7 Easy Ways to Live Healthier
With all the diet plans, high-priced exercise equipment & supplements, it’s sometimes tough to keep a healthy lifestyle. We’ve put together a list of 7 easy things you can do to improve your health. Trying to run 5 miles a day, eating only low fat foods or drinking 8 glasses of water a day is worthless if you quickly get burnt out and give up altogether. Staying healthy isn’t about major changes or instant gratification, it’s about making small sustainable choices that improve your health over time. My hope is that you’ll find at least a thing or two on this list that you can actually put into action!
1. Fiber. Why?
Fiber is a magical little nutrient. Beyond the obvious benefits of fiber, it also helps control blood sugar, aids in weight loss, lowers cholesterol and even prevents colorectal cancer! Fiber basically lets your body work more, um, efficiently. The easiest way to get the right amount of fiber (about 35g per day) is a daily shake, such as SmartShake, or a vitamin, rather than relying solely on your food intake. Some more good info here.
Fish really is an amazingly helpful addition to your diet. It’s really low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a best friend to your heart. However, you can’t go to the local fast food joint, order a fried fish sandwich and call it a day. Fresh salmon or other fish with some lemon pepper seasoning and a dab of olive oil, baked, is crazy tasty and very good for you. The key, as with anything, is moderation. 2-3 times a week is plenty. Any more than that and it can be too much of a good thing. Reference the American Heart Association for more detailed info.
3. Move! Just 15 Minutes a Day!
Jog or run or whatever else you can do to get moving. I even have a friend that uses xbox kinect for just 5 minutes every morning to get her day started. Again, sustainability is the key. Find something you actually enjoy doing, and don’t go all out and over-do it. Start with just 15 minutes a day. It won’t burn off 100 lbs if that’s what you’re looking for, but it’s a great way to maintain your weight, improve your health and even better your mood. Some good research on this from WebMD.
4. Get out!
Meeting new people, having stimulating conversation and establishing friendships may have more to do with mental and physical health than anything else on this list. With sites like meetup.com, you not only have an easy way to meet people that are themselves looking to meet people, but you have an easy way to meet people that are interested in the exact things you are! From finding a group to go kayaking with, to a night out on the town, you can almost certainly find some people looking to do the same thing you are. It’s definitely an easier option than wandering aimlessly down the street hoping to run into someone who likes what you do and is looking to hang out, and a lot less awkward. Another great article on this at Forbes.
5. Brush and Use Mouthwash. Twice a Day.
Don’t roll your eyes yet. I know you’ve heard this a million times in your life. It’s in this list because it’s so important. Keeping your teeth from turning black and falling out is definitely a plus, but cutting down your risk of heart disease and cancer is the main reason for sticking with it. The cleanliness of your mouth can significantly affect your lifespan and overall health. More on this here.
6. Don’t Skip Breakfast!
Like many people, I’m not particularly hungry in the morning and had skipped breakfast for quite a few years. You don’t have to eat a full-on cooked breakfast. A simple snack such as a LOLIBAR (shameless plug) is a great way to get your morning going. I noticed quite a difference in thought clarity and appetite throughout the day once I started taking in some calories before rushing off to the office. One thing to watch out for though, is the change in appetite it can cause. Whereas you normally would just wait till lunch to eat, when you eat breakfast, you tend to be hungry by mid morning. A light snack such as CrispyFruit (another shameless plug) is a perfect way to make it to lunch without starving yourself and going overboard later. More info from WebMD.
7. Take it Slow!
One very important thing to remember when following these tips, or any other diet or lifestyle changes is not to change too much at once. Not only can it shock your body and negatively effect your health, but you’ll usually burn out very quickly and stop altogether. A good example is all the new years resolutions made. The vows to hit the gym everyday or quit eating out are usually abandoned by February, putting you right back where you started. Take it easy, and get the satisfaction from sticking with it. Stay healthy, be happy!