What time is the best time to get healthy? Right now. Instead of finding a zillion reasons why we’ll start tomorrow or next week, why not focus on making small steps today? It’s a great day to start taking steps toward taking care of your most valuable asset: You. Here are 5 tips to get you started.
1. Get some exercise
We all know that there are countless long-term benefits to being active on a daily basis, but did you know there are also immediate returns as well? Just 20 minutes of physical activity has been found to elevate mood, increase self-esteem, and help with getting a deeper night’s sleep. Don’t put off exercise for tomorrow; activities such as a simple stroll around the block or a brisk walk at lunchtime can produce benefits that will last all day long. Find ways to incorporate more movement into your daily lives. For example: Park a little further away the next time you go shopping; try taking the stairs instead of the elevator; get up and do 10 jumping jacks after binge watching. Try it – it’s fun!
2. Get more sleep
It may be good for keeping the dark circles away, but getting a good night’s sleep is also essential for memory, creativity and increased attention span. Lack of sleep is known to cause impaired brain activity, weakened immune response, high blood pressure and weight gain. If you’re not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep every night, start tonight. Boost your health by shutting down the laptop, turning off the phone, and spending some quality time in dreamland.
3. Drink more water
By the time you experience the sensation of thirst, you’re already close to being dehydrated. If you’re not getting enough water everyday, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. All of the systems in our body operate optimally when we are well hydrated, and the results come in the form of glowing skin, fewer headaches, better performance and weight loss. Sounds like a good payoff if you ask us! Start today by carrying a bottle with you throughout the day to remind yourself to drink. Would having a cooler filled with fresh spring water help you boost your water intake? Look at a few options here.
4. Add some fiber
Some studies show that many Americans only eat half the recommended amount of fiber each day. Fiber is essential to keeping your digestive system moving, helping to curb your hunger, and controlling blood sugar levels.
Here’s the good news: it’s easy to add more fiber to your diet. Adding a handful of chia seeds or flaxseed to your morning cereal can inject 10 grams of fiber to your meal. Choose whole grain over white breads, and add some fruits and veggies for maximum natural fiber. So go eat that apple!
We live fast-paced lives and it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed out by life’s frustrations. Prolonged stress can cause mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, obesity, gastrointestinal problems and a host of other diseases. If you’re not taking a breather a few times a week, right now is the time to begin. Start today: take 10 minutes and unplug from social media while you take some time to refocus. Meditate, breathe deep, think positively or pray. Download an app to assist you, but by all means, take a few minutes each day to destress yourself.
What about you? Have you done anything lately to improve your health? Join the conversation on Facebook.