Before COVID hit, today’s generations were already on the pendulum swing toward healthier living. Research showed us clearly how things like improving greenhouse emissions and saving the planet to overall mental and physical wellness were necessary.
The pandemic gave many of the rest of us the push we needed to get on board. Even better, it was the catalyst that created new hygiene practices and products that made this easy.
So it’s the ideal time for you to decide you’re ready to take your health up a notch. No one will think you’re ‘strange’ for choosing kale over cookies anymore. But you don’t have to go that extreme. Try these three simple changes in your day, and you’ll see the difference quickly.
1.Monitor Your Water Intake
Increasing water intake is the first step you should work on if you’re aiming for better health, and most of us don’t drink nearly enough.
Water is the liquid that keeps us alive. Yet, we prefer coffee, tea, soda, and other beverages when we’re thirsty. You can have these, too, but experts say men should drink at least 15.5 cups of fluids, and women need at least 11.5. At least half of these fluids should be water.
Try to double that number if you’re exercising that day, pregnant or breastfeeding, outside in hot or humid environments, or sick.
Do you know how much water you’re getting each day, or do you think you know? Unless you’re measuring every ounce, it’s hard to keep track. One way to ensure you’re getting your daily minimum is to fill a 64-ounce water bottle in the morning, drink from it all day, then see what’s left that night.
2.Get Fresh Air
You know the importance of exercising (even if you don’t want to do it). Movement is necessary to stay limber, flexible, and in good health.
This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym, though. In fact, if you can find ways to exercise outside during the day, that’s a much better choice. You’ll be combining your workout with getting fresh air, which compounds the benefits.
Fresh air and sunlight are linked to better mental and physical health. Taking a brisk 15-minute or longer walk, run, or bike ride helps you feel happier. Your activity causes your brain to release endorphins, the sun provides your vitamin D dose, and your blood is circulating with fresh oxygen.
The gym has a lot of advantages, and you should go if you want to work out with weights and other machines. But if your goal is to hit the treadmill for a walk or the bicycle for a bike ride, head to the great outdoors instead.
3.Figure Out Your Bad Habits and Stop Them
If you’re serious about your health, it’s time to get real with your behavior. What are you doing that’s dangerous to your wellness?
You might have some obvious bad habits, like drinking too much alcohol, eating junk food, or smoking. You know you shouldn’t do them, but it’s hard to quit something your body is used to.
These obvious bad habits are actually good because you know they’re there and can work on them.
For instance, you know you’re smoking your medical marijuana, and the smoke is bad for you. So, you gradually switch to vaping or edibles to get the same benefits without the carcinogens. Or, you know pasta is your weakness, so you start moving to whole grains or vegetable-based noodles. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than quitting spaghetti and lasagna entirely.
What you need to watch for are those quiet bad habits. The ones you don’t realize you’re doing that are dangerous to your health. In case you’re not sure, we’ve listed a few here for you. If you checkmark any of them, you have a bad habit you need to work on:
● Watching more than one hour of TV a day. Binging occasionally is okay, but regularly is no good.
● Scrolling on your phone or playing games for more than one hour a day is not good for your eyes or productivity.
● Drinking alcohol in the evening to “unwind;” you may not have an alcohol problem, per se, but drinking alcohol before bed decreases your sleep quality.
● Sitting for long periods without stretching. If you have a desk job or tend to sit for a while, set a timer for one hour, then stretch for five minutes before returning to your seat.
You probably have at least one bad habit you know you do but don’t realize the dangers involved. Take a few days to pay attention to your routines, and if you notice anything that’s distracting you from your healthy goals, make a plan to get it under control.
You need to be healthy for your happiness. Look around you, though. You have people who care about you that want you to stick around a while. Get and stay healthy for them, too, so you can improve your quality of life and enjoy the relationships with your loved ones for a long time.