Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated. I am all about balance, y’all. But you do need to start creating healthy habits so that this healthy lifestyle becomes more natural and effortless (because let’s face it, humans don’t usually stick with things that are hard day after day). In this article, I’m sharing 5 simple lifestyle tweaks to enhance your health. Even small changes can have a drastic impact in the long run!
We underestimate the power of sleep and the impact it has on our health. We stay up late binge-watching Netflix series and scrolling through our phones. When you get 6 hours of sleep night after night, it’s just a matter of time before lack of adequate sleep causes health issues.
Proper sleep allows your body to repair cells, create and regulate hormones, respond appropriately to viruses and illnesses, and more.
Impact glucose metabolism, increasing your risk for insulin resistance and diabetes
Exacerbate anxiety and mood instability
Keep your body in fight or flight mode (overworking your adrenals)
Increase pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to immune system dysfunction
Increase DNA damage
If you go to bed at 11 pm, try to get into bed by 10 pm and then 9 pm if that feels even better. A fun trick is to set your wifi into a timer extension cord and have it shut off at your bedtime. Not only will you reduce EMFs, but you won’t be tempted to play on your phone in bed or mindlessly watch another episode of your Netflix series. If you do need to be in front of a screen in the evening, pop on your blue light blockers. These are the ones I typically use when I have to work late at night.
You should feel energized and well-rested when you wake up — not dreading getting out of bed and needing 3 cups of coffee in the morning. Giving your body the necessary sleep can optimize your health, performance, and happiness (kids aren’t the only ones who get cranky when they are tired, am I right?).
You can read my previous blog on Healthy Sleep Habits here to give you more ideas on how to get a good night’s sleep!
If you scarf down your food during your lunch break in your fluorescent-lit office, do yourself a favor and take 20-30 minutes to step outside, slip your shoes off, and put your feet in the grass. Feel the sunshine on your face and breathe in the fresh air.
Grounding (aka feet on the earth) helps you to focus on sensory experience and be present in the moment. It can also activate your parasympathetic nervous system to help you relax and calm down after a stressful and anxious morning at work. Additionally, it helps reduce chronic inflammation! This doesn’t cost money, and it’s an easy way to help rebalance your body every day. I know, I know it may sound weird and you don’t want your co-workers to think you are crazy, but just even taking a few minutes outside can be a game changer!
When you wake up in the morning, instead of grabbing for your phone, I want you to spend 5 minutes practicing taking in some deep breaths and creating positive affirmations for the day. These could be as simple as “Today’s going to be a great day,” “I’m going to be productive today,” or “I’m going to have patience today.”
Practicing deep breathing helps reduce anxiety and stress while promoting relaxation. You can also do this practice while brushing your teeth, before you sit down to eat, in the carpool line, and especially before bedtime to promote better sleep.
It’s become the norm to eat tons of processed foods. If you walk into a grocery store, the majority of the food is processed. But the issue is most of these processed foods, even “healthy” ones, have added sugars, hidden pesticide residue, and are cooked in inflammatory oils.
The best lifestyle tweak you can make is to ensure at least one of your daily meals is composed of completely whole, organic foods. This will help you get more veggies and micronutrients into your diet and avoid those nasty processed ingredients.
You can slowly work it up so that the majority of your meals come from whole foods. Now, I’m still about balance…so if you want to go out to eat with your hubby for date night, don’t feel guilty for that! I just recommend having your day-to-day meals healthy so that you can enjoy those date nights without causing continual harm to your body.
I am all about meal prep, simple weeknight meals, crock pot or Instapot meals, and single sheet-pan meals! I make sure my family’s health isn’t compromised by the busyness of it all!
Having access to water all day will lead to you drinking a ton more water! If it’s sitting there by your desk, you’re going to be more likely to grab it (even if it’s subconsciously) and drink a couple of sips here and there.
Proper hydration is key for optimal cellular and detox functioning. Hydration is essential for proper kidney function and can encourage regular bowel movements, which helps with excretion of excess hormones and toxins.
As a bonus health tweak, fill up your water bottle with filtered water from a high-quality water filter. I love Aquasana. This way, you are avoiding any microplastics, heavy metals, and other toxic chemicals that may be lurking in your tap water.
Once you start making these lifestyle tweaks, you’ll be able to turn them into healthy habits that simply become your norm. Remember, it’s these little daily actions that help promote longevity and optimal wellness.
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