With today’s busy lifestyles, it can be harder than ever to reach health goals. From fast food on every corner to being tied to work email, healthy choices and proper self-care often seem hard and out of reach. Yet, by making one small change at a time, it is possible to reclaim your life and turn your health around. Try to start small by incorporating one of the tips below into your day, and you will likely notice yourself feeling healthier and happier.
Mix in Some Veggies
Vegetables are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help strengthen the immune system and fight off diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. While some of us can’t stand plain vegetables, there are crafty ways to sneak veggies into your diet. For example, you could blend up an avocado in your fruit smoothie, or add a handful of spinach or lettuce to your burger. For pasta night, you could try using spiralized vegetable noodles to replace some pasta. Instead of rice or mashed potatoes, you might try cauliflower rice as a side item.
Take a Walk
Walking for 30 minutes each day can help you refresh your mind and achieve a healthy weight. Exercise boosts metabolism and increases fat burn. It also helps you sleep more soundly, and it can protect the brain from memory and cognition issues. Studies have shown that walking helps build strong bones and improve balance, and it can also ease joint pain. If you can’t walk for 30 minutes straight, try to build 10-minute walking sessions into your day. Take the stairs at work, walk down the street on your lunch break, or enjoy a stroll through the park on your day off.
Ditch the Meds
When following a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to opt for natural, drug-free treatments for pain whenever possible. For example, massage, physical therapy, rest, the use of ice or heat, TENS machines, yoga, and acupuncture may all ease pain without the risk of side effects. There is a growing dependence on prescription painkillers and opioids across the country. In fact, a majority of heroin addictions now start with simple prescription drug abuse. Always ask your doctor about drug-free pain relief options before choosing a prescription. If a prescription is truly necessary, ask for a non-addictive medication. If you feel that you may have a drug dependency to heroin or other drugs, ask your doctor for treatment options.
Put Down the Phone
Mobile phones and other electronics emit blue light, and this can make it harder to fall asleep and disrupt sleeping patterns. To avoid sleep disturbances and potential tech addiction, doctors recommend keeping your phone outside the bedroom and turning it off an hour before bed. You might consider using a blue light filter on your computer as well.
Double the Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for building strong bones, and it helps in blood pressure regulation and the prevention of heart disease and diabetes. It may reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis and breast, prostate, and colon cancers. More than 40 percent of the U.S. population is believed to have low vitamin D. Experts recommend that adults consume 1,000 to 4,000 international units (IU) of the vitamin daily. It can be obtained through supplements, fortified dairy products, and sunlight exposure. Fifteen minutes of sunlight per day is considered sufficient.
The journey to better health starts with the small decisions you make every day. By incorporating some of these tips into your lifestyle, you’ll be on the road to feeling better and having more energy. Always ask your doctor for personalized advice about any health concerns.