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Easy ways to get healthier

If you are looking to make some ch-ch-ch-changes to your lifestyle and be the picture of good health but see it as an impossible task, don’t be discouraged. Improving your well-being doesn’t mean getting up at the crack of dawn and training for hours or going on extreme diets. You can make small changes to your every-day life that will make a big impact when it comes to your overall health. Take one step today and you will start to notice some major life benefits. Here are some easy ways to make a change:

Sleep, Perchance To Dream

Not only will lack of sleep put a dent in your day and cause you to be ineffective, it can actually be detrimental to your health. Prevention states that people who didn’t sleep like a baby had a 27% - 45% higher risk of having a heart attack due to higher cortisol levels. In addition, the Mayo Clinic states that getting less than five hours of shut-eye can increase your chance of gaining weight. Drowsiness can cause you to skip your morning run, and can wreak havoc on your hunger hormones leading to bingeing on junk food. If you are the type to toss and turn, one tack is silence your phone at night for uninterrupted sleep. You can also try putting yourself on a sleep diet with no screens (computers, phones, or television screens) before bed. Even better, eliminate electronics from the bedroom. Try heavy blackout drapes in your bedroom to block out early sunlight or harsh external street light. Keep your circadian rhythm and go to bed at the same time every night.

Just Breathe

Breathing is pretty key. Not only are you providing your body with oxygen, but you are helping to quiet the mind. According to Harvard Health, deep breathing is a great way to invoke the relaxation response and can slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and alleviate anxiety. That means it is a great way to keep yourself from losing it when a) someone cuts you off in traffic, b) someone puts you on hold forever to a Muzak version of “The Macarena”, c) you find out your personal data was breached by playing Farmville. Take a few moments each day to sit quietly and breathe deeply. If you can find the time, a daily meditation practice or yoga class can be very beneficial in helping the body and the brain really relax.

Track Record

With the threat of robots taking over the world, many are skeptical of anything tracking our movement. However, this is one instance where you want a monitor to keep tabs on every move you make. Keep yourself honest with a tracker to monitor how many steps you are really getting. For those who train regularly, it’s a good way to keep track of your progress. For those who are more sedentary, it’s a great reminder to get moving. Some ways to up your numbers? Walk more. According to Prevention, Americans use their cares for approximately 2/3 of all trips that are less than a mile and 89% of trips that are less than two miles. How about huffing it when running errands instead of hopping in the car? Not only are you helping the environment, but you are improving your health. If strolling to the store isn’t your style, you can always pick up some paces by parking further away in the parking lot or going for a walk during your lunch break.

The Great Outdoors

According to Health getting out is key to your well-being. Kathleen Hall, founder of the Stress Institute in Atlanta adds that “Fresh air is full of feel-good negative ions, which may boost oxygen flow to the brain. She adds “Activity boosts endorphins and energy.” It shouldn’t take much to convince you to get away from those harsh artificial, fluorescent lights, but if you do need a nudge consider the benefits of getting a dose of sunshine. Not only can sunlight cut down on SAD or Seasonal Affection Disorder, but it can improve your immune system by stimulating vitamin D production.

 

Dear Diary

Think about starting a food journal so that you really consider what you are putting in your mouth every day. Keeping track of every food that passes your lips will alert you to how you are nourishing your body and what changes you can make. Sure, no one may have seen you scarf down that morning donut in your car this morning, but your body feels it and it may be why you still feel sluggish. Marking it down may be a good way of figuring out what foods work for you and what doesn’t. Try a breakfast of yogurt and fruit and note how you feel by lunchtime. By journaling, you will be able to record the lasting effects that food has on your body and make improvements in no time.

A Tall Drink Of Water

You may know it by its street name, H20. Water is imperative for healthy body functions. Those 2 pm sodas and frozen coffee drinks are a frappa-nono which can expand your waistline with unwanted, wasted calories and deplete your body of important nutrients. Instead of sugary or caffeinated drinks, make sure you are getting the right amount of water each day. Healthline reports that the Institute of Medicine recommended 104 ounces of water for men and 74 ounces of water for women, daily. Of course, this should be amended according to different factors such as where you live, and your exercise routine. If you live in a hot climate you may need to add more agua to your daily diet. Likewise, if you are training and sweating a lot, you need to replace your body’s fluids.  Not only will water keep your body’s organs functioning, it can help your skin look great and aid in weight management as well.

Go Fish

Even if you are a health nut, your body can always use some more Omega-3s. The fatty acids present in this wonder-nutrient have numerous health benefits, including eye health, heart health, brain health, immune health and over all better well-being. Taking a fortified fish oil is a great way to get enough fatty acids into your diet and an easy way to incorporate it into your routine, whether by taking a daily dose by spoon, or using as a salad dressing.

Pack Your Bag

A brown paper bag may seem like a drag when everyone else at the office is ordering from the food truck. However, not only does it save you ducats, but it is usually better for your waistline. Even “healthy” options from restaurants like salads and sandwiches have hidden calories and sodium which will really sink in when you are sedentary for several hours after eating.