These days, it seems as though it’s harder than ever to live a healthy life. Between a seemingly never-ending pandemic and bad news around every corner, getting into the mental state to take control of our health isn’t always easy.
Coupled with ever-increasing prices at the grocery store and restricted access to things like fitness centers and outdoor spaces, you may be wondering if it’s possible to get healthy — and stay that way. The answer is yes, of course! Here are a few simple habits that can put you on the path toward the wellness you desire and deserve.
Drink more water
Adding a glass of water to your daily routine is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do for yourself. As FlipTheLife has explained before, water — especially detoxing water — can help you in your quest to maintain a healthy weight. Water with a fruit infusion is a great alternative to sodas and sugary drinks if you simply don’t like the taste of tap water. Further, infusions like apple can boost your immune system, while a few cherries added to your glass may help deliver compounds that fight arthritis and cancers.
Give yourself the gift of sleep
Like water, sleep is essential to life. Despite your hectic schedule, look for ways to add 30 minutes to your overnight routine if you’re not consistently sleeping for at least eight hours. One trick is to enlist everyone’s help when cleaning so that chores take less time — time that you can devote to snuggling with your pillow.
Have trouble falling asleep? Take a warm bath before bed, say no to caffeine after noon, and try a guided meditation. If you sleep with a partner who snores or moves throughout the night, remember that there is nothing wrong with taking up your own bedroom so that you can snooze without interruptions.
Learn how to cook
Learning how to cook is not difficult, and there are plenty of recipes that require very little experience in the kitchen. Instead of dining out or hitting the drive-through, prepare your own meals each day.
A hearty breakfast consisting of a vegetable omelet, wheat toast, and orange juice is much healthier — and arguably better-tasting — than anything you’d find at a drive-through. You can also utilize kitchen tools, such as a pressure cooker, crockpot, or electric grill to reduce cooking and cleaning time.
Supplement your diet
Even when you eat a balanced diet, it can be difficult to lose weight without a quick jumpstart. Dietary supplements can provide this along with added nutrition you may not get if you avoid certain food groups, such as dairy or greens.
Weight loss supplements can help you burn fat as they stimulate your metabolism and boost your energy levels. Look for products that are well-reviewed, and talk to your doctor about everything from ingredients to recommended dosage to ensure you are taking the right amount for your body type, age, and activity level.
Hide the snacks
We all like snacks and a few healthy mini-meals can actually help you achieve your weight loss goals. Not only will eating multiple times each day keep you full, but the right snacks will also keep your blood sugar stable.
But we all have vices, and it’s best to keep these out of sight. If you like ice cream, for example, put the container at the bottom of your freezer or hide it behind the frozen vegetables. Better yet, if you have a standalone freezer, keep it there. Unhealthy snacks, like boxed cakes and potato chips, can be kept in the guest bedroom closet or another inconvenient location in your home. Doing so will force you to seriously contemplate your decision to snack before you begin mindlessly munching away.
Take a 10-minute break each hour
Taking a break every hour is crucial, especially if you work on a computer all day. Use your time away to stretch, take a quick walk, have a glass of water, or meditate. This will give you a quick reboot so that you can better focus on whatever tasks lie ahead in the coming hour.
Crunch the numbers.
Your overall health is not dictated by the numbers on the scale alone. However, your body weight, waist size, and BMI will all tell the story of how well you are on the inside.
Your ideal body weight is determined by your height, sex, and bone structure. Your waist size is largely dictated by your body style, which may either be described as an apple, pear, or hourglass. Body mass index is the measure of how much fat you have compared to bone, muscle, and other components of your body. Typically, you want your waist to be smaller than 35 inches (40 inches if you are a man) and your body mass index to be 25 or lower.
Spend time with friends.
Something else you can do to maintain your health is to pick up the phone, call a friend, and invite them out for a cup of coffee or a movie night. Spending time with people you love triggers all sorts of hormonal and emotional reactions that make you feel safe, secure, and happy.
When you are in the presence of people that make you feel this way, your body enjoys a surge of dopamine, which affects many functions, including lactation, pain processing, and even your heart rate. As a chemical messenger, dopamine can also help you focus on the things that matter most, such as eating well, exercising, and working efficiently.
Your healthy lifestyle does not have to include endless hours at the gym or counting calories and carbohydrates. While this works for some, most of us will find these rigid routines unsustainable for our life as busy adults. But changing a few habits — such as spending more time in the kitchen and less time dining out — can turn you in the right direction and help you take control of your life one day at a time.