These 7 changes are easy ways to improve your health a little bit each day: small changes lead to big results in the long run.
1. Drink more water
We’ve all heard of the countless benefits of drinking water: it increases energy, improves your skin, and flushes out toxins, among many other things. Plus, if you’re exercising and eating right to lose weight, drinking water helps that process.
Tips: keep a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go, choose water instead of soda or other drinks at restaurants, and eat more fruits and vegetables, which have a high water content.
2. Do a short mindfulness exercise every morning
Implementing a short 5-10 minute meditation/mindfulness exercise when you wake up is a simple way to improve your mental health. Meditating is a good way to reduce stress, improve concentration, and studies have shown that it even slows the aging process.
Tips: make a routine of practicing mindfulness at the same time every day – you may not notice results for the first 1-2 weeks, but keep going and you will see a difference!
3. Stick to your grocery list
I know that chocolate bar at checkout is enticing, but you can resist the temptation if you vow to stick to your grocery list. Allow yourself to buy treats every once in a while, but remember that if you buy it you will eat it. Choosing only healthy foods forces you to eat better.
Tips: write down the foods you need to buy right when you run out of them so you don’t forget anything, and don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
4. Buy low-sodium versions instead
Salt is a necessary part of a healthy diet, but too much raises your blood pressure and taxes your organs. It’s easy to eat too much sodium, especially if you eat processed foods or eat out at restaurants. An easy way to cut down on sodium when you cook is to buy low-sodium versions of foods such as soy sauce and chicken broth, which typically contain high amounts of sodium.
Tips: rinse canned foods before eating them, and use other spices to bolster flavor.
5. Put down your phone while you eat
Phones are a huge source of distraction in everyday life, including meal times. Using your phone while you eat leads to overeating, as you ignore your body’s signs that you are full. If you eat meals with other people, put your phone away so you can engage with them; if you eat alone, put your phone down so you can reflect on your day and have some time away from social media.
Tips: make a habit of putting your phone out of arm’s reach every time you eat, and keep it face down so you can’t see notifications.
6. Go on a short walk every day
Living a sedentary lifestyle is as bad of a risk factor for your health as smoking cigarettes. It is recommended that you walk at least 7,000 steps per day. Walking increases both your physical and mental health – being outdoors improves mood and energy levels in addition to reducing risk of heart disease and obesity. As you walk, be aware of your surroundings and try to notice the beauty of the outdoors. If you don’t want to walk in silence, listen to music or a podcast.
Tips: take a 10-30 minute walk after dinner instead of sitting on the couch to watch TV – you might even catch the sunset.
7. Opt to take the stairs
Get a little extra cardio in every day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Climbing stairs has been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels, improve heart health, and increase muscle strength. Even climbing just a few flights a day makes a big change over time. Plus, taking the stairs may even be faster than waiting for the elevator!
Tips: make taking the stairs a challenge by trying to take them two steps at a time, or time yourself to see how fast you can get to your floor – it will get easier over time.
Now that you’re equipped with these 7 easy ways to improve your health, go make your life longer and happier!