“Habits are malleable throughout your entire life.”
As the designated “content Sherpa” for Happy Living, I peruse the internet in search of ideas and inspiration to share with the Happy Living community. I look for articles and stories that align with our mission to “improve the health and wellbeing of the world, one person at a time,” and those that dovetail with our Seven Foundations of Health.
Throughout this process, I’ve started incorporating things I am reading into my life. This was happening subconsciously at first, but now that I’m aware I’m doing it, I’ve started calling these integrations “happy habits” and sharing about them in this quarterly post. (Read my first Happy Habits post here.)
Today, I’m writing to share share some of my newest happy habits with you, in hopes that they’ll support and inspire you in improving your own health and wellbeing.
Stand Up While You Work
Standing desks have been rising in popularity over the past few years. The idea is that, rather than sitting at a desk all day, which can wreak havoc on the body, you alternate between sitting and standing as you move through the day. Some standing desks are adjustable in height and can be used for both positions (sitting and standing), and some people have separate standing desks to facilitate standing more during the workday.
According to Dr. Josh Axe, the benefits of utilizing a standing desk—even for as little as two hours a day–include: longer life expectancy, lower chronic disease risk, improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and boosted productivity .
I’ve set up a standing desk in my home office, and I’ve been using it for about sixth months. Typically, I stand 2-3 hours a day, and while everyone has their own routine, I’m sure, I’m happy to share mine: I stand for half an hour, walk around the house a bit, take the dog out, and then transition to seated work. I shift back to standing when I feel my focus is waning or if I need to get into a different headspace. By changing my physical state and perspective (going from a seated position to standing) my mental state shifts, which often allows for greater focus.
Get Outside More
As we know, being outdoors offers a whole slew of health benefits, including: improved mood, increased vitamin D levels, and increased creativity and focus. A great article from Bulletproof , an organization that focuses on optimizing health, extolls the benefits of sunbathing. However, rather than traditional sunbathing (laying out in the backyard or on the beach), they recommend immersing yourself in nature, perhaps by walking under a canopy of trees. Some of the benefits they share are reduced stress, boosted immune function, and improved sleep and energy.
I have always been a big fan of getting outside. That said, I admit that I don’t seek nature out as often as I’d like. I’ve been trying to do better lately, because I definitely never regret the times that I do, and as I’ve learned more about the benefits of being outdoors, I’ve made even more of an effort. I’ve made this effort because, being outdoors allows me to reset, unwind, and clear my mind which is something I need.
This one is pretty simple: when possible, walk (instead of driving) to get wherever you’re going.
Walking is the bedrock of health and fitness. According to a piece from Prevention magazine, walking can improve your mood, get your creative juices flowing, and slash your risk for chronic disease. Perhaps most importantly, if you walk enough, it’ll make your legs look great!
I am fortunate to live in a compact city in Montana, within a mile and a half of grocery stores, good restaurants and my gym. Lately, I’ve been taking full advantage of the proximity and doing the bulk of my errands on foot. I walk to the grocery store around 5 times a week, which has not only turned into a lovely way to get my daily walking in, but also supports me in eating fresher food, as I buy only what I can carry (typically only what I am going to eat in the next few days).
Of course, if you don’t live somewhere where it is reasonable to walk your errands, there are other ways to incorporate more walking into your life. Consider beginning a ritual of going for a walk each morning or evening as way to get into your body and improve your health and wellbeing.
What happy habits have you been employing lately?
I look forward to hearing from you, about how these happy habits (or others you’ve come up with on your own) are improving your life! Leave a comment below, or feel free to email me.
Until next time, here’s hoping you find happiness in Happy Habits!
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