1 – Adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet. This means eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, etc., instead of animal
products and processed foods. When you get back to the basics of eating whole plant foods – the ones without ingredient lists – you really can’t go wrong and your body will thank you.

2 – Drink more water. You’ve probably heard that you should aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough, but other people might need more. Either way, be sure to pay attention to your daily intake as this is necessary to stay hydrated and flush toxins from the body.

3 – Get 30 minutes of activity each day. We know exercising is good for us, but that doesn’t mean you have to embark on strenuous treadmill workouts or exhausting gym sessions. A brisk walk, a comfortable bike ride, or even gardening can suffice. You could also consider opting for a standing desk at work. Think of it this way – sitting is the new smoking.

4 – Seek out a new hobby (or hone a current one). Whether it’s volunteering, painting, or signing up for a community education class, hobbies allow individuals to pursue a passion and feel a sense of purpose. This is an important aspect of carrying out a healthy

5 – Get 8 hours of sleep each night. Adequate sleep is important to memory/cognitive health, and our bodies need to be well-rested in order to efficiently tackle each day’s tasks. Just like spending too much time on the couch and eating poorly, deficient sleep habits can be a serious risk factor to one’s wellbeing.

6 – Meditate. Stress can wreak havoc on the mind and body, so it’s critical to keep it in check. In addition to exercise and getting enough shut eye, mediation is another technique to keep stress and tension at bay. Meditating can be as simple to include light stretching, taking five minutes to focus on your breathing, and/or repeating a positive intention you have for the day.

7 – Focus on gratitude. Research shows a positive attitude helps build a healthier immune system, increases happiness, and boosts overall health. Each day, think about one or two (or more!) things you are grateful for. This is a great activity to work into your daily meditation practice.

All the above actions are encompassed in the lifestyle medicine approach to health. You can read more about what lifestyle medicine is here.