Six Easy Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Health
I love blogging. Just as much as I love writing one, I love reading blogs. All kinds: beauty, lifestyle, fashion, cooking...you name it. But one of the types of blogs I find myself avoiding are wellness blogs. Not because I don't like them - I do. I just find a lot of them to be completely unrealistic. They are for people who don't have jobs, stress, bills and lives and can spend all their time meditating and milking their own almonds. That ain't me. And it isn't most people. Reading these types of blogs can often have the opposite effect of their intentions- they can be discouraging. If I can't only eat wild grass fed tofu then what's the point of even trying?
Having said all that - this isn't one of those posts. This is for the woman who has a busy life and not a lot of time but wants to start taking better care of themselves in simple EASY ways. After all, the beginning of every journey is one small step. Or something like that...I don't remember the quote exactly. You know what I mean.
1. Drink an extra glass of water
I always feel like I can do better with my daily water intake. On average I drink about 36-48 ounces a day (this no where near as much as I should be drinking, but it's better than nothing). I measure this by drinking from my 12 ounce glass water bottle. I fill it up about 2-3 times during my work day. But I'm awful about drinking water when I am at home. On the occasion that I remember to do so I always feel better. I sleep better and I don't feel as dehydrated overall. And if you are one of those people who hates water, adding a glass (or five) to your daily routine will work wonders for you.
2. Take a walk
On average we are supposed to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Considering that a lot of people work desk jobs that don't require them to move much, I would say most of us never hit anywhere close to that number. I walk to and from the train to work everyday and I only manage about 6,000. My point? Get up and move. Take a quick lap around your office a couple of times a day. Or take a walk after lunch (walking after eating can be beneficial for digestion). Anything you can do to help combat being sedentary for hours upon hours everyday. I find tracking my steps actually turns it into a bit of game or competition with myself. I try to see if I can beat yesterday's number. I track my steps via the health app on my iPhone but there are tons of apps that can track your steps and of course there is the good old FitBit to help as well.
3. Add a bit of turmeric
I have recently discovered the wonders of turmeric. I'm a bit late to the party on this but better late then never. Turmeric can improve your health in a myriad of ways from fighting inflammation, helping with arthritis, as an antioxidant and protecting the heart. I prefer to drink mine. In tea form to be precise. I drink a cup of Turmeric tea every morning. My personal fave is *this one
Do you often feel a bit achy or your muscles and joints feel a bit tight? Try stretching. This can be through yoga if that's your jam or by simply taking a few minutes in the morning when you get out of bed to stretch. I carry all of my stress in my shoulders and lower back. Stretching these areas does wonders in helping me relax and also in relieving any tightness I feel there. And if I do it at night before bed I also find it helps me sleep better. If you sit at a desk stretching your back and hip muscles will help alleviate pressure placed on them from sitting. My morning stretch routine takes less than five minutes: full body stretch with arms raised, neck rolls, shoulder roll, bend down and gently touch my toes. Simple and easy and works wonders.
5. Get an extra hour of sleep
Most of us simply do not get enough sleep. And a lot of what health issues have been directly linked to a lack of sleep. Everything from heart disease to obesity. Sleep is important. But as adults we often have life obligations that make sleep a luxury rather than a necessity. The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is 7-9 hours. But the majority of adults sleep less than 7 hours a night. Try going to bed an hour earlier than usual. If you sleep only six hours a night, that extra hour will make a huge difference in how rested you feel and will have a cumulative effect on your overall health.
6. Eat an extra serving of fruit and vegetables
If you're like me whenever I read about what the daily recommended (Women should eat one and a half cups of vegetable a day) amount of vegetable is for an adult woman, I think that unless I was a vegetarian who only ate fruits and vegetables, it's nearly impossible to eat that amount on a daily basis. But it really isn't. Once I saw what an actual serving looks like. It's not that much at all. For instance, one large sweet potato equals one full serving of vegetables. Eating a burger for lunch? Add a cup of peas on the side. That equals one full serving of vegetables as well.
As for fruit? We are recommended to eat 2 cups of fruit a day. So what does this look like in reality? How about one apple and an orange? Or an apple and a banana? Yup, that's it. Perfectly doable.
That wasn't so bad, right? The point is to make small manageable changes to our daily lives that over time can have a cumulative effect. It also gives us the motivation to improve more involved or complicated things like I don't know...working out. Shudder.
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