Handsome smiling Asian man in maroon hoodie sitting outdoors

Why does being healthy get such a bad rap? Maybe people think it’s all the tofu. Maybe people find potato chips too delicious to give up. Perhaps the treadmill is just too tiring. Who knows? The thing is, having healthy habits, no matter how unappealing it sounds, is good for us. You know it. We know it. If you don’t, then here’s your wake-up call.

Based on the 2020 research “Understanding Filipino Sentiments Toward Health and Critical Illness” commissioned by a top insurance company, 41% of Filipinos are physically inactive, while 29% fall under the overweight mark. Filipinos also ranked fourth in sleep-deprived nations.

On the flip side though, the same study, which surveyed over 500 Filipinos, shows that 63% of respondents want to adopt healthy habits. The “Pulse of Asia: The Health of Asia Barometer” report also reveals that the Philippines ranks fourth among 13 Asian countries in positive health perception, with 57% of the sample size feeling optimistic about their health.

From the Food and Agricultural Organization to The Economist Intelligence Unit, numerous organizations proclaim that most Filipinos can’t afford the healthy lifestyle advised by Western countries. However, you don’t have to start eating plant-based burgers or pumping iron twice a day. You can start small. Whatever your budget or motivation—or lack of—here are five healthy habits that you can seamlessly integrate into your lifestyle. You might not even notice them.

1. Get Some Good Zzzs

Gadgets can keep you awake, so try to turn off any blue light-emitting devices an hour or so before bed. 

Sleep and nutrition go together like Ryan Gosling and looking cool. You probably know that a healthy adult needs around eight hours of sleep, but the quality of your slumber is just as significant, if not more. Nope, you can’t stay up all night playing Mass Effect, then make up for it in the morning.

Sleeping at night, especially between 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., aligns the body’s internal clock. According to the Sleep Foundation, a well-timed circadian rhythm affects mental health, cardiovascular function, and metabolism.

Moreover, a 2019 study in the Nutrients journal reveals that short sleep is linked to nutrient deficiency, with male respondents showing inadequate Vitamin D. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also concludes that proper sleep reduces overeating.

2. Slap on a Fitness Tracker

A fitness tracker helps keep you accountable—or rather, guilty for all the work you didn’t do.

“Hey, dude! Get up and exercise” is easy enough to say. However, you have to be mentally determined to start working out and stick to an exercise regimen. To help you become more accountable, why not wear a fitness tracker?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, fitness trackers make people aware of how little exercise they’re getting. Based on a 2020 study on Digital Health, these types of wearable tech feature psychological techniques that prompt a behavioral change, from notifications and rewards to social support and feedback.

You don’t have to book time at the gym or compose an entire workout plan. Just start moving. For example, stop asking your sister to get the remote control when you can stand up and get it yourself! Answer the doorbell and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Rack up those steps!

3. Healthy Eating Means Balanced Eating

Healthy eating leads to so many benefits, from acne reduction to improved athletic performance. But just because we tell you to eat your vegetables doesn’t mean you will. Instead, take it slow by making healthier choices. Replace the fatty pork with leaner chicken. Load up on healthy snacks instead of chips. Must you have seven slices of pizza? Whittle it down to five. Then maybe three next time? Don’t forget to drink lots of water, too!

4. Practice Proper Hygiene

Proper hygiene means self-care and it’s an important step in becoming a healthier person.

Out of all these tips, being hygienic is probably the easiest to achieve. Whether you’re staying indoors or braving the outdoors, you should bathe at least once a day. Dove Men+Care Strengthening Shampoo works double duty as a shampoo and conditioner, making showering even during the laziest day a faster experience. It has coffee and calcium to fortify the hair from root to end.

Then, wash up with Lifebuoy Antibacterial Body Wash Total 10. These days, we need to clean up as well as we can. This body wash has Activ Silver which removes 10 problem-causing germs to help you feel confident that you’re squeaky clean.

Practicing proper hygiene means you care enough about yourself. And when you care enough about yourself, healthy habits will follow.

5. Create a Routine for Your Healthy Habits

Put everything on a program, whether it’s closing shop on your home-based office or spending some personal time. Developing a routine takes time, so set up notifications if you must.

Schedule everything, even brushing your teeth, which you might conveniently forget due to the current circumstances. Make sure to brush with closeup Natural Smile Toothpaste—yes, even when your meetings are on Zoom (the lemon essence and sea salt will keep your smile bright and attractive even through the skin). Remind yourself to switch off your devices at least an hour before bedtime.

A paper in the British Journal of General Practice explains that it takes 66 days of continuous practice to develop routines. After that period, you won’t need all these notifications. These healthy habits will have stealthily embedded themselves into your lifestyle. Get started on those 66 days now!