Let’s face it: life can feel chaotic. Trying to find the time to hit the gym before work, prepare healthy gourmet meals every night, and somehow avoid all of the good stuff (alcohol, coffee, sugar, etc.) all the time isn’t always realistic. Some mornings, simply putting on slacks and making it to the office feels like an accomplishment. But that doesn’t mean your health should suffer. You can manage to stay health, if you focus on the right things.
Here are the 5 (tiny) habits you can incorporate into your life to start seeing positive health results.
- Drink enough water: This one is a mandate. Drinking the recommended amount of water every day is the easiest way to stay healthy. It will improve your overall health with little to no lifestyle change. Sure, you’ll have to get used to using the restroom more often for a few weeks, but your body will adjust, and you’ll be much healthier for it. Every part of your body uses water to function, from your muscles and cells to your metabolism and sleep cycle. Not to mention that drinking water can often curb hunger, ward off food cravings, and help you lose weight without a lot of effort. According to the National Academy of Medicine, adult males should drink about 125 oz. of water every day. That’s just shy of a gallon. To boost your intake, make your water more palatable with Hydrate, a blend of electrolytes, minerals, and MCTs while making your water taste like fruit punch. You can also boost your fruit intake since about 90% of fruit is water, especially watermelon, pineapple, grapefruit, and strawberries.
- Build your muscle strength: When you focus on strength training, you ward off the risk of osteoporosis, improve your metabolism, and make all other forms of exercise (including cardio) more effective. Spend 20-30 minutes a few times a week doing something that works your muscles. You can shovel snow, lift your kids in the air, or hit the gym. For a bonus, do strength training that incorporates cardio in short bursts (like 30 seconds of jumping jacks and then 30 seconds of squats).
- Stretch it out: Stretching isn’t just something you should do before and after workouts (though you should). It’s also important to stretch for stretching’s sake. Stretching increases flexibility, which prevents falls, fractures, and other complications from being less nimble than recommended. If you’re up for a class, take a yoga or tai chi class a few times a week. If not, stretching in your living room while you catch up on Game of Thrones is also acceptable.
- Eat more fiber. Most men get only half of their daily recommended amount of fiber (30-38 grams of fiber is recommended). Fiber slows the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, which reduces the risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes. It also acts as a scrub brush on your intestines, cleaning them out and keeping you regular and healthy. Boost your fiber intake with beans and legumes, as well as fibrous vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts. If you’re not into fibrous veggies, you can take a supplement like .
- Get enough sleep: There is no magical pill to help you function better throughout the day, but there is A solid night of uninterrupted sleep (between 7-8 hours) helps restore your cells, improved memory, increases focus, and generally, gives you the energy you need to function throughout the day. Everyone has slightly different sleep needs. If you’re able to stay awake happily throughout the day without caffeine, and you don’t get tired until bedtime, you’re likely getting enough sleep. If not, you should talk to your doctor about getting more sleep. A sleep enhancer like IDLife Sleep Strips can help, since they provide a complex blend of nutrients and hormones (like melatonin, your body’s natural sleep hormone) to help you fall asleep and stay asleep through all three stages of your sleep cycle.
When it comes to improving your health, there’s a never-ending list of ways to get started. But at the end of the day, small changes taken with positive intentions can make a big difference. Drinking more water, getting enough sleep, stretching, adding in strength training, and eating more fiber will all improve your health in a big way. For more tips on how to incorporate healthy habits into your life, contact Lisanne Wellness Center at 713-461-WELL.