Make resilience a priority with healthy habits

Friends walking a dog on a trail outside on a sunny day.


As we navigate our way to the other side of a global public health crisis, I’ve been thinking about the healthy habits behind the body’s daily rhythm.

The same habits that keep the body and brain humming along while we go about our business also move us closer to the resilience we need to face whatever life throws our way.

What’s exciting to me is these habits are a choice. And for that I’m grateful. There’s no predetermined destiny afoot. No inescapable fate at play, and no immutable barrier holding us back. In other words, we all have the ability to choose to be more resilient, and it starts with healthy habits.

Choose a foundation of healthy habits

If I had to pick three habits that are the foundation of my health and resilience over the years, I would choose my diet, my exercise routine and my relationships with family and friends.

To be sure, there are other lifestyle habits—restful sleep, positive outlook, stress reduction, among others—that play a role in resilience and health, but for me, these three habits percolate to the top of the list. Here’s the breakdown.

Dr. Sam and his family are hiking in the mountains. A waterfall is visible in the background.

Beautiful Telluride. Out on a summer hike with the family. Photo: Francesca Rehnborg

Healthy habit #1: Choose to stay active

Now that I’m in my mid-80s, my activity certainly looks different from when I was younger. Back in the day, Francesca and I loved training and running marathons. But as the saying goes, the only constant is change (including my joints that are a little worse for the wear), so we adjusted to make staying active an easy choice.

Today, the day starts with my morning Pilates, and Francesca and I make sure our daily routine includes at least one walk outside in nature. As I talked about in a previous post, a nature walk is just about the best stress-reducing, mood-boosting habit I can think of.

[RELATED: The physical and mental benefits of nature]

A family meal at Dr. Sam's home. Lots of colorful is on a table with a bouquet of flowers in the middle.

A meal made with love by my daughter Koral. I’m sure lucky to be surrounded by such great cooks! Photo: Francesca Rehnborg

Healthy habit #2: Choose to eat a healthy diet

As many of you know, Francesca and I are partial to a Mediterranean-style, whole-food, plant-based diet. Since Francesca is an amazing cook, this has always been an easy choice. She prepares savory dishes inspired by her Italian background with plenty of olive oil, veggies, fruits and whole grains.

It’s a way of eating that is as delicious as it is healthy. And, as the number of cookbooks, culinary classes and online cooking tutorials continues to grow, it’s also an easy choice for just about anyone interested in this eating style.

[RELATED: Looking for longevity? Consider the ‘Blue Zone’ lifestyle]

Dr. Sam family photo.

Surrounded by my wonderful family. We are missing some, pictured here are the California clan. May 2021.

Healthy habit #3: Nurture relationships with family and friends

I’ve talked about the importance of relationships in a previous post, and how people who nurture good relationships tend to be happier and healthier. That alone is inspiration enough for me to stay connected with family and friends and celebrate life. Plus, sharing adventures (and a little friendly competition) with loved-ones is just plain fun.

[RELATED: Friends and family can make all the difference]

The bottom line

While behavior experts continue to debate the best way to turn a healthy behavior into a regular habit, they do agree on one thing: Make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Circumstances may require that you adjust things here and there (like trading in your running shoes for hiking boots as you age), but knowing that you can help fortify your health simply by choosing healthy habits can be inspiring.

[RELATED: 7 ways to make healthy eating habits stick]

I encourage you to choose a path toward a healthy, resilient future. Start with staying active, eating well, and connecting with those who matter most to you. Most of all, I encourage you to find ways to make the healthy choice the easy choice so you’ll stick with it.

To read Dr. Sam’s full blog on choosing healthy habits, visit And to learn more about how Nutrilite™ supplements can be part of a healthy lifestyle, click on the links below.

Dr. Sam Rehnborg stands in a field at Nutrilite Trout Lake Farm in the U.S. state of Washington.Dr. Sam Rehnborg is the son of Carl Rehnborg, who founded the Nutrilite™ brand in 1934. Dr. Sam held many roles with the company over the years and now is president of the Nutrilite Health Institute. His passion is helping people achieve their potential through healthy living. You can learn more about him and read all his blogs at Or, have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing to the RSS feed.

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