This is a great time of year to start a healthy new way of life! The truth is that we live in a world where it’s easy to let your health slide. Even though we try our best, slipping into a sedentary lifestyle is a big problem for most Americans. Use these 10 easy tips to help guide you into a new healthier lifestyle!
8. Move Your Body
It’s no surprise that fitness trackers have been all the rage for the past couple of years. Sometimes we don’t realize how little we are actually moving our bodies. Many fitness trackers suggest 10,000 steps per day, but that number may not be perfect for every person. If you are sedentary lifestyle or are recovering from injury, 5,000 steps could be a better place to start.
7. Get Your Heart Pumping
Your daily step requirements are important reminders. Still, you need to consider cardiovascular health as well Adults should get 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, according to the CDC. Don’t worry, if you haven’t exercised in a while you can start with power walking. Adults should also be sure to get some form of strength training each week- 2 or more days per week will do. Even if you don’t have access to weights, you can use your own body weight. There are free fitness videos for every level on YouTube to get you started. There’s no need to over exert yourself. Go at your own pace.
6. Quit Junk Food
No matter what your health condition is, cutting out processed foods is one easy way to boost your health. We are all guilty of indulging in convenience food from time to time. Junk "food" items are products that are high in calories but low in nutrients. Sure, it may feel good the moment you are eating it. Processed foods can’t give you the satiation that whole foods can. That's because they lack nutrients. You end up eating more calories than you should and then you are still hungry! Start by replacing all your processed snack foods. Try fruits, veggies and wholesome homemade treats like granola. Don’t think of food as a way to stave off hunger. Think of it as a way to nourish your body. Many Americans suffer from undiagnosed food allergies. Cutting out junk food could help you feel much better on a day to day basis, plus it will save you money!
5. Drink Water
This tip is especially important for those who love sugary drinks! According to the Harvard School of Public Health, sugary drinks have been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. A typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar and upwards of 240 calories. A 64-ounce fountain cola drink could have up to 700 calories! How much water you drink is different for everyone. A good rule of thumb is about 8 glasses. Our bodies need water! Drinking water every day is great for health. Your body will function better and you’ll feel better too. Start a daily ritual for hydration! First thing in the morning when you make your cup or tea or coffee, pour yourself a big cold glass of water. Once you have that first glass you will be craving it for the rest of the day. You can add lemons and cucumbers for extra flavor and nutrients.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can affect many areas of your health and wellbeing. According to the CDC adults 18-60 should get at least 7 hours or more per night. Adults 61-69 should get at least 8-9 hours per night and adults 65 + need 7-8 hours. Make sure you are getting plenty of sunlight each day- it actually helps you sleep better at night. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in during the morning or day time hours. Make sure your workout isn’t too close to bed time- because that may energize you more. At night time it’s important to make sure that you aren’t exposing yourself to bright indoor lights. Leave your phone and tablet outside of the bedroom before you try to sleep.
3. Be Happy
We all know that being happy feels good. A study from Carnegie Mellon found that being happy can actually prevent illness! Patients who were happy or exhibited positive emotions were less likely to become ill. The study showed that when happy people come down with a cold, they report less symptoms than would be expected from objective measures of their illness. So get out there and do the things you love to do!
2. Limit Screen Time
The Nielsen Company has reported that American adults spend up to 10 hours a day on screens. You could be spending that time doing so many other things. Like cooking yourself a healthy meal, taking a walk outside or spending time with loved ones! The biggest issue is that screens affect our sleep patterns. Sleep problems can cause serious health issues. Some of these include obesity, heart problems and even cancer. Remove all the devices from your bedroom and invest in a good old fashioned alarm clock. That way you won't need to bring your cell phone with you to the bedroom.
1. Go Outside
An easy thing you can do to keep yourself happy and healthy is walking outside. Even if it's a walk around the block, it will help you feel refreshed and balanced. This will also make it easy for you to meet your daily movement requirements. Many different studies show the different benefits of spending time in nature. These include boosted creativity, better health as you age and less negative thoughts. The importance of our connection to it becomes clearer each day. Get out there and take a deep breath!