Tips for Including Healthy Habits into Your Daily Routine

Summary: You can live a healthy, happy life if you learn to incorporate healthy habits into your daily living.

The difference between just living and living longer and better, often feels out of our control. But what if you could improve the quality of your life by making small but high-impact changes to your daily routine?

Your habits — those subconscious, almost automatic actions you do every day — are key. From the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed, our habits shape our physical, mental and emotional health. And just like high-performing athletes, you too can turn everyday habits into winning daily routines.

Breaking free of old habits that don’t serve you, or tweaking existing ones can set you on the path to health and success. We’ve put together some tips to include healthy habits to transform your daily routine.

Tips for including healthy habits into your daily routine

Here are healthy habits you can start incorporating in your routine:

1. Cook and eat with intention

Healthy, intentional eating is perhaps the most important component of a healthy lifestyle. You should try to consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to gain essential nutrients that support gut health and overall well-being.

  • As they say, you eat first with your eyes. Aim to fill your plate with a variety of colors and textures. Brightening your meal with vibrant hues of red tomatoes, green kale, sunny-side-up eggs and purple eggplant can elevate your mood while nourishing you.
  • You also want to limit your intake of processed foods and sugary snacks. To avoid the temptation, try to plan and prep your meals ahead of time to ensure you have healthy options on hand when you get hungry.
  • If you can, try cooking at home more often to have control over what goes into your food. Cooking can become a pleasant, meaningful ritual if done right. The slow food movement is an example of how purposeful cooking with locally-sourced ingredients benefit not just your health but also the community. Home cooked meals can also be easier on your wallet.
  • Cooking with intention leads to mindful eating. The next time you sit down for a meal, try to chew your food slowly and remain present in the moment while eating. Avoid devouring your meals in front of the TV or computer. Instead, try to take the time to savor each bite, noticing the flavors, textures and smells of your food.
  • Avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast and lunch. Skipping meals can lead to overeating later in the day, cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels and decrease your energy, making it harder to concentrate and stay productive. Instead, focus on incorporating portion control into your daily eating habits. Choosing the right amount can be easy. You could also downsize your dinnerware and use your plate and hands as portion and serving guides.

Remember to listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues and eat only the amount of food your body needs; no more, no less.

2. Stay hydrated, stay healthy

As important as eating is keeping the fluid and electrolyte levels in our body topped up. Did you know that our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water? Staying hydrated regulates your body temperature, helps digestion and is better for your joints.

Meeting your daily hydration goals can be as easy as eating enough fruits and vegetables (they have water content) and finding ways to drink water on-the-go (by carrying a reusable water bottle). And if plain water seems too vanilla to you, you can try to infuse your water with a slice of lemon, mint leaves, or even a few slices of your favorite fruit.

Set a goal to drink a certain amount of water each day and track your intake using a mobile app or journal.

3. Sleep hygiene

Quality sleep is critical for your overall health. Yet it’s often something we neglect, especially in the midst of our busy lives. But a restful night can improve focus, productivity, immunity and overall health. On the other hand, poor sleep can lead to various health issues, including obesity, heart disease, and depression.

To establish good sleep hygiene, establish a consistent bedtime routine to regulate your circadian rhythm. Avoid caffeine and electronic devices before bed, as they can disrupt sleep. Blue light from electronic devices can negatively impact sleep. Try turning off phones, computers, and LED lights at least a couple of hours before your bedtime.

Create a conducive sleep environment by keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Consider relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation if you’re having trouble sleeping. Aim for at least 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night by prioritizing rest and relaxation in your routine.

4. Make time for exercise

Regular exercise is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it help control weight, but it also improves mood, boosts energy levels and reduces the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases.

To incorporate exercise into your daily routine, find activities that you enjoy and that fit your schedule. Whether it’s walking, cycling, or swimming, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week.

Walking is one of the simplest and most accessible forms of exercise, yet it’s often overlooked in favor of more intense workouts. Instead of viewing walking as a chore, find reasons to stroll every day that make it enjoyable and convenient. Sometimes, walk to work, take a leisurely stroll after dinner, or explore a nearby park or nature trail.

Here’s the thing; any amount of physical activity is better than none, so find ways to move your body and make exercise a priority. This way you can continue to stay healthy at any age.

5. Manage stress

Chronic stress is a silent killer and can take a heavy toll on both your physical and mental health, so it’s essential to find healthy ways to manage it.

Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your daily routine, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, a long bath, or spending time in nature. Direct contact with the earth, a technique referred to as ‘grounding’ has been shown to create positive effects on our health and well-being. So if it is safe, you could try walking barefoot in your yard or the local park. Essentially, take out time out of your schedule to partake in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Remember to set boundaries and say no to activities or commitments that cause unnecessary stress. As you take proactive steps to manage stress, you can improve your overall health and well-being.

6. Seek social support

Don’t underestimate the power of a strong support system. No matter how busy you get, cultivating a network of close friends and family that you can rely on in a crunch, is crucial to your physical and mental health.

Not only does your health improve tremendously with strong relationships, but you’ll find that you’ll feel much better and happier. Plus, there’s the added advantage of improved longevity. People with a supportive social circle tend to have more emotional support, which in turn impacts their longevity.

So, what should you do? Surround yourself with friends, family, or coworkers who share your commitment to health and wellness and encourage each other to stay accountable.

To build such a community, consider joining a fitness class, sports team, or an online hobbyist community to connect with like-minded individuals and stay motivated. Make the effort to keep these relationships active and mutually rewarding. For example, make monthly brunch or walk plans, and if you live close to family, consider having a meal together once a week. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, whether it’s for workout advice, healthy recipe ideas, or emotional support.

7. Prioritize mental health breaks

We can all probably agree that in today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and neglect our mental health. However, as more people — from business executives to political leaders, to regular folk going about their lives — acknowledge the importance of mental health and their own struggles with it, it’s important to recognize how closely mental health and overall well-being are related.

Make your mental health and those of your loved ones a priority. Take the time to incorporate daily practices such as meditation, spending time in nature, or taking up a hobby you enjoy into your daily routine. Doing so can inject a dose of serenity and calm into your busy schedule. It can also help sharpen your focus and creativity.

If possible, consider taking a social media detox from time-to-time. This can help curb screen time as well as remove unneeded distractions from the things that matter, like spending quality time with loved ones and your work. Making mental health a non-negotiable part of your daily routine will help you thrive personally and professionally.

8. Get enough sunlight exposure

Our modern lifestyle often prevents us spending enough time outdoors. Sunlight exposure is directly linked to healthy levels of vitamin D, which play a crucial role in gut health, bone health, immune function, and mood regulation.

So make it a point to spend time outside each day, soaking up the sun’s rays. One of the great ways to get sunlight exposure is by gardening. Just be sure to practice sun safety by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, especially during peak sun hours.

9. Practice gratitude and self-care

Life can seem tough on some days, but there is usually always something to be grateful for, if you look hard enough. Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine can have profound effects on your overall happiness and well-being.

Start a gratitude journal and write down three things you’re thankful for each day, whether it’s a beautiful sunset, a kind gesture from a friend, or a delicious meal.

Alternatively, express gratitude verbally by telling loved ones how much you appreciate them or sending thank-you notes to people who have made a positive impact in your life, however small.

In the same way, be sure to practice self-care. Remember, self-care is not selfish — it’s essential for maintaining your physical, mental and emotional well-being. When you care for yourself, you’re in a better position to care for others.

You can’t pour from an empty cup, so make time for self-care activities that nourish your body, mind and soul.

10. Keep it real – set realistic goals

So, how do you make it happen? Setting achievable goals is crucial for success, especially when integrating healthy habits into your daily routine.

Research suggests that it takes anywhere between a couple of weeks to a couple of months of consistent practice to solidify a habit. Here’s how to get started:

  • Set realistic goals for the habits you want to incorporate. For example, decide to go for a 20-minute walk every day.
  • Download and use free habit-tracking apps such as Habitica, Habitify, or Streaks to monitor your progress.
  • Place reminders or stickers on your refrigerator to keep your goals visible.
  • Create a daily to-do list in your journal to ensure you remember all the habits you’re working on.
  • If you’re comfortable, communicate your desire to form a new habit with someone you trust. Ask them to hold you accountable so you stick to your goal.
  • Try habit stacking — pairing new habits with existing ones. For example, if you’re already taking evening walks, add a hydrating goal of drinking two glasses of water after your stroll.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively build and maintain healthy habits for the long haul.

Cultivate healthy habits for a healthy life

Ultimately, making healthy habits a part of your daily routine promotes overall health and well-being, and fuels productivity.

By taking stock of your current habits and stacking up new habits tied to a better diet, adequate sleep, sufficient exercise, lower stress and deeper social support, you can enhance the quality of your life.

Remember, small steps can lead to lifelong changes, so start implementing these tips today and enjoy the benefits of a healthier, happier life.

Find more helpful resources that can help you live better, healthier live in our blog. And if you need any help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Mutual of Omaha.


Q1: Can I still enjoy my favorite foods while trying to adopt healthier habits?

Absolutely! Combining moderation and balance in your diet allows you to enjoy occasional treats while still prioritizing nutritious choices for overall health and well-being.

Q2: How can I incorporate healthy habits into my workday?

To include healthy habits at work, try taking short breaks to stretch or walk, packing nutritious snacks and prioritizing hydration by keeping a water bottle at your desk.

Q3: How can I maintain healthy habits while traveling or during busy times?

Planning ahead, packing nutritious snacks and making smart choices (like walking to your next nearby appointment instead of driving) can help you stay on track with your healthy habits while traveling or during busy periods.