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10 Simple Healthy Lifestyle Tips For Everyone

healthy lifestyle tips Nov 11, 2019

10 Simple Healthy Lifestyle Tips For Everyone

Luke Tulloch


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How can I be 100% healthy?


Unfortunately, this is the wrong attitude to have. Health is not always something tangible. You can’t be 58% healthy. The reason why is because we’re a dynamic biological system with different internal factors constantly in flux. When you add the influence of a chaotic external environment, trying to objectively quantify optimal health is really challenging. We obviously have some norms that are considered useful on a population level – blood pressure, BMI, blood glucose and all the other things doctors look for on blood tests.

But there’s a range of standard results on blood tests for a reason. A certain number on a certain test won’t predict what’s going to happen to you in the future. It’s all about risk factors and how they interact with other areas of your life.

I’m sure you’ve been in this situation before: you go for a test and the results are a bit higher than normal. Most likely, the doctor shrugs and says, “come back in a month and we’ll do another test.”

This is a perfect demonstration that there’s no golden number you need to hit to be completely healthy.

Instead, we should be asking how can I improve my overall health?


What are the best health tips?


Again, I think this is asking the wrong question – “best” is up for debate. Here’s how I decide which tips to prioritise: I pick the lowest hanging fruit first.

The number one reason why people don’t do things they know are healthy is because of friction. If there’s even a little hurdle to jump, chances are drastically lower that we’ll engage in a healthy behaviour.

Sometimes a tip that would make the biggest impact on your overall health is also one of the hardest to implement. In this case, I’d argue that smaller, easier-to-accomplish habits are going to have a much bigger impact on your health in the long run.


What are the top 10 ways to stay healthy?


From my experience as a coach, these are the top 10 tips I can give you to improve your overall health. Whether you’re a man, a woman, an athlete or a student - these tips apply to everyone.


Get enough Sleep


Research is mounting on the importance of sleep on cognitive performance, mental health, cardiovascular health, weight loss and mood. There are a few parameters like sleep duration, how we cycle through sleep, continuous versus broken up sleeping periods and so on, but the fundamental factor seems to be sleep duration. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep. There’s only a very small percentage of people who can get away with less and that, and the chances are that you’re not one.



Inadequate sleep affects every organ system. It’s related to lower immune function, worse appetite control, worse reproductive health, increased pain perception, reduced reaction times, reduced memory formation and poorer emotional control.

It’s a major risk factor in Alzheimer’s, cancer and cardiovascular disease, and narcolepsy is a comorbidity with obesity.


Have a regular sleep schedule


Having a regular sleep and wake routine is primarily important for ensuring sleep duration, but it also impacts circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythmicity refers to the regular routines of pulsatile hormone release, organ function and general maintenance that our body goes through on a daily basis. It’s the reason why we tend to get hungry or use the bathroom around the same times each day.

If you do like to sleep in on weekends, try not to wake up more than an hour past your regular weekday schedule.



Other things you can do to help sync your circadian clock is to get outside light exposure in the first half of the day, avoid alcohol and stimulants like caffeine in the hours before bed (since they disrupt normal sleep cycles) and make sure your room is as dark as possible during the night.


Move Often


This is important for a few different reasons. Firstly, contributions from unplanned physical activity are the most variable factor in daily energy expenditure. If you’re trying to maintain your weight, regularly moving throughout the daily burns a surprising number of calories.

Regular movement also improves insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control. By introducing regular periods of physical activity, you’re asking your muscles to use glucose.

It’s also important for posture and general mobility. Bad posture is a common misnomer – there is no such thing as universally bad posture and “your best posture is your next posture”. Spending too long in one position, regardless of what it is, may contribute to a general lack of comfortable range of motion.

Finally, engaging in regular training is definitely a positive habit but sometimes can result in less general movement throughout the day, leading to less calories burned overall and poorer blood glucose control.


Get outside


Being outdoors provides the benefits of blue light that can help set circadian rhythm. Seeing green vegetation has been shown to improve mental outlook and reinforce positive feelings. Often when we’re outdoors we’re also being active, whether that’s playing sports, being social or simply going for a stroll. Moderate sun exposure also boosts Vitamin D, which is important for immune function and general health.

Getting outside is synonymous with multiple other healthy habits.




Decompression time


You can read more about what I mean by this here.

You may interpret this as engaging in mindfulness, self-reflection or even simply daydreaming. Regardless of your chosen route, I think taking time away from highly structured tasks or attention-grabbing media is an emotionally and mentally healthy behaviour.


Be proactive with relationships


One of the more significant predictors of lifelong happiness is a sense of connection with others. There are many relationships we can foster: with work colleagues, with high school friends, with our local community, with family. The key is to be proactive. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the slow drifting apart of people who have a lot to offer each other but aren’t pro-active enough to stoke the flames of the relationship.

One way you can re-connect with people is to write a quick note or email thanking them for something they’ve done for you in the past. It makes you feel good, it makes them feel recognised and it may prompt you both to contribute more to the friendship.  


Do physical training you enjoy


Cardio, weights, yoga, hiking…it’s all good for your health. But don’t let anyone force you into something you don’t enjoy doing. Don’t get me wrong – training should be challenging. That’s the point after all, but it should be something you could see yourself doing a few times a week for the foreseeable future.

I’ll also caution you not to write something off before you’ve given it a good crack. There are plenty of things I never thought I’d enjoy doing, but after giving them a go I found a part of my physicality that I wanted to keep cultivating.

Don’t define yourself only as a bodybuilder or only as a runner – we’re all humans with a hugely adaptable library of physical movements, and the best thing about this is that when you’re not very good at something the threshold for seeing improvement is really low.

The biggest thing is just to be consistent with whatever training you’re doing. Make sure you show up.


Focus on energy balance


At the heart of good health is energy balance. It’s a prerequisite for maintaining a healthy weight, which is itself a major factor in lowering your risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic pain (amongst others – most major preventable diseases are related to obesity).



Energy balance does not necessarily mean counting calories. It’s simply a feature of every successful diet archetype you could care to think of – paleo, low carb, low fat, vegan, intermittent fasting and the rest are all dependent on the fundamental principle of energy balance for success in maintaining weight.

Pick something that suits your lifestyle and appeals to you but understand that at its core is controlling energy balance. This means you can be flexible in how you eat, and you’ll always understand why a diet works or not.


Have a hobby


Focusing exclusively on work is clearly not the healthiest way to spend your life, but just as important is using some of your leisure time to get better at something. It could be woodwork, music, learning a language, writing – whatever. Having a hobby that is separate to what you do to pay the bills is important for your mental health and can become a valuable source of pride and excitement in your life.

Not only this, but it also provides an avenue to make social connections with likeminded people, and if your hobby is something physical then you get the health benefits that come along for the ride too.


Learn to budget


If there’s one thing I wish I had learned earlier in life, it would be this. If I had to guess, I’d say the biggest source of stress in most peoples’ lives would be financial. Learning to budget did the obvious in helping me consolidate my bills and debts, but it also taught me something much more profound.

By budgeting, you are forced to reflect on what’s important to you in life. Does travel mean the world to you? Well, it’ll be suddenly very clear how little your third takeaway coffee for the day ranks when you realise the extra $40 a week could be funding a flight overseas.

You want to buy a house by the time you’re 35? All of a sudden house-sharing in your mid-20s is far more bearable with the greater goal in mind.

I found budgeting removed the stress of emergency situations like medical bills or automotive repairs and helped me clarify what I really want in life. The bubbling anxiety over your bank account dissipates when you take the plunge and do a proper audit of where your money is going, and funnily enough this applies to all of us. I guarantee there are people reading this in the upper bracket of income earners who are feeling the pinch of lifestyle creep, feeling just as queasy about their credit card debt as the small business owner or casually employed student.


The best health tips summed up


There you have it. You’ll notice only a small number of these tips are actually diet and exercise related, and there is definitely more I could have written (eating more vegetables is probably a good honourable mention). It’s clear from the research that health is about far more than how you train and eat, and I imagine some fitness enthusiast reading this might be considering the low-hanging fruit in other areas of life.

Hope this is helpful, thanks for reading.


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