When it comes to improving our overall health and wellness, it’s easy to get confused. There are so many different diet protocols, workout regimes, supplements and detox drinks, that can be difficult to know where to start.
But fortunately, there are a number of tried-and-true, simple things you can and should be doing every day that will vastly improve your health. And they don’t require fancy equipment, difficult-to-find ingredients, or completely shunning fat, carbs, or whatever the latest diet craze suggests.
These are simple but highly effective, easy to implement and maintain, and they’ll make a drastic difference in your health and wellness.
8 Simple Tips For Healthy Living You Can Implement Today
1. Drink More Water
Our bodies are made of 60% water, with almost every cell in the human body requiring water to maintain function.
In addition to your cells requiring water to function, water also helps to flush toxins from your body, boost your metabolism, carry nutrients around the body, and increase your energy output.
It’s pretty easy to see why it’s so important to be drinking enough h2o, but according to Livestrong, most Americans are not drinking enough water every day. The recommended daily intake of water varies depending on which organization you ask, but generally speaking, it’s around 0.6 glasses per pound of body weight.
If you don’t like the taste of water or just find it boring to drink, then try flavoring your water with a fruit infusion water bottle.
2. Move Your Body
We all know the importance of regular exercise, but unfortunately most of us just don’t get enough in. Life gets busy, a million commitments are pulling us in every direction and before we know it, we’re exhausted and ready to crawl into bed.
But carving out some time to move your body has so many health benefits and actually helps to give us a boost of energy to start the day right.
While it’s definitely recommended to do higher intensity exercise that really gets your heart pumping and improves the health of your cardiovascular system, gentle movements are also highly beneficial.
Starting your day off with a few rounds of sun salutations or following a yoga workout video for beginners has multiple health benefits.
3. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
If you’ve ever tried to cut sugar out of your diet, you’ll know how difficult it can be. That’s because sugar affects our brain in a similar way to addictive drugs – it increases the activity in the reward center of the brain. You’ve probably heard of people talking about a “sugar high” right? Well that’s why.
Most people aren’t aware of the amount of sugar they’re consuming on the daily, and it’s almost always more than what they should be.
Reducing your sugar intake has so many health benefits, including helping to improve your gut health, lose weight, reduce bloating, improve your mental health and brain function and improve your skin.
4. Increase Your Fruit and Veggie Intake
We’ve long been told that we should be eating 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit a day for optimal health. Unfortunately, many of us already struggle with that, so the news that the guidelines have been raised to 10 servings of fruit and veg per day for optimal health might be daunting.
However, it’s important not to stress over meeting the exact numbers. Missing a day or two here and there isn’t going to have dire health consequences.
I’m a health coach and even I find it difficult to meet the requirements of 10 fruit and veg every day. While I do my best to get my nutrients from fruit and veg, I always take my whole food fruit and veg supplements that help to bridge the gap between what I know I should be eating and what I actually am eating.
5. Eat Breakfast
You’ve heard people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But for some reason, the majority of us either don’t eat breakfast at all, or grab a quick coffee and a donut and call it good.
For a lot of us, the mornings are a hectic time of trying to get ready for work, get the kids fed and ready for school, let the dog out to go potty, etc., that there just isn’t enough time to be preparing a nutritious breakfast.
But a healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Healthy energy bites can be a great idea for breakfast in a pinch, otherwise check out this post for 10 healthy on-the-go breakfast ideas.
6. Cut Down On Alcohol
There’s been a long-held belief that drinking red wine has heart-healthy benefits. The bad news is that studies appear to be questioning that belief, so if that was the only reason you were drinking your glass of wine with dinner, you might want to rethink it.
However, if you enjoy having a drink with dinner then try to enjoy it in moderation.
7. Get More Sleep
For optimal cognitive function, you should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night. But 40% of adults get less than 7 (with 6.8 hours being the average.)
A lack of sleep increases cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and slows digestive function, both of which can contribute to weight gain.
To help ensure you get a good night’s sleep, make sure you unplug all electronics, set the room temperature to 60-67 degrees, and invest in a good-quality pillow and mattress.
You might be reading this and thinking to yourself, well duh. We all breathe.
But have you ever actually paid attention to your breathing? Most of us don’t pay attention to our breathe at all. Breathing is something we just do. (20’000 times a day, on average.)
So why is it important to actually pay attention to our breathing?
Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling anxious, your breathing usually becomes quick and shallow? Or perhaps you’ve noticed that you often find yourself holding your breathe, for seemingly no reason at all?
Deep, slow, regular breathing is important for supplying oxygen to all of the organs of the body, and improving our overall wellness. (Part of the reason why you always hear yoga teachers saying “Pay attention to your breath.”)
Next time you feel yourself holding your breath or feeling anxious, take the time to slow down, breathe deeply and feel the oxygen filling your lungs.
Need some extra guidance?
If you’re wanting to kickstart your weight loss in a sustainable, healthy way, then you’ll want to check out my 7-Day Meal Plan & Weight Loss Jumpstart.
The meal plan consists of delicious, easy-to-make, whole foods based recipes, along with a healthy living guide designed to help you trim down and kickstart your weight loss without resorting to fad diets, gimmicks, or weight loss pills.