improves your memory and cognitive ability.
One of the biggest benefits of exercise, for me, is the extra energy it provides you to live a great day. You're better able to stay motivated, energized, and productive, and then, at the end of the day, exercise even helps you sleep better. Exercise can give you SUCH a boost. It is one of those incredible things that benefits mind, body, spirit, and future habits.
How to Exercise
There are so many different options for staying fit; you’re bound to find a sustainable active hobby. Join a rec sports team or find a fun cool exercise activity (acro-yoga, basketball, rowing, pole dancing, whatever). One of my favorite ways to get exercise is just through my daily life - walking around my neighborhood, carrying my groceries home, etc. Still, whether or not you have a fun option available nearby, can afford a gym membership, or live somewhere walkable, you still need to get physical exercise into your life, and it’s really not that hard.
Exercise guidelines typically recommend cardio four to five times a week and strength training at least twice a week. The cardio portion can be low to moderate exercise (like jogging) for 30-45 minutes or vigorous exercise (like HIIT or wind sprints) for 10-20 minutes. Short high-intensity exercises are great because they’re time-efficient and very effective at raising stamina and metabolism, blood-sugar control, and post-exercise fat burn. Keep in mind, though, that a strong exercise routine will include both cardio and strength training, as well as rest, stretching, and self-care.
LISS: Low Intensity Steady State
Hikes, walks, yoga, and other slower routines help you build your endurance. LISS cardio involves consistent effort at a steady pace for 30-60 minutes. This low and slow exercise is a good place to start adding more cardio into your weeks if you’re not exercising much now. Daily walking or hiking provides Vitamin D that supports your immune system and respiratory health, and is a fantastic way to get in your LISS exercise. You can also burn LISS calories throughout your day-to-day life if you work to get off your seat and move around. I highly recommend more daily movement, whether it’s tracking 10,000 steps or just cleaning, dancing, using a standing desk, and moving around your days.
HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training
One of the best exercises when it comes to increasing energy and losing weight is high-intensity exercise like HIIT or wind sprints. HIIT involves short bursts of high effort, followed by lower effort rest intervals. HIIT provides us with a natural high. Just 10-25 minutes of high-intensity cardio helps release brain chemicals called endocannabinoids. These make us feel good and increase our energy. I often suggest starting to exercise more with LISS; then, once you’re ready to take it up a notch, add a couple of HIIT routines into your weeks.
Another great way to increase strength and build muscle is strength or resistance training. Lifting weights and using resistance bands helps increase strength, improve your metabolism, create lean muscle mass, and improve your mental health. Weight training can even help reduce anxiety and depression, and can help our brains grow and work more effectively. If you’re already including body-weight exercise into your routine through yoga, HIIT, or another means, you may already be getting some strength training in.
Tools For Success
Figure out what exercise you're into, then get the right equipment so that you have the right tools to be successful. I personally love exercises that I can do around my home - or walking around my neighborhood - because I'm much more likely to work out if I don't actually have to drive anywhere to do so.
Look up a 10-20 minute cardio or HIIT session (they're free on YouTube). The key here is to work up a sweat so your body signals for endorphins and you activate fat-loss.
Go for a 30 minute walk.
Do yoga on a mat at home (again, there’s plenty of free videos online and apps/sites for yoga classes).
Meditation provide benefits that are psychological, emotional, and physical. It helps you better handle stress and anxiety, it helps you become more self-aware, and it improves your emotional and mental state. Meditation even helps you sleep better, lowers blood pressure, and improves your focus, memory, and intelligence.
One of my favorite benefits of meditation is the ability it provides you to slow down your own thoughts and alter your perspective. It allows you to choose how to respond to the world around you, focus on the positive over the negative, and stay calm. By using the power of meditation and other mindfulness practices, you can effectively increase positivity and joy.
How to Meditate
Find a place in your house you can sit, uninterrupted, on a cushion or in a chair. You should be comfortable but alert. Find a meditation on Spotify or Youtube - this can be either a guided meditation or just calming music. When you're ready, close your eyes, and breathe. Focus on your breath as it goes in and out. Acknowledge your thoughts, let them pass on by, and return to your breath. Be patient and gentle, and accept what comes.
Tools for Meditation
Meditate for at least 10 minutes every day. The key to reaping benefits from meditation comes from consistency, so find a way to plug meditation into your morning or evening routine.
Eating the right food and produce gives you energy to live radiant, productive days. The best nutrition for energy typically includes meals made up of about 50 percent colorful produce, 25 percent protein (animal or plant-based), 25 percent whole grains, and a bit of healthy fat. Snacks and meals filled with produce will provide the right vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you need to live a healthy life, and they'll give you energy to live productive and motivated days. Increasing nutrients and prioritizing vegetables will help you live longer, stay cancer and illness free, and become more positive and happy.
How to Eat More Produce
One of the great things about produce is that you can essentially eat as much as you want. I try to have at least one big greens salad a day, topped with veggies, legumes, protein, grains, nuts/seeds, etc. On top of the salad, I'll snack on fruits and veggies throughout my day. Keeping healthy energy-inducing snacks around like berries, veggies and hummus, apples with nut butter, popcorn, and greek yogurt can help ensure you’re afforded lasting energy through the day.
Produce is great to have around because it is super easy as a healthy snack, can make for the base of delicious and nutritious meals, and provides so many benefits. Carbs, especially produce, provide a great source of energy, aid in digestion, and help you feel full with fewer calories. Leafy green and cruciferous vegetables in particular are loaded with fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They are super filling while low in calories, and they can even help reduce inflammation and your risk of illness.