Healthy Lifestyle Examples: 10 Simple Strategies

Explore a comprehensive guide to incorporating research-driven healthy lifestyle choice for a healthier body, sharper mind, and a more energized you.

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By Staff Writer
Jovan Mijailovic
Edited by Jovan Mijailovic

Updated May 14, 2024.

A woman aging healthy because of proper lifestyle choices.

In this article

What is a healthy lifestyle?

1. Eat a more plant-based diet 

2. Choose healthy fats

3. Drink alcohol in moderation

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Ever dream of waking up with boundless energy? Feeling tired can drag you down. Constant fatigue can impact your mood, productivity, and overall enjoyment of life. 

The good news is simple changes to your daily routine can significantly boost your vigor. These healthy lifestyle habits leave you energized and ready to conquer your day. 



What is a healthy lifestyle?

A healthy lifestyle involves choices that reduce the risk of premature death while also fostering improved overall well-being as you age, known as your healthspan.

One example is the Blue Zones, five regions worldwide boasting the highest percentage of centenarians. [1] They live to be at least 100 years old, often without heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, or diabetes.

Although their daily routines may vary due to cultural, geographical, and resource differences, they share practices believed to contribute to their longevity and well-being.

Research indicates that habits like maintaining regular eating patterns, engaging in physical activity, and addressing your mental and emotional health are integral components of a healthy lifestyle.

1. Eat a more plant-based diet 

Research shows that nutrient-dense foods may lower disease risk and help people live longer. [2–4] Adding leafy greens, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds could promote a long life.

In a systematic review and meta-analysis, experts investigated many observational studies. They found that people on vegan and vegetarian diets had reduced levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and blood glucose. These are all essential markers of health vulnerability. [4]

In a systematic review and meta-analysis, experts investigated many observational studies. They found that people on vegan and vegetarian diets had reduced levels of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), and blood glucose. These are all essential markers of health vulnerability. [4]

Note: Researchers reported similar findings in studies assessing the effects of replacing meat with plant-based proteins. [5,6]

2. Choose healthy fats

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are beneficial. They fight inflammation and reduce cardiovascular condition chances. You can find the former in olive oil, the primary ingredient in many mediterranean diet dishes. It can drop LDL and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. [7-8]

Fish and seafood may help lower coronary heart disease and mortality risk. [9] They're rich in the essential eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acid. Research shows that these omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for brain health and cognition. [10,11]

Note: You can apply this healthy example to your lifestyle by substituting butter with olive oil, eating 2–3 servings of fish/week, and snacking on nuts and seeds.

3. Drink alcohol in moderation

Research suggests we moderate our alcohol consumption—two drinks/day for men and one or less for women. This healthy lifestyle choice has the lowest chances of heart disease, cancer, and mortality than having none or drinking excessively. [12,13]

Note: On the other hand, some studies say that any amount of intake increases cancer risk, so if you don't drink, you shouldn't start. [14]

How InsideTracker helps you stay healthy

InsideTracker's Ultimate Plan can help you on your journey to improving your healthspan. The proprietary A.I. algorithm analyzes your bloodwork and habits. It provides you with science-backed and personalized recommendations to optimize your biomarkers to live healthier, longer.

Depending on your goals, your Action Plan prioritizes the nutrition, exercise, or healthy lifestyle choices that will have the greatest impact on helping you reach them. 





4. Stay hydrated

The body is about 60% water. Every cell, tissue, and organ needs it to function optimally. Drinking enough fluids is also essential for:

  • Energy
  • Mood
  • Body temperature regulation
  • Joint lubrication
  • Digestion
  • Nutrient transportation
  • Waste and toxin elimination [15]

Even mild dehydration impacts your lifestyle, leading to fatigue, headaches, and poor concentration [16,17] . But you have a choice in the matter. Keep a reusable bottle by your side to sip on. You can also add taste with healthy options like fresh fruit, cucumbers, or herbal tea.

5. Try yoga

Yoga includes meditation and relaxation techniques through physical postures and breathwork. It's a highly effective tool for managing stress and improving emotional state.

Research also suggests it lowers serum cortisol, which is a hormone that leads to weight gain, hypertension, and anxiety. [18–20] It also shows improvements in blood pressure, glucose, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. [21–24]

Note: There are multiple examples of healthy yoga practices available via in-person studios or virtual classes. You can find them at various skill levels. So, even if you haven’t practiced before, you can still learn the foundations and improve your lifestyle.



6. Start strength training

Strength training is a physical exercise that requires muscles to lift, push, or pull until fatigued. You can do it to increase or maintain muscle and bone mass. [25,26] Some of the other benefits you can get are reduced disease risk, better blood sugar control, and improved agility as you age. [27–29]

Studies have also associated this type of workout with lower chronic inflammation, enhanced cognition, healthier heart, and longevity. [30-34] The current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults address all major muscle groups at least two days weekly.  

A quote from Andrew Huberman on healthy lifestyle choices.


7. Sit less

Gym workouts and going for a run are certainly healthy lifestyle choices. But, these activities alone may not prevent the negative effects of sitting all day long. Research shows doing so for longer periods shortens your lifespan and can increase insulin resistance and worsen heart health. [35–37]

The good news is that studies reveal frequent standing or walking breaks could mitigate some of the damage. [37]

Note: This informal movement can ultimately contribute to improved overall well-being, evidenced by all five locations in the Blue Zone. [1]

8. Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night

Sleep helps the body and brain restore and repair muscle, consolidate memory, and strengthen the immune system. [36–38]

Research shows that quality shut-eye promotes metabolic health, better blood sugar control, and longevity. [39,40] Current evidence suggests the optimal duration for most healthy adults is 7–9 hours a night. [41]

Following a consistent bedtime routine that includes limiting screen time, taking a warm shower, closing all binds, and cooling the bedroom can help promote better sleep. 

Note: InsideTracker syncs with data from your Apple Watch, Garmin, Oura Ring, or FitBit. You can analyze your sleep patterns and combine them with your DNA and biomarkers. Then, you'll get science-backed recommendations to improve your health span.



10. Connect with others

Social connections are crucial components and common traits among the world’s longest-lived individuals. [1]

Research suggests that those with family, friends, and community support have fewer health problems and live longer. The result is likely due to the stress-relieving effects of interacting with people. [44]

Note: Conversely, a lack of ties increases the risk of death anywhere from 50-91% [45]. As a healthy lifestyle choice, try sitting down with friends or family at mealtimes or calling a loved one. 

Choices to avoid for a healthy lifestyle

Here are several examples of lifestyle habits that lead to poor health outcomes you should avoid or minimize:

  • Cigarettes: Cigarettes cause disease and early death. Research shows that any amount of smoking affects mortality, increasing proportionally with frequency. [46]
  • Ultra-processed or fast food: These tend to be high in saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium. Their ingredients may all increase chronic disease risk. [47] Plus, they're low in beneficial nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals that promote health.
  • Chronic stress: Studies have linked it to several negative health outcomes. People may have elevated glucose levels, hypertension, and a weakened immune system. [48,49]
  • Heavy alcohol use: Excessive drinking triggers many health issues, including several types of cancer and heart and liver disease. Research also shows that alcohol abuse leads to a risk of early death. [12]
  • Sedentary activities: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for chronic conditions and death worldwide. It increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by 20-30%. [50]

» Learn how to naturally improve your biological age

How do you make healthy lifestyle changes? 

Many people want to make healthier lifestyle choices, but actually doing so can be challenging. Fortunately, there are strategies you can try that simplify your routines.

First, start with a small goal. The hardest part of adopting new habits is often getting started. It's essential to make the initial strategy realistic and attainable.

Second, be focused on what you want to do. Setting vague intentions like changing your diet or exercising more can be difficult to follow through with and track. Instead, aim for something more specific. Include the time, location, and frequency of your desired habit.

For example, you could run for 30 minutes three days weekly before work or add one more vegetable to your weekday lunches. Including these details gives you a concrete plan to implement the habit.

Tip: You can also reward yourself for meeting goals and finding a friend or professional to provide support and accountability. 

» Learn the difference between chronological and biological age

Invest in your healthspan and live vibrantly

Feeling tired and drained can hold you back from achieving everything you want. The good news is that incorporating these simple and sustainable changes into your daily routine can unlock a new level of energy and vibrancy.

Remember, a healthy lifestyle isn't about drastic changes or deprivation. It's about making choices that empower you to feel your best, both now and in the future. Consider this an investment in your healthspan, the number of years you'll live feeling your best.

For an extra boost on your journey, you can try the Ultimate Plan. The data-driven recommendations help you optimize your health and achieve your goals. You can also fine-tune your approach for longevity through retesting every 3–6 months.




References

[1] Buettner, Dan. He Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People. National Geographic Society, 2015.

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28864331/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24687909/

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26853923/

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26853923/ 

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29618018/

[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21376434/ 

[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15168036/ 

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7468748/ 

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7103640/

[11] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S019745801100546X

[12] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.032047

[13]https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/resources/2020-2025-dietary-guidelines-online-materials

[14] https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/alcoholicbeverageconsumption.pdf

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/ 

[16] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22190027/ 

[17] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22716932/ 

[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768222/ 

[19] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22342535/ 

[20] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21887116/ 

[21] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31143018/ 

[22] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26286137/ 

[23] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28963884/ 

[24] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/hyp.0b013e318293645f 

[25] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35191588/ 

[26] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30513557/ 

[27]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16960159/ 

[28] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21778224/ 

[29] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30703272/ 

[30] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20083961/ 

[31] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20437055/ 

[32] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32599643/ 

[33] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21896934/ 

[34] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30376511/ 

[35] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28892811/ 

[36] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35147898/ 

[37] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24732719/ 

[38] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25315456/

[39] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21532950/ 

[40] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21835655/ 

[41] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703752/ 

[42] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20469800/ 

[43] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

[44] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23696104/ 

[45] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24767264/ 

[46] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6125010/ 

[47] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26729882

[48] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33745522/ 

[49] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34798466/ 

[50] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579396/ 

[51] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18611955/

[52] https://www.who.int/health-topics/physical-activity#tab=tab_2