With all of the conflicting information about health available, it’s no wonder that most people have no idea where to start when trying to add healthy habits into their lives. Since science is always changing, even information we once thought was correct, is sometimes refuted later down the line. But here are four ways to promote health that will always work, be beneficial, and help create a happier, healthier you.
1.) Move each day. Our bodies were made to move and be physical. However, many of us sit for long periods each day, and the most movement we get is walking from our car to our front door. When your body doesn’t get enough exercise, it doesn’t function properly. Adding in spurts of exercise throughout your day will add up, and make a big difference in how you feel.
Park farther away from the door at the grocery store, mall, etc., so you need to take those extra steps to get where you’re going. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go on a short walk during your lunch break. Walk to do errands instead of getting in your car to just drive down the street. Even if you can’t get structured exercise in, these little bits will add up!
2.) Eat real food. Food nowadays is hardly recognizable from what our ancestors ate. If you don’t already, start only eating food that is whole and real, or, if you rely on lots of convenience foods, add these items to supplement your meal. Keep cut up veggies in your fridge for an easy, fast snack. Aim for every color of the rainbow on your plate.
The more colorful the food, the more nutritious it is. Start to explore new foods like bulgur, baby bok choy, and star fruit. Add in a new piece of produce each week to your shopping list to try out new flavors and consistencies. Don’t restrict yourself to only a few food groups. All of them are needed for a healthy body. With proteins, fats and white starches just remember moderation is key.
3.) Practice a stress relieving activity. Whether you like to read to unwind after a long day, practice yoga, or you get your daily meditation through preparing your nightly dinner, find out what makes you happy and relaxed and make sure you include that into your daily routine. Stress puts your body in a constant flight or fight mode and can really cause overuse of your adrenals. Constantly having stress hormones in the body severely decreases your immune response and can cause depression and anxiety.
4.) Work on your relationships. People with better connections with their family and friends live longer, healthier lives. They are there as a support system, and that bond is something both of your bodies can recognize, and interacting with these people in person, or over the phone causes the release of feel good hormones in your brain.
Little changes that you incorporate each day can make a huge difference in your life. There is no need for an overhaul of everything at once. Small, consistent steps towards a bigger goal will help you really ingrain these habits, and you will look and feel healthier and more vibrant.