10 Habits of Exceptionally Healthy People

Note: This is a guest post from Tony Schober of CoachCalorie.com
If you were to study all the healthy people in the world, you would begin to notice some character traits and lifestyle behaviors that many of them all share in common. More than likely, your own life could be greatly improved by incorporating all or just a few of these habits.

1. They Eat Whole Foods
If it’s not found that way in nature, they more than likely don’t eat it. Healthy people understand that food is nourishment for the body. They eat for fuel – not for pleasure. They find other ways to make themselves happy other than eating. Healthy people avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners. They drink water and forget about the sugary drinks.
2. They Live an Active Lifestyle
Healthy people tend to live an active lifestyle. Exercise is usually a staple in their lives. They spend less time in front of a TV, and more time out and about accomplishing things and living life. The difference between being on your feet all day and sitting behind a computer can add up to hundreds of calories a day. Compound that number over a year, or a lifetime, and we are talking about tens or even hundreds of pounds of excess body weight.

3. They Manage Stress Well
Stress is a big aging factor. Some would even argue that it’s the #1 factor that influences your health. So many people eat right and work out, but totally throw their mental health out the door. Healthy people don’t sweat the small stuff. They ask themselves if this situation is going to matter a year from now, and if it won’t, they let it go.

4. They Surround Themselves with Other Healthy People
We are highly influenced by the people closest to us. Surrounding yourself with healthy people tends to make you healthy by association. Not only are you motivated and inspired by your healthy friends, but there’s also a sense of social pressure to be healthy yourself when you’re around them. Who says social pressure has to be a bad thing?

5. They Work at a Job They Enjoy
Does your job make you miserable? Healthy people have a job that makes them happy. We’ve all heard the saying that if you work a job you enjoy, you’ll never work a day in your life. Happiness and health are highly correlated. Healthy people tend to be happy. Not only do healthy people tend to like their jobs, but they tend to live for them. They look forward to getting up every day and living their life to the fullest.

6. They Work on Building Self-Confidence
People with self-confidence look healthy, and they carry themselves well. Healthy people have confidence in self. They don’t worry about what other people think. They project a healthy, youthful personality. They surround themselves with positive people that pick them up instead of tear them down, and they go about their days as if they can accomplish anything.

7. They Make Fitness a Priority
Healthy people never say they don’t have time to workout. Regardless of how busy they are, they find a way to make it work. Being healthy makes them happy, and being happy makes you healthy. Just 30 minutes a day of exercise can add years to your life. It makes you look and feel younger and healthier. There are thousands of reasons for why you can’t work out. They put the excuses away and focus on reasons for why they should.

8. They Smile
Smiling projects happiness, which is directly correlated with your health. Try smiling at a stranger and watch the contagiousness of happiness for yourself. Not only do you get a smile back, but it makes you feel good about yourself. You just made someone’s day better. Healthy people understand the link between happiness and health, and they tend to walk around with smiles on their face, or laughter in their hearts.

9. They Do Everything In Moderation
Exceptionally healthy people don’t withhold anything from their lives. They leave the door open to any and all experiences – but they don’t overdo it. Even healthy people aren’t perfect. They might miss a workout, or they might have a bad meal every once in a while. They understand there’s more to life than just trying to be healthy. So they have a piece of cake every once in a while. So what – it makes them happy, and that’s part of what being healthy is all about.

10. They Practice Preventative Maintenance
Healthy people don’t wait for problems to come to them – they go after problems. Regular checkups are the norm for healthy people. People that live long and healthy lives catch problems before they become so big that they destroy their lives. They discover them early and then take action to prevent them from happening again in the future. Their health is a priority, and they don’t bury their heads in the sand hoping for the best. They take action.
Do you consider yourself a healthy person? How many of these habits are incorporated into your life? What habits have you noticed of exceptionally healthy people?
Tony Schober is a health & fitness blogger, and the founder of CoachCalorie.com. Stop by the blog and check out his best 43 fitness tips. If you’re having difficulty losing weight to get healthy, your problem probably lies in one of these 10 reasons you’re not losing weight.
Photo by Elvire.R.


  1. All good, except number 5. Not everyone can have a job they enjoy! We can’t all be artists or life coaches or CEO of Apple. You have to take what works for your life, location, financial needs and skill set.
    For example, I work in customer services dealing with shockingly rude and paranoid people all day. It pays well, which means I can do nice things with my spare time, and has extremely flexible hours, which means I get to stay home with my son. The latter is a far greater gift – and positive contribution to my health! – than chasing an unattainable dream.

    • Hey Becca, I think everyone can have a job they enjoy – but not everyone has one πŸ˜‰
      You certainly don’t need one to be healthy, but it is a common trait among healthy people.
      I couldn’t handle customer service. Too much stress for me!
      Thanks for sharing, you make a very good point.

      • I agree with Tony, everyone can have a job they enjoy. Some people may feel that a customer service job is the greatest job in the world, helping people and making rude, angry people happy. Personally, I could not do it so I think it is great that you can Becca. I have tried it and I agree, many people in the world are shockingly rude.
        I am glad #5 was included. Too many people talk about living a healthy life and don’t include work. Yes, they talk about work-life balance, but not specifically about having a job that is personally fulfilling. It really does make a difference and often, that difference can be made merely by a change in attitude.
        I have a question about #1 – Eat whole foods. The last sentence talks about drinking water and avoiding sugary drinks. I drink a lot of tea. I make it by the gallon and go through about a gallon every day and a half. I make it with green tea (3 tea bags) and 1/4 cup of sugar.
        Tony, I am curious of your opinion about the tea. I have tried to drink only unsweet tea, but I really don’t like it but making it with only 1/4 cup of sugar per gallon of water is a pretty good compromise. What do you think?

        • Hey Alan, I’m not a fan of refined sugar. That being said, I am a fan of compromises, and I think that 1/4 cup per gallon (or about 3 grams per 8 ounce cup of tea) isn’t going to kill you.
          I’d much rather see people doing that than using artificial sweeteners.

          • Tony, thanks for the reply. I agree about the refined sugar but I am hesitant about the artificial stuff; we never really know what it is doing to our bodies until years later. I have used honey in the past and it does pretty good (adds a slight taste to the tea).

  2. Sounds like a good set to work with. Since stress attacks most of us in a profound way and definitely messes with our health, I can understand each of these. I think if I cannot find a job I enjoy, I may need to find a way to enjoy my job and lesson its stress.
    I do most of these, but found it interesting, you wrote fitness twice but in a slightly different manner. I get getting moving is huge on the healthy scale, huh.

    • Fitness is definitely a big deal when it comes to health. I could have written 100 different ways fitness makes you healthy. Proper nutrition and exercise are mandatory for good health.

  3. Becca, I highly recommend the book ‘Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience’ to you; it’s exactly the point you make that we may not have control over our workplace but we do have control over how much fun we have at that job. Hope you love it, and love your job more!
    I worked in customer service many times but found joy in making people feel happier at the end of the call then they were at the beginning. Keep up the great work, we appreciate you for it!
    Thanks for the great article Tony and Donald! – Megan

  4. Great post, I couldn’t agree with you more! I particularly like #9, “Everything in Moderation” although it sometimes conflicts with #1. I am a healthy and young 62 year old who practices these habits. Thanks.

    • Hey Barbara, they could conflict. However, 95% of the time they are still eating to nourish their bodies. They might have the occasional cheat meal, but they understand the purpose, and they don’t make it part of their daily lives. It’s all about their way of thinking.
      Congrats on your good health at such a young age. πŸ˜‰

  5. […] and fitness blogger Tony Schober sharesΒ 10 Habits of Exceptionally Healthy People on Life […]

  6. After reading this I realize that I’m definitely on the right path to becoming an exceptionally healthy person. Eating whole foods is a BIG thing for me, and your description of that tip is spot on.
    I also have a job I completely love, and I have a low stress level (maybe that helps with the job too). I really work towards enjoying life and becoming healthier everyday. Great post. Thanks for sharing your perspective Tony!

  7. Great post! Yes, I do consider myself a healthy person now. I struggled with an eating disorder for 14 years and am now recovering.
    I abused most of the points you made for way too long but was able to regain balance and I am now healthier than ever before.
    I think that doing everything in moderation, taking time for yourself and always listening to your body is an essential part of being a healthy person.

  8. Hey Anne. I don’t think healthy people were always perfect. I believe they recognized their mistakes and took the initiative to make changes in their lifestyles. Sounds like you’re one of those people πŸ™‚

  9. Health is nothing what we can buy. So we have to work for it!
    My way is running! So I made Fitness a Priority!
    Thank you for the good tipps!

  10. Great list… I’ll have to print it out so I can refer to it in the future.
    I’m currently looking for better work to pay the bills. Applying to tons of jobs, most of which I have no interest in, but I need money. I’d love to work at a job I enjoy (#5), but bills come first.
    Currently sitting under a ton of school loan debt, so most of these aren’t in my life. In 15-20 years, once my school loans are paid off, then I can think about implementing some of these. Until then, shelter and whatever is cheap to eat is how I’m living.

    • I can understand where you are coming from but keep in mind that 15-20 years is a huge chunk of life. Choices you make now, even small choices, tend to be amplified in years to come. Getting your finances under control is vital, but if you are eating what is cheap just because it is cheap, you are sacrificing short term money for long term health. Eating well does not have to be expensive (beans and rice are cheap, nutritious, and tasty when prepared properly). You can either spend a little money now on better food (whole foods, vegetables, etc) or a lot on money on health care later
      As for the job, you may need the money now, but you should be considering how to make money on the side. For years I had the concept that the only way I could make more money is get a better job. Starting a side business that you enjoy has more benefits than just money. It helps you do work you enjoy which is much more valuable than money (believe me, it really is).
      Check out 48days.com. Dan Miller, author of 48 days to the Work You Love, has a great podcast and blog. If money is tight, go to the public library and see if you can check out the book (that is what I did). There are many other resources, but that one is the one I started with.
      If you are working in a job you don’t enjoy (I did for 5 years) you can’t imagine what a difference it makes to be doing something you love or at least, don’t hate. Explore self-employment at least as a side business. I think you will be glad you did (I am)

      • Good points Alan. Eating healthy is no more expensive than eating all that processed food. Plus, you get the added benefit of being healthy in the future, and as you said, less health care costs. It’s win win.
        Good advice on starting your own business too. I couldn’t agree more!

    • Hey Daniel, I remember being caught in that catch 22 too. The key is to work that job while you start another one. It is a lot of work. Don’t let anyone tell you that starting your own business is hard.
      However, it’s highly possible. Find something you enjoy and you will want to spend time doing it when you’re not at your real job. In time, you’ll be able to quit that job and focus on your passion full time. Good luck!

  11. many thanks for enriching our knowledge with good information , thank you for communicating .

  12. This is a great list, but I disagree with the assertion in your first point that exceptionally healthy people “eat for fuel – not for pleasure.” There is no shame in, and nothing unhealthy about, taking pleasure in healthy eating.
    I eat a primariy plant-based diet and am dedicated to eating heathy meals, but take great pleasure in cooking and eating a delicious dish! Since switching to a healthier diet, I have found many ways to make “health food” even more delicious than the typical American junk we all think we can’t live without. It takes a bit more creativity and work, but I don’t even crave the garbage food of my past.
    I think the assumption that one must choose between delicious unhealthy food and flavorless healthy food is one of the broadest misconceptions holding Americans back from eating healthy and enjoying it.

    • I agree with you issues of people eating for fuel not pleasure, Danielle. I think we often make an either-or choice when it comes to healthy cooking; either we eat healthy and don’t enjoy it or we enjoy what we eat and consume junk. The media has led us to believe the only way we can be happy is to eat cookies and desserts all the time. It is amazing how much of an effect the media has on all aspects of life.
      Good, healthy food can be delicious, look good, and satisfy our hunger just as much if not better than all the junk foods. Most people are looking for the best diet foods; diet cookies, no-fat butter, etc. If they just ate healthier and put just a little effort into food selection, there is little need for a diet. Your body will function better and get to a healthy weight when you feed it properly. Thanks

    • Hey Danielle. I agree with you. I do not think that healthy food can’t taste good. The point I was making is that healthy people understand what food is meant for. It is meant to nourish the body. You can eat for fuel and pleasure. However, once you start eating for pleasure only, bad things start to happen. You must see food for what it is.
      Good points. It’s not either/or, but you must understand that food is fuel.

  13. Hey Tony!
    This is very good and I find it your points to be true! I do most if not all of these, but fitness is something, I’m must focus on more. I’ll reach my goals.
    Another great article, Tony! Keep it up!
    Take care,

  14. Loved the habits list, its truly inspirational!

  15. Thanks for this great post, but I disagree on one point: “they eat for fuel – not for pleasure”. I think enjoying eating nutricious food is crucial to keep you healthy (by making you eating smaller amounts of food)and can prevent many eating disorders. So let’s not forget about pleasure too!

    • I agree Laurie – see the comments above this one. Healthy people enjoy their food, but they all understand that it’s meant to be fuel for the body – pleasure is just a pleasant side effect.

  16. I could’t agree more about every single one of these things! I could probably work on eating more whole foods though.

  17. I enjoyed the article thanks Tony. they were inspirational!
    keep it up!

  18. Its very Nice …. Thanks ..

  19. I defintely believe that daily exercise and healthy eating are the top most best things you can do for your life. : )
    – Linda

  20. I really like this article. It is so true that it is healthy to eat for fuel not pleasure. Sure that piece of cake is great once in a while but constant doses of it is lethal. I love your website!

  21. Great article I enjoyed it.

  22. Great article! I’m only a teenager but even I found some tips I would like to use. I want to be the healthiest me possible. I tend to worry and stress a lot, and I’ve been trying to destroy that problem, it is because of a few traumatic experiences I’ve had during my childhood. I just need to learn to let go and have fun every once in a while, and this article help guide me towards that decision along with a few other resources.

  23. What a great article. 2013 is finally the year that I have decided to get healthier, so this article is my benchmark, and I will definitely keep coming back to it! It definitely aligns not only with my weight loss, but being happy overall. Thank you for sharinfg this!

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