Goals of becoming healthier continue to top the charts of the most common New Year's resolutions. Eating healthier, exercising, and getting more sleep are just three of the more common goals cited each year as a new year begins.
Even if you didn't make a resolution about getting healthier, there are many small changes you can implement to feel better inside and out. Striving towards a healthier overall life decreases your chances of serious illness.
Unsure where to start? Keep reading below for 10 ways to achieve better health. You won't regret it!
If you work in an office, you may not even realize how many hours a day you are sitting. Our bodies are designed to be active, so in order to become healthier, focus on breaking up the time spent at a desk.
Walks during lunch is a good way to ease into exercise if you are out of shape. Going for a walk inside or even around your office is a lot less intimidating than joining a new gym!
Even walking a few minutes every hour is enough to make you feel more alert and focused. Your productivity will improve drastically.
Another tip is to take the stairs where possible.
It's tempting to stay up late, especially if you have a big deadline or are getting ready to hit play on your third or fourth episode of a Netflix binge. But depriving your body of enough sleep can wreak havoc.
Even mild sleep deprivation can lead to memory issues, inability to focus, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system.
Your risk for heart disease also goes up when you miss out on those zzz's.
If you find yourself lacking on sleep because you find falling asleep difficult, be sure to read up on sleep hygiene tips. A big one is avoiding electronic screens 30-60 minutes before bed.
This can be difficult for those of us glued to our phones or laptops, but the blue light these devices gives off actually disrupts melatonin production in our brains! This is the hormone that helps whisk us off into blissful slumber.
While you may not need to lose weight, in order to get better health, you should limit the calories you ingest through drinks. Think about it. Soda, fruit juices, and specialty coffee drinks can be loaded with sugar and lean on nutrients.
Instead of a glass of orange juice in the morning, have an actual orange. You will get all the same flavor along with a healthy dose of fiber.
Better health often means improving what you are eating. Instead of reaching for chips or a cookie as a snack, consider chomping on some veggies.
Pair with hummus for a protein boost, and you will feel better knowing you are putting something good for you in your body.
As you increase your vegetable intake, your digestion will likely improve. If you really want to maximize your gut health, consider shopping around for some supplements designed to keep your gut healthy and happy.
Stress is a normal part of life, but that doesn't mean we should just put up with it. Chronic stress can lead to heart disease, ulcers, migraines, and obesity.
Meditation and exercise can be great for reducing stress. But even if you only have a few minutes between work meetings, you can still work on destressing.
Focus on your breathing for a few minutes, taking deep breathes. If you have more time, consider trying a yoga class.
The majority of diets fail because many involve drastic changes that are unsustainable. Instead of bouncing back and forth from one fad diet to the next, begin with minor diet changes and substitutions to find better health.
Try to switch out all your white bread and pasta with whole grain products. As mentioned above, avoid drinking all your calories. If you currently drink a lot of soda and juices, though, start by swapping one glass a day.
Consider doing one meatless day a week, focusing on plant-based proteins like chickpeas and other beans.
It is very easy to consume too much salt. One way to address this is to not leave a salt shaker out on the table while you eat. Only pull it out of the pantry when cooking.
Consuming too much salt can lead to serious health issues like high blood pressure.
Be sure to taste your food before adding salt. You may not even need it. Don't forget to try alternatives to salt too. Spice up your food with seasonings like turmeric or cayenne.
You can also rely on lime and lemon juice!
It's pretty well known that plants can purify the air. They also can lift your mood and help you focus. This is why they should be in your home and your office.
The spider plant is an excellent plant to start with. It detoxes the air quickly and also is pretty hardy, meaning you can keep it alive even without a green thumb.
Many think stretching is only needed before or after exercise. But it can actually be one way you find better health. A midday stretch will get you out of that office chair and give you an energy boost.
Stretching helps increase the blood flow to your body, meaning more oxygen is circulated. It can also help you avoid excess stress.
No matter how you spend your day, you should do a check on your posture habits. This is especially true for those of us sitting at a desk all day.
Hunching over a desk can lead to sore and tight muscles, leaving you more susceptible to injuries.
If you are just starting out, set timers on your phone to remind you to straighten up. Over time, you won't need constant reminders to have proper posture.
Hopefully now you feel ready and confident starting your journey towards a healthier you. With these small steps, you will soon find renewed energy and never look back on previous bad habits.
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