11 Habits Healthy People Have (And Unhealthy People Don’t)

If you want to be rich, you study the rich. If you want to be brainy, you do what brainy people do. And if you want to be successful, you check out what successful people do and take note. Right? So if you want to be healthy and have healthy habits, you have to do what healthy people do day in and day out.

What makes this list special is this: unhealthy people don’t do these things – at least not all of them. That’s probably why they’re unhealthy. You don’t want to be them. If you are, you’ll never get to where you want to go and you’ll never really reach your fitness potential.

Think about it.

Healthy is as healthy does. We’ve made it easy for you this time by pulling together a list of the healthy habits you should start practicing every day or as often as you can.

The Secret to Keeping Healthy Habits for Life

Healthy habits

Before you get started with any new healthy habit or lifestyle, realize that you’ll either forget or want to quit – especially in the beginning. They say new habits take around 21 days to develop. Whether it’s 21 days, 10 days, or 30 days, just keep at it. You’re going to forget sometimes. That’s okay. Keep these list handy or bookmark it in your browser so you can come back to it if you need to.

11 Habits Healthy People Have that Unhealthy People Don’t

#1 – They Make Plans

Is this you? Roll out of bed in the morning. Sleepwalk your way to your car, bus, cab, subway – or whatever transportation you use to get to work. Drink coffee you don’t like just to wake up.

Healthy people don’t live life that way. They just don’t. Think of the healthiest person you know. He or she probably thinks through almost every decision and starts with intentions. They wake up ready for the day (usually because they’re well rested – see # 11).

Listen, healthy habits require intention. You don’t just stumble into a healthy lifestyle.

To be healthy, you have to plan to be healthy. You have to plan for each day, each week, and each year. Healthy people make big plans and set goals. Then, they work to achieve them.

#2 – They Talk Less and Do More

Healthy people don’t just talk about what they’re going to do. They do those things and more.

Here’s what unhealthy people do: talk about all of the things they wish they could do or would do, were it not for X, Y, or Z. They make excuses. They forget. Or they say that they’ll do it someday.

If you want to be healthy, you’ll have to follow through on your plans. Whether they are for exercise, nutrition, mental health, financial health, or something else entirely. You cannot just set goals and never do anything about them. That is not healthy – that’s unhealthy. Healthy habits require follow through.

#3 – They Don’t Make Excuses

This goes with #2. Healthy habits and excuses don’t work well together. Excuses stick to unhealthy people like glue. They follow them wherever they go.

  • I missed the train.
  • I’m so tired after work.
  • I’m not a morning person.
  • My knees are bad.
  • It’s tough for me to stick to a diet.
  • I have a sweet tooth.

Seriously. The list of excuses unhealthy people make for why they’re unhealthy is probably longer than the circumference of the globe.

Healthy people, on the other hand, don’t make excuses. They find a way. By working around pain, limitations, disabilities, shortcomings, bad situations, and all of the things life throws at them, healthy people succeed.

#4 – They See the Bigger Picture

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In order to develop healthy habits, you need to figure out why it matters to you so much. Habits need time, and if you don’t know why you’re doing this, you’ll give it. It’ll stop making sense.

A phrase common in the gym is, “no pain, no gain.” We know that actual pain is bad, and that’s not the kind of pain the phrase is talking about. It’s talking about discomfort – the stuff that makes you throw in the towel before it’s time.

Healthy people know why they do what they do. Maybe it’s about their kids, or about fighting disease. Whatever the bigger picture is, they can see the finish line before other people can. And when it gets tough, they keep going because they remember why they started.

#5 – They Create Routines

Healthy people have routines. A routine in the gym. A routine at home. They typically create lists. They make sense of their world. Routines create reliability, a sense of security, and mental stability.

A little chaos is okay, but a chaotic lifestyle isn’t okay. You can’t build habits if your life goes awry constantly. Start really small – like creating a grocery store routine. Do that every time you shop. Then find a couple gym routines that you can follow. Have a bedtime routine. Simple. But do it.

#6 – They Avoid Fads

If you want to be healthy, steer clear of fads. Fad diets, fad workouts, and fad music (okay, that last one is optional).

Healthy people avoid fads and just stick with what works. Ask any of our personal trainers and they will probably tell you that fads don’t work and that there are consistently proven ways to lose weight, build muscle, and reach your fitness goals.

#7 – They Research Food and Nutrition

Healthy food

The truth is that healthy people don’t like eating garbage. Okay, no one actually likes eating garbage… but if you think about it, junk food is garbage. Healthy people don’t eat it.

They know what’s in their food. Even more, they know what their bodies need to perform at optimal levels. Healthy people research food and ingredients.

Unhealthy people eat what tastes good. They’re the ones who say, “Who cares what’s in it?” because they really don’t care. Or they make excuses for junk. Of all the healthy habits, start with this one: know your food.

#8 – They Exercise Correctly

You know that guy at the gym who’s so busy trying to look huge that he’s lifting way too much in the wrong way?

Don’t be that guy.

Healthy people exercise correctly and safely. They care for their joints properly and want to be mobile for life, not just for the meantime. They wear proper shoes, lift the right amount of weight, and ask for support when needed.

Unhealthy people make the wrong choices either out of pride or sometimes just ignorance. If you want to be healthy, you need to exercise properly.

#9 – They’re Grateful


Healthy people practice gratitude on a regular basis. Health isn’t just about the body – it’s about the mind, too. The healthiest people take a full body and mind approach to fitness, and it begins with gratitude.

Wake up every single day grateful that you did. Then, consider all of the incredible things in your life and be grateful for them all. Be grateful for your body and that you can work out when you need to. And be grateful that you have the opportunity to create healthy habits while you still can.

#10 – They Make Healthy Friends

Healthy people are happy people, and happy people have healthy friends. They’re surrounded by others who care about their health and their lifestyle.

Eventually, as you develop healthy habits, your social circle will change to support them. It’s inevitable. Fit people want to be around fit people. They get it. That’s why healthy people make a habit of collecting new friends that support their new lifestyle.

Unhealthy people usually don’t have a lot of healthy friends. We become like those we surround ourselves with. So if you want to be healthy, take a look at your friends and think about how they’re affecting you.

#11 – They Sleep

Last, but not least, healthy people get their rest. Sleep is such a critical component of a healthy lifestyle that we couldn’t leave it off this list in good conscience. Healthy people are the ones who leave a party just a little earlier than everyone else because rest is key. Your body needs it to be able to function optimally.

Whether it’s 5, 6, or 7 hrs of sleep, healthy people shoot for a full night’s rest. Resting allows them to wake up refreshed and ready to go the next day. Not to mention, sleep prolongs life and fights illness. So, get your rest as a part of building healthy habits.

Are you healthy or unhealthy?

This list should help you see that being healthy and appearing healthy are totally separate things. Truly healthy people lead healthy lifestyles, in and out of the gym. The healthy habits these people do each and every day contribute to a longer, happier life. Which habit will you start with?

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