Being healthier doesn’t have to mean radically changing your life. There are several choices you can make during your daily routine that can improve your nutrition, fitness, and overall well-being.
Good health starts with good habits, so we’ve constructed a schedule of small things you can do to be healthier each day. Try following it for one day, and see how much better you feel!
Exercise Before Eating
A handful of studies from the British Journal of Nutrition, Appalachian State University, and others indicate that exercising before 7 a.m. is best. For one thing, it promotes a good night’s sleep.
If you can exercise on an empty stomach, or after having only a small snack, it’s even better! You can burn 20% more fat that way. The idea is that if you work out before eating, your body burns fat rather than carbs for energy.
Morning is the best time for exercise for a lot of reasons, but if you’re not an early riser, you can exercise in the afternoon or evening. Making exercise a daily habit is more important than doing it at a certain time.
Track Your Measurements
A study from Brown University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that if you weigh yourself daily, you’re more likely to maintain your weight.
The best time to do this? Before breakfast.
Your weight can fluctuate by up to three pounds in a single day, so it’s important to get the most accurate read possible.
Weighing yourself on a daily basis, before you put anything in your stomach, will help you know whether you’re gaining or losing weight. Then, you can make adjustments based on this information.
Eat Fruit For Breakfast
We believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There is plenty of scientific data to support this. Breakfast provides you with stamina for the rest of your day, and it helps with weight management.
Of course, the benefits of eating breakfast only exist so long as you choose the right foods.
Start getting your daily recommended servings of fruit at breakfast time. Fruit is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—but none of that will help you if you’re consuming pesticides at the same time.
Eat organic fruit whenever possible, taking special care to choose organic when it comes to fruits that have the highest incidence of pesticide exposure: apples, grapes, nectarines, and peaches.
Fruit smoothies are a great way to get the health benefits of several fruits at once. Blend in Hawaiian Ola’s energy shot, and you can skip coffee, too!
Maintain Steady Energy Levels
Have you ever noticed that your energy levels tend to dip later in the afternoon, after you return from lunch? If this happens to you, try shrinking your portion sizes but eating more frequently.
Three bigger meals per day can leave you feeling sluggish as your body tries to process what you’ve eaten. Eating less food more often can mitigate this effect, helping keep your energy levels more stable.
Take Breaks From Sitting
If you’re mulling over the solution to a difficult problem, get up and walk around. If you can’t get away from your computer, stand up and lean over it for a little while. And try to avoid taking lunch at your desk—get outside, walk around, and soak up all the vitamin D you can!
Sitting for several hours at a time can wreak havoc with your posture, and avoiding sunlight can decrease your serotonin levels. Take every opportunity to get up and move, stretch, and take in some rays.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Staying hydrated throughout the day will bring you a multitude of health benefits. There are many drinks out there that claim to do the job, but don’t be fooled! The best hydrator is plain old water.
Many people are tricked into believing they’re hungry when they’re actually thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water the next time your stomach is growling. Your hunger may go away.
Seek Out Superfoods
Most people make dinner their biggest meal of the day, but sometimes it’s also one of the worst. When you’re tired from a long workday, the last thing you want to do is cook.
If you find yourself tempted to stop at the nearest fast food joint on your way home, stay strong! Schedule one day per week to prepare make-ahead meals for you and your family. Virtually every recipe site has a section for meals that you can freeze and reheat later.
Focus on meals that include “superfoods”, which provide the ultimate bang for your nutritional buck. They’re low in calories and are full of nutrients that fight disease.
Some of the most powerful superfoods available are avocado, fish, cabbage, garlic, and eggs. Find make-ahead meals that include them, or find recipes that you can throw together in less than 30 minutes.
Stress is one of the worst things for your health, but there are a number of things you can do to curb its effects.
Even if you can’t change your family obligations and work schedule, the “fake it until you make it” approach has some merit. Stay positive and be kind, and you may find yourself feeling better.
Try to find 30 minutes each day to do something to relax: take a walk, get a massage, or meditate.
Millions of Americans struggle with insomnia. Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night – sleep is important for restoring the body’s immune function and maintaining the connection between brain cells.
It’s also when your body secretes growth hormone, which maintains healthy skin and muscles.
For better sleep, stop caffeine use four to six hours before bedtime. Make sure the room you’re in is dark and cool.
Don’t go to bed on an empty stomach, but don’t stuff yourself before lying down, either. A small snack two hours before bed will prevent the midnight munchies without giving you nighttime indigestion.
Image courtesy of Jason Matias
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