Modern society makes getting healthy harder than ever. People are busy trying to balance work, family and other responsibilities. As a result, their health goals are often put on hold.
That said, being healthy does not have to be difficult.
We’ve put together a list of some relatively small changes you can make to your life right now to start living healthier.
Eat fruit instead of candy
Candy is sweet because it contains processed sugar, usually high-fructose corn syrup. Fruit is sweet because it contains natural sugar, but it’s still good for you because it’s also rich in fiber, which helps you digest the sugar more slowly.
Shop on a full stomach
Studies show that people who snack before a grocery trip buy fewer unhealthy foods, possibly because they aren’t driven to make impulse buys out of hunger.
While you’re at it, learn how to cook
Studies have shown that dieting doesn’t work, because cutting out entire foods only makes you want to eat more of them. But cooking at home is linked to eating healthier, saving money on dining out, and boosting self-esteem.
Drink your coffee black
Studies suggest that coffee is good for you — some even suggest that drinking three to five cups a day could lead to a longer life. Eliminating milk, cream, sugar, or flavorings will cut calories and maximize coffee’s health benefits. And don’t worry — drinking black coffee won’t make you a psychopath!
Swap the butter on your toast with mashed avocado
Avocados are a good source of healthy fats. The fleshy green fruit is a mainstay on the “superfood” list — it’s high in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamins C and E, and fiber.
Substitute your white bread with whole wheat
Whole-wheat bread is higher in fiber than regular white bread, and fiber fills you up and helps with digestionby slowing down the absorption of sugars.
Drink plenty of water
You’ve heard this before, but the benefits of staying hydrated are numerous, from keeping your body fluids balanced to having more energy. Some fitness experts even claim you can lose weight if you drink water before every meal.
Choose real foods over highly processed foods
People in Western countries are eating more highly processed foods than ever before.
While processed foods are convenient, they often lack nutrients and increase your risk of chronic diseases.
Simply eating more real foods can help you get healthier with minimal effort. Real foods tend to have more fiber and are packed with vitamins and minerals.
Real foods are single-ingredient foods that are mostly unmodified and lack any chemical additives.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a powerful tool that helps you eat healthier with minimal effort.
It is based on the concept of mindfulness and helps you pay attention to what you are eating, why you are eating and how fast you are eating.
In addition, many studies show that mindful eating can help you lose weight.
Here are a few simple tips that can help you become a more mindful eater.
- Eat food slowly.
- Chew thoroughly.
- Focus on how you feel when you’re eating — are you actually hungry?
- Turn off the TV and put your phone away.
Unplug from technology an hour before bed
Quality sleep is absolutely essential for optimal health. However, roughly 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from poor sleep.
It seems that technology and other sources of artificial light are a big reason for poor sleep.
These devices emit blue light, a type of light wave that is common during the day. However, this means your devices may tricking your brain to think it is daytime.
Not to mention, research has shown that using artificial light before bed is linked with a higher risk of breast cancer, mood disorders and depression.
Avoiding technology an hour before bed may help improve your quality of sleep.
Pick up the pace
Power walking won’t just get you to your destination sooner. One 2013 study of nearly 40,000 regular walkers found that slower walkers had a higher risk of dying than their more briskly paced peers.
Go for a walk during your breaks
Finding time to exercise is a real problem for many people around the world, especially with work.
However, regular exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle. In fact, there is plenty of evidence that shows a lack of exercise is linked with poor mental and physical health.
That said, there are many ways to fit exercise into your day — even with a busy schedule. For instance, walking during your lunch break can greatly improve your health and well-being.
In one study, 56 people walked for thirty minutes three times a week during their lunch break. This improved their enthusiasm and relaxation at work, while also reducing nervousness.
Take the stairs
This is an easy way to burn calories and tone leg muscles when you can’t find time to squeeze in a traditional workout.
Stand on one leg while brushing your teeth
This is an easy multitasking activity that can improve your balance, which is critical to your health, especially as you get older.
Wash and dry your hands regularly
Washing your hands with soap and water gets rids of germs and drying off prevents the spread of bacteria, and is one of the most effective ways to prevent infection. Just make sure you are doing it the right way.
Meditate for about 30 minutes a day
At least a dozen executives swear bythe relaxing technique. Research suggests that meditation can help you handle stress, improve memory and awareness, and lower blood pressure. One study found that people who meditated for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for a month (11 hours total) saw changes in a part of the brain involved in self-regulation.
Go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends
When you go to bed and wake up at a different time during the week and on weekends, it can lead to a phenomenon called social jet lag, which can throw off your body’s natural sleep schedule.
Nourish those close relationships
A 75-year study by Harvard psychologists found that close relationships were the key to living happier, healthier lives. What’s more, a lack of social connections could be as big a risk to your health as smoking, scientists say.
The Bottom Line
Being healthy is easier than you think. In fact, there are many ways that you can get healthy with minimal effort.
These include having a glass of water with each meal, eating fatty fish, having a regular sleep schedule and choosing more real foods.
Additionally, shopping on a full stomach can help curb supermarket cravings and prevent impulse buys, while mindful eating can help you take control of your eating habits.
Adding just a few of these strategies into your daily routine can lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle.