Information is all around us, especially when it comes to your health. New fad diets seemingly pop up daily, as do the latest exercise routine "guaranteed" to get rid of those love handles. We are always looking for something better, something easier. It is important to understand nothing great in life comes without consistent hard work, and that includes your health. Be smart with your approach, but keep it simple. Staying healthy shouldn't have to be so complicated.
1. Start Your Day With a Glass of Warm Water and Lemon: This is a great, cleansing way to start your day. No, this doesn't mean you can't have your coffee, but start with warm water with lemon first. It has been shown to have a great detoxifying effect. Simply squeeze the juice from a half lemon in warm water, and enjoy!
2. Try Skipping Breakfast: Wait a second, now you are telling me to skip breakfast too? Well, not exactly. Breakfast is still an important meal when it is healthy, but new research shows that it may be better to wait a few hours or so after waking before you eat. This allows your body to use existing fat in your body for energy, and not what you immediately eat.
3. Have Fun With Exercise: Find some things you like to do for exercise, and do it everyday. You can also make it a challenge for yourself. I have many patients that use a fitbit, pedometer, etc. to keep track of your daily steps. Roughly 2000 steps equals a mile. How many can you get in a day? Give it a try and see.
4. Don't Forget To Exercise Your Brain: Continuing to challenge your brain with new and different tasks is important to maintaining good cognitive function as the years progress. One thing I have fun with is through an app on your phone called Lumosity. It is a great 5 minute challenge for your brain you can do everyday...and it's free!
5. Ditch The Processed Foods: Bottom line, if it comes in a box and can sit on the shelf for months, it probably isn't good for you. Whenever possible stick to whole foods.
6. Avoid The Dirty Dozen: Whenever possible, buy organic fruits and vegetables. Every year The Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases their "Dirty Dozen", which is a list of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. At minimum, make it a point to be sure those are organic.
7. Avoid Plastic When Storing and Cooking Food: Plastic chemicals leach into whatever food or beverage you put them in. Heating plastic (i.e. when using a microwave) makes the problem incrementally worse. Glass is a great alternative.
8. Get Healthy Sun Exposure Regularly: After what was a rough spring here in this part of the country, we are finally beginning to see some sun. Get outside for 20 minutes of midday sun exposure when possible. This will help optimize your vitamin D levels.
9. Throw Out Your Air Fresheners: Using synthetic air fresheners in your car and living space have been linked to a myriad of health concerns. Look for all natural options that are free of phthalates, PEG-40, and 1-4 dichlorobenzene.
10. Hug Someone You Love: Since this blog is about simple ways to improve your health, I figured I would save the most simple one for last. Hugs have been shown to increase the feel good hormone, oxitocin, in your body. This will help keep you smiling and ward off depression.
10 Simple Ways To Improve Your Health.
Becoming a healthier version of ourselves isn't as hard as we make it.
And, it helps us to achieve something we're all after.
LIVE well. BE well.