Many people have made resolutions to get healthier in the new year, but may be unsure where to start. In order to help you succeed, here are 5 simple daily actions that will put you on track to a healthier 2015 and beyond.
Flossing every day will do more than just keep your dentist happy, it could help save your life. Did you know that gum disease can actually contribute to heart attacks?
By flossing every day (in addition to brushing your teeth at least two times a day), you can fend off bacterial growth on your teeth and gums while simultaneously promoting overall health.
Drink More Water
It can’t be overstated how important it is to make sure that you are properly hydrated. Even minimal dehydration can have drastic effects on your energy, brain, and body function.
If you’re not sure how much you need, aiming to consume half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day is a good place to start.
Not a fan of water’s “taste” (or lack thereof)? Try adding slices of various fruits and veggies such as cucumber, lemon, or orange, which will not only add flavor but the added benefits of vitamins and minerals from these natural ingredients.
Make Time For Fitness
We’re all busy, so finding an extra hour to exercise can feel daunting, if not impossible.
The best way to set yourself up for success is to set small, easy fitness goals early on. This includes getting up for more breaks to walk around the office, always taking the stairs when possible, or incorporating a daily Tabata workout to your morning routine (a quick 4-minute, high-intensity workout).
Although they may not feel like much, these small spurts of activity will add up to a healthier lifestyle and will make getting healthy more manageable (and easier to stick with).
Set A Sleep Schedule
One of the most overlooked contributors to good health is our sleep. Because of this, many are unknowingly sabotaging their good intentions to get healthy by wreaking havoc on their sleep schedule.
To combat this, set a regular sleep/wake rhythm that is practical with your schedule, but also allocates 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This will give your body plenty of time to recuperate from stress (including exercise), fight off any illnesses threatening to sideline you, and will ensure that you are able to function at your highest capacity.
Since our bodies naturally operate on rhythms, setting regular sleep/wake times (as opposed to just getting more sleep in general) is key.
Eat More Whole Foods
Michael Pollan said it best when he stated, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
One of the best ways to improve your health is to cut out as many artificial and processed foods as you can and to replace them with natural, whole foods.
For starters, stick to the outside perimeter of the grocery store when shopping (the most highly processed stuff is in the middle aisles). Another helpful tip is to imagine your dinner plate divided into 4 even sections – 2 of which being filled with vegetables, 1 with good protein, and 1 with a healthy grain (such as brown rice or quinoa).