24 Healthy Living Tips for 2024 - 405 Magazine

24 Healthy Living Tips for 2024

Local experts share insight, advice and healthy living tips for 2024.

Fresh fruits and vegetables arranged to show healthy living tips for 2024.

Photo by Charlie Neuennschwander

Healthy living is a whole-body, all-encompassing concept. The ways we eat, move and think work in tandem, each with the power to lift up — or drag down — the others. Seeking best practices to kick off, we turned to the experts, gathering advice from registered dietician Umo Callins, fitness director Robbi Nartey and licensed professional counselor Karen Plants. We think you’ll find their insights both practical and inspiring.

When body and mind are in sync, your entire being feels it, rejoicing in the harmony. A new year prompts new possibilities. Making healthy habits part of our day-to-day living, merrily, we hum along.


Meet the Expert

Umo Callins is the owner and founder of Well Rooted Health and Nutrition. She is a registered dietitian nutritionist, board-certified sports dietitian, certified personal trainer and pre- and post-natal corrective exercise specialist with more than 10 years of experience. Callins works with clients on weight loss, weight management and nutritional management of diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and hormone imbalances.

Umo Callins owns Well Rooted Health and Nutrition in Oklahoma City.

1. Good Food, Good Mood – Want to feel fantastic from the inside out? Select foods that keep your blood sugar steady. When your blood sugar spikes or plummets, you feel irritable. (Yes, “hangry” is a real thing.) When you have good nutritional habits — including staying ahead of hunger and making healthy food choices — your mind and body function at their highest levels.

2. Create a Healthy Plate – Here’s an easy visual for meal planning: First, fill one-quarter of your plate with lean proteins. Chicken, ground turkey, lean cuts of steak and fish are all great options. And be generous with your quarter; people often don’t get enough protein. Next, fill another quarter with complex carbohydrates, avoiding anything overly processed. Brown rice, beans and sweet potatoes (“loaded” sparingly) add much-needed fiber to the meal. Finally, finish the last half of your plate with colorful vegetables or a mixture of fruits and vegetables, which are full of micronutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. Bon appetit.

3. Think of Food as Fuel – Explore your relationship with food. Do you eat when you’re stressed? Excited? Bored? Maybe you’re turning to food for the wrong reasons. Shifting your mindset and intentionally consuming food to fuel your day can shift what and how you eat. If you are hungry, you should tune into your body (which could be “running on empty”) and nourish yourself appropriately. Healthy “fuels” keep us operating at our peak and feeling our best. 

4. Treat Yourself in Moderation – No one is perfect. Holding yourself to a strict, no-frills diet is often unattainable; it just doesn’t align with real life. Your year will be full of gatherings and celebrations, and you should be able to treat yourself on joyous occasions. However, try to savor the sweet moments in life without going overboard. You don’t have to have five pieces of pie or five margaritas. Food is meant to be enjoyable, so do enjoy — but it’s also meant to be nourishing. Aim for balance.

Fresh fruits and vegtables arranged to show healthy living tips for 2024.
Photo by Charlie Neuennschwander

5. Celebrate Progress, not Perfection – Repeat: No one is perfect. Sometimes when we feel we aren’t doing something perfectly, we feel like we shouldn’t do anything at all. Remember to give yourself grace. It takes time to undo unhealthy habits and figure out what works best for your lifestyle. Focus on what you are doing right, and move forward from there. Positive momentum will build. Keep going.

6. Be Wary of Trends – There is a lot of money to be made in the wellness space, and January is prime time for new products, programs and promotions. Before you buy into the latest trend, do your research. Is there evidence to support what someone is trying to sell you? Is the program offering a sustainable lifestyle change? Who is backing it — a celebrity or a nutritionist? That makes a difference. Make sure it all makes sense, because you don’t want to adopt a new program with adverse effects.  

7. Make Meal Prep a Snap – If you’re finding the intention is there, but the execution is not, try buying pre-prepped foods. Many grocery stores package easy-to-grab cut vegetables and fruits, as well as oven-ready meats. If you tend to grab whatever is easy when hunger strikes, try buying in bulk and packaging individual portions in advance. With a little forethought and planning, you can make it easy to pull a healthy meal together and set yourself up for success.


Local businesses that prepare healthy meals put nourishing nutritional choices within reach. Chef Curry to Go (chefcurrytogo.com) offers local meal prep subscriptions on a monthly basis, ranging from six to 10 meals per week. FreshFit405 (freshfit405.com) is another service with a retail location at 6200 W. Memorial Road, where you can pop in and pick up, with delivery options as well. 

8. Adopt SMART Goals – When outlining your goals, do it in a “SMART” way to prevent getting overwhelmed and discouraged. This acronym stands for goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-stamped. Set small goals that align with positive behaviors. Little by little, you can nudge your lifestyle in the right direction. 



Meet the Expert

Robbi Nartey is the director of fitness at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. She has spent 26 years working in the health and fitness industry, previously serving as the studio manager and an instructor at Lifetime Fitness in North Oklahoma City. Nartey is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, nutritionist and pilates instructor. She develops personalized programs for clients based on each person’s unique goals and lifestyle.

Robbi Nartey is the director of fitness at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club.

9. Decrease Stress to Increase Results – When your sympathetic nervous system — your fight or flight response — is overactive, you carry that stress (an overproduction of cortisol, stored as fat) in your belly. Take inventory of your stress levels, and take steps to alleviate stress wherever you can. By destressing mentally, physically and emotionally, you open the door to more productive workouts. In fact, healthy movement actually starts with a healthy mindset.

10. Stop Obsessing Over the Scale – When you amp up your fitness routine, don’t measure your success by the number on the scale. Rather, evaluate the effects by how you’re feeling. Have your mood, energy level and sleep improved? That’s a win. You’ll feel the benefits before you see them. Also, remember that when you lose fat, you gain muscle, so your weight may increase. If you must use numbers to track progress, look at your body measurements instead, measuring around your middle, arms and legs every six weeks. 

11. Join a Group – Stepping into a group class for the first time can be intimidating, but once you get there the energy can inspire you to work harder. Group sessions can keep you on task and hold you accountable, especially if you are meeting up with friends. Groups are a great way to make a workout fun.


  • The Body Barre is a thriving group exercise community located in downtown Edmond. Classes include barre, yoga, dance fitness and high-energy aerobic toning.
  • Myriad Gardens offers free yoga sessions, where you can revel in the camaraderie and the beauty of your natural surroundings.
  • If running is more your speed, Red Coyote Running and Fitness offers training sessions for all levels, based out of its Classen Curve location. If you’re new to running, this is a great place to start; Red Coyote has trained more than 4,000 “newbies” to run their first 5K.  
A variety of exercise equipment styled for a photo to show healthy living tips for 2024.
Photo by Charlie Neuennschwander

12. Prioritize Strength Training – Around 40-plus years, our muscle fibers begin to shorten. Therefore, strength training should become a priority as we age. Weekly pilates, yoga and barre sessions and daily 30-minute walks boost core strength, flexibility and balance. These exercises also reiterate lateral (sideways) movements, a skill that can be lost without regular practice, leading to falls. Whatever strength-building exercise you choose, do it consistently to build muscle over time. 

13. Walk with Purpose – Walking daily has numerous physical and mental benefits. Use your walk as an opportunity to destress. Don’t take the dog, who may tug on the leash and distract you. Don’t listen to podcasts about politics or world events. Instead, try using your walking routine to be mindful. Notice the nature around you and breathe in the fresh air. 

14. Add in Cardio Bursts – High intensity interval training (HIIT) and sprint interval training (SIT) workouts provide short bursts of cardio with lasting results. They give your heart a hearty workout, and research shows that after doing HIIT and SIT workouts, your body remains in a high metabolic state and calorie-burning zone for a longer period of time. If the thought of a one-hour spin class sounds exhausting (because it is), try shorter workouts with cardio bursts instead. 

15. Focus on the “3 M’s” – Mind, Movement and MetabolismStart with your mind. Identify areas where you can relieve stress. Then incorporate movement. Be intentional and consistent. Finally, feed your body to boost metabolism. Body harmony occurs when energy out (calories burned) equals energy in (calories consumed). That’s when you feel your best. 


Meet the Expert

With 40 years of experience, Karen Plants is a licensed professional counselor serving clients through her company, Karen Plants LPC LLC. She fosters a non-judgmental, accepting environment where clients of all ages can share concerns, fears and feelings. Specializing in anxiety, depression and relationship issues, Plants helps clients relieve pain, gain self-acceptance and find a path to peace.

Karen Plants is a licensed professional counselor serving clients through her company, Karen Plants LPC LLC.

16. Nurture Relationships – The COVID-19 pandemic left its mark on society in many ways, including an epidemic of loneliness. After being isolated for so long, it can be challenging to reengage. However, humans are social animals; we need connection to thrive. By prioritizing relationships, we gain partners to share laughs as well as struggles. Think of life’s hardships like carrying a heavy bag of rocks. A trusted friend or family member can help lighten the load, carrying a few of those rocks for you, by offering a listening ear and feedback.

17. Nurture Yourself – The constant push and pull of meeting others’ needs can become depleting. When we don’t meet our own self-care needs — such as eating well, exercising, getting outside, finding solitude and/or connecting with a friend — we feel frustrated, lonely and angry. We take it out on the world when our personal needs aren’t met. Only you know what you need to do to feel fully complete and satisfied. Even when life gets busy, don’t deny yourself that care. 

18. Clean and Declutter your Home – There is a strong connection between mental health and how we manage our surroundings. You can often tell when a person is depressed; his or her home may be unclean, disorganized and/or lacking food. On the other hand, when we take care of our homes, it provides a sense of comfort, safety and pride. In addition, having a clean and clutter-free home allows you to turn off your brain. You can relax instead of constantly noticing areas that need to be dusted or organized. Making your space a beautiful reflection of your interests and personality also soothes the soul. 

19. Embrace Altruism – Giving to others is really a way of giving a gift to yourself. It makes us feel good when we’ve helped someone out, even if it’s done privately. Be kind. Share a smile. Open a door. Volunteer. And bask in the happiness it brings. 

20. Go Outside – The sun is a natural mood enhancer. Not only does it provide a dose of Vitamin D, it also increases serotonin in your brain. Walking around the block allows you to literally step away from the obligations distracting your mind at home or work. Sometimes we can even solve problems when we give ourselves the time to walk and think.   

21. Delight the Senses – For mental wellness, seek out activities that delight and challenge you. Journaling can help you get ruminations out of your mind and on to paper. Try out a hobby, sport or art project to focus your mind on something new. Cook your favorite meal or listen to music. Both can instantly connect you to pleasant memories. Alleviate your body’s built-up stress through exercise. Join a Zumba group, laugh and dance. 


Oklahoma City offers several neighborhood districts, each with their own flavors and sense of place. Take a day to walk the sidewalks of an area you’ve never visited before. Try a new restaurant, browse the shops and delight in the fresh scene. For ideas, go to visitokc.com.

22. Count your Blessings – It’s easy to focus on the negative and what’s not going well. However, at the end of the day, if you can reflect on your safe home, your family, your friends and even your soft bed, it can put things in perspective. Many people don’t live with such luxuries.

23. Manage your Media – Today’s hard-hitting news headlines can be overwhelming, which is only exacerbated by 24-hour news programming. Though staying informed is important, limiting your media intake is equally important. For a healthy balance, mix in forms of media that leave you feeling inspired or enlightened. (Hint: Social media may not be the answer. If scrolling Instagram and Facebook leaves you feeling icky, decrease your usage.) Pick up the latest must-read book or flip on a comedy channel. Online ocean and rainfall videos are easy to find and turn on when you want to unwind.

24. Sleep Well – Sleep is the foundation for your mental and physical health. If you don’t feel restored and rested at the start of your day, you’re already behind. Take inventory of your sleep hygiene. Is your bedroom dark, quiet and cool? Does your nighttime routine tell your mind and body “It’s bedtime,” or is it sending a different message? When we don’t sleep well, we can’t think clearly. Our jobs suffer, our relationships suffer, it affects our mood and it can even bring on depression. When we do sleep well, healthy eating, movement and mindfulness are more attainable. 

Get inspired to stay fit and active at every stage of life with Women’s Health Through the Decades.