It’s a new year. How are you faring with your healthy lifestyle? There’s no shame in making unwise choices sometimes, but when you’re deep in the mud with not becoming the better version of yourself, it’s time for a change. Lucky for you, the start of the new decade will let you do just that. Strap yourselves in, because this will be quite the ride.
Ready your mind, body, and appetite for a revolution. Sustainable change isn’t something that anyone can do overnight, as it’s scientifically more effective to start small. When it comes to major changes – a healthier diet, calmer disposition, mental health – taking one step at a time is ideal. Here are the best ways, small ones, at that, to live a healthier life.
Drink more water.
Hydrating your body is one of the most basic things you can do to maintain a healthy body. Drinking more water can be difficult with our sedentary yet fast-paced lives, but there are things you can do to circumvent it. Bring a water bottle to work, preferably ones who can carry 1 liter of water. Fill it up and refill before the day ends.
Strive to chug at least 2-3 liters of water per day. More, if you’re leading an active lifestyle. Sugary drinks, sodas, coffee, and other juices don’t count. They’re additions, but not necessarily make you hydrated. Remind yourself to drink cold water right after you wake up, and right before you go to bed. If you have to use analog watches to remind yourself, do it.
The importance of getting enough water in our bodies can’t be stressed enough. Common headaches, mood swings, and most infections can be prevented with proper hydration. So drink up, and don’t overthink it. A great way of telling if you’re properly hydrated? The color of your pee. It should be light to clear yellow. Anything darker than that, and you desperately need water, stat.
Sugar is the bane of our existence. It causes our body to do things it doesn’t normally do and is singularly the main culprit why our immune system is weaker when compared to our ancestors. But how can you resist sweets? The short answer is you can’t. The trick here is to lessen sugar intake.
Sugar is addictive, and the body will want it when you deprive it of cold turkey. So start small. If you’re putting two tablespoons in your coffee regularly, cut back to 1 and a half on the first week, 1 on the next, and see how your body reacts. Sugary drinks are also part of our daily lives now – milk tea, juices, shakes. Here’s where you can cut back: limit yourself to one or two drinks a week, and you should be fine.
Walking is scientifically proven to increase lifespan, make the immune system stronger, and is a good a workout as any dips or crunches you do in the gym. Aim for 15-30 minutes of walking every day. Incorporate it to your daily activities by parking farther than you’re used to, opting for the stairs instead of the elevator, and making sure your needs are within walking distance.
The common number of steps that are thrown around is 10,000. You don’t have to reach that goal every day, but aiming for more than half is a great start. Get apps on your phone, which can monitor your steps, or if you have a smartwatch, the better. Take deep breaths while walking and opt not to use your phone – this way, you can be more in tune with your surroundings.
Make sure you get a daily dose of Vitamin D.
The sun vitamin, or Vitamin D, is an essential part of the vitamins and minerals which protect us from developing certain diseases. Global statistics have shown that there’s a steady decline in vitamin D levels in young adults worldwide. It’s believed to cause moodiness, mental health problems, even obesity. So soak up on the sun, 15-20 minutes every day, preferably in the afternoon after 3 PM.
Taking small steps to make your life healthier may be one of the best investments you’ll ever make. The world around us is designed to stress us out, and the top reason for the deadliest diseases today is a lifestyle. You don’t need to be a health nut, a gym rat, or subscribe to an eating belief to be healthier, these small steps will make you live a better life should you do them consistently.