Sometimes “being healthy” can seem so complicated. There’s an abundance of information out there and much of it is contradictory. So, what are you to do when you’ve decided you want to make healthier lifestyle choices, but you’re so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to begin? You start here, with these four simple, totally do-able tips. Sometimes the most basic health tips can be the most important.
- Drink more water.
- Your body is made up of more than 60% water, making it essential for your body to function properly. Water helps to flush toxins out and transport nutrients and oxygen to our cells. Dehydration can lead to things like headaches, hunger, and fatigue, so be sure you’re staying properly hydrated! A simple benchmark: aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day.
- Get moving.
- A sedentary lifestyle is linked to all sorts of health issues including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. You don’t need to sign up for a marathon (although, you could! 😉 ). Just get off your booty! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park in the farthest parking space, go for a walk while you have a phone chat with your best friend. And if you have a desk job, try to get up at least once per hour – even just to walk to the printer, use the restroom, talk to a colleague, or hey – go get a drink of water!
- Many Americans don’t get enough sleep. Sleep is absolutely vital to your health, allowing your body to repair itself from the day and prep for the day ahead. While you’re sleeping, the blood supply to your muscles increases, tissue repair and growth occurs, energy is restored, and essential hormones are released. These essential hormones include growth hormone (needed for growth & development, including muscle development and healing cuts) and the hunger-regulating hormones ghrelin and leptin. The hunger-regulating hormones affect our feelings of hunger and fullness, helping to balance our appetites. After too few hours sleep, most people tend to reach for high-calorie foods and more of them. Aim for no less than 7 hours.
- Eat whole foods.
- For at least 2 weeks, eliminate prepackaged foods from your diet. Focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meats, fish, and healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and avocado. Notice how you feel.
Creating new lifestyle habits can take a while. It’s tough! But it’s totally worth it. If these four tips are too much all at once, start with just one and make it a habit before starting another. Even small changes can create a BIG impact on your overall health.