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When we were in our teens our metabolism had our back, we could eat cheeseburgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a ‘healthy’ meal consisted of whatever our parents cooked on the weekend. But as we get older we learn that healthy has a totally different meaning. We start to seek out our own healthy vibe and what works for us and we have found that there are certain habits of healthy women that make them stand out from the crowd.
We follow these women on Instagram, we see them everywhere (#healthylife) and we try to find their secrets. But it’s simple – it always comes down to habit. Healthy isn’t just something you are, it’s a conscious choice, each and every day that allows you to live your best healthy life.
These are the 11 habits of healthy women we have found over and over again. Which of them do you have?
1 – Understands That Healthy Isn’t A Number On A Scale
Healthy isn’t a number. It isn’t a number on a scale, it isn’t a number of healthy meals you eat, a number of hours you work out… all of these numbers are great, but they don’t really mean anything. Healthy is how well your body is functioning and how well your body is feeling.
When you’re healthy you feel it in every part of your life. You feel it when you get up of a morning, you feel it with that extra spring in your step and you feel it when you nourish your body.
A healthy woman stops focusing on the numbers and starts focusing on the things that truly make her feel good and make her body feel good.
2 – Knows That True Health Starts On The Inside
We hear it over and over again ‘beauty is on the inside’ but did you know it’s literally physiological? How healthy we are on the inside (think gut health, the health of our liver and other major organs) shows on the outside. Our biggest organ system is the integumentary system and is comprised of our skin, hair and nails. Many people don’t realise that these visible aspects of our body are actually part of an organ system that is a flashing light showing our inner health.
If your skin is dry and scaley is could be because you’re dehydrated, or you could have eczema or even a more in-depth autoimmune condition. Is your hair dry and breaking? Nails cracked and easily broken? Does your skin look dull? All of these things are signs that something isn’t right on the inside.
True health starts by taking care of your inside and allowing that inner health to radiate.
3 – Believes A Healthy Mind Is As Important As A Healthy Body
You can have a body that looks good and works well, but if your mind is toxic then you aren’t truly healthy.
Your mind is incredibly powerful. It has the ability to transform your day from a crappy, hide under the covers day to a fabulous, dance around kind of day. And the ability to do the reverse.
When it comes to overall health, you need your mind to be happy, healthy and fit too.
Making time for self care, spending quality time with those you love and striking a good work life harmony (not balance, because that is BS) are great ways to help your mind move towards health.
Healthy women understand they need to keep their minds just as healthy as their bodies. The food we eat helps with this, the exercise we do releases endorphins which also help, but actually spending time focusing on the health of our minds is SO important too.
4 – Loves To Move
You can eat 100% and still not be super healthy. Our bodies are made to move, we have muscles designed for jumps, sprints and for endurance style movement (think dancing on a Friday night for 3 hours…). You don’t have to hit the gym 7 days a week to get your movement time in. Use your surrounds to make it happen.
We spend more time now than ever sitting in front of a computer screen (like me right now), sitting behind the wheel of a car, then sitting in front of the TV binge watching Netflix. So much of our time is spent sitting. And when we lack movement, we lack the desire to move. It’s like a vicious cycle.
Daily movement is a habit. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Do squats while unstacking the dishwasher. Aim to not sit down for the first hour your home after work. Invest in a stand up desk (like this one, amazing!!). Schedule time for slow movement classes like Yoga, Pilates or TaiChi.
Fall in love with movement and celebrate the amazing things your body can move.
5 – Doesn’t Strive For Perfection
As women, we tend to want more than what we have, no matter how amazing what we have is. Sound familiar? We beat ourselves up overeating healthier, working out more, losing a few extra pounds, being more toned… we want perfection.
But perfection doesn’t exist. Because no matter what we have, we want more.
So instead of striving for perfection, a healthy woman simply strives for better.
If wants to improve her eating, she doesn’t aim for the perfect day, she aims for a day of eating better than the day before.
If she wants to improve her workouts, she doesn’t aim for the perfect workout plan, she aims to workout better than the day before.
A healthy woman knows it’s the little improvements that add up over time and striving for perfection is just going to make you feel like you can’t ever achieve your goals.
6 – Knows You Need To Show Up – Every Single Day
Healthy isn’t a clean meal here and there. Healthy isn’t a gym class once a week… maybe. Healthy isn’t an Instagram feed. Healthy is a habit and a commitment you make to yourself each and every day. It requires you to show up, again and again.
You can’t be healthy from one healthy meal. It’s just not how it works. And in the same breath, one piece of cake doesn’t make you unhealthy.
Healthy women make conscious choices to be healthy and they show up. They prioritise their health, they choose the healthier options and they make sure they move and work their bodies.
7 – Being Intentional Is The Best Way To Stay Consistent
You don’t just become healthy by accident. Healthy women are intentional in their actions and know that doing so is the best way for them to stay consistent. They know they need to show up, and they know that some days things just get in the way. So they offset the chances of making unhealthy choices by preparing themselves.
Meal planning is such an amazing way to do this. Setting your intentions at the start of each week, ensuring you have all the groceries you need (your tools) will help you when you’re wondering what you want for dinner and are tempted to just go through the drive through on your way home from work.
Scheduling in your workouts is another way to stay intentional and committed. You don’t need to go to every gym class, but you do need to schedule in your time in the same way you’d schedule an appointment for work.
Healthy women create a habit of making consciously healthy choices every single day.
8 – Comparison Is The Theif Of Joy
Every body is different. Literally, every single body. You cannot compare your health journey to anyone else’s because they will be totally different. You can have two women who eat the same and workout the same every single day and they will still look different.
Getting stuck in a comparison spiral will only steal your joy.
A healthy woman knows the only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. Compare yourself today to yourself yesterday, to yourself a week ago, a month ago. Are you in a healthier position now? Do you feel better about yourself now?
9 – Eat Real Delicious Food (And Occasionally Cake)
If you think eating healthy involves bland salads and kale chips then you’re really missing out on the delicious healthy food that is possible. A healthy woman knows that eating real food is important, food that fuels her body and brain, that is sourced locally when possible and is sustainable.
While healthy women know what healthy food is, they also know that they don’t have to eat perfectly 100% of the time. A healthy woman isn’t going to beat herself up over eating a piece of cake every now and then because she knows that one piece of cake isn’t going to make her unhealthy, just like one healthy meal isn’t going to make her healthy.
10 – Pay Attention To Your Body
Our bodies can tell us so much about what is going on with our health… we just have to learn to listen to it. The human body is designed to work really hard to maintain homeostasis, that is a stable equilibrium. A variation to this equilibrium can tell us so much.
A rise in basal temperature of just 1 degree can indicate that our body is beginning to fight off an infection, a drop in basal temperature can indicate what stage of our menstrual cycle we are in, an increase in cervical mucus can tell us we are in a higher fertility window or a headache can tell us we are dehydrated.
Understanding what your body is telling you is a skill and one that requires you to pay attention to your body. A healthy woman understands that her body can tell her so much, so she pays attention to it.
11 – Smile And Have Fun
The quickest and most effective way to boost your mood, increase your serotonin (the happy hormone) and to just make you feel better is to smile. You don’t even have to mean it! But it’s so much more fun if you do. Healthy women know that happiness is part of their overall health and focus on doing things that make them happy.
When was the last time you actually asked yourself what makes you happy?
A healthy lifestyle is much easier to stick to if it makes you feel good and you enjoy doing it. Why run on a treadmill if you’d prefer to walk along the beach? Why eat kale chips when you prefer green smoothies? Find what it is that makes you smile and have fun and include that in your healthy choices.
These healthy habits don’t need to all happen at once, and often they don’t all happen together either (refer to #5). But they are habits that you can choose to do and choose to include in your days. Which ones are you going to choose today?