Small changes can make a big difference in your life and health. Here are 10 easy things you can do to maintain good physical health and mental well-being!
1. Start your day off with a 10 minute stretch as soon as you get out of bed .
A good stretch can help rejuvenate your senses and increase blood flow in your body, including the brain. This keeps you sharp the whole day and improves flexibility. Read this article from Livestrong about the benefits of stretching in the morning.
2. Skip the elevator or escalator and take the stairs.
Taking the stairs is a good way to burn calories and improve cardiovascular endurance without spending extra time or money in the gym. Climbing also does you more good compared to walking or running for the same amount of time.
3. Go nuts! Switch your mid-morning snack to a handful of almonds, walnuts, cashews, and/or pistachios.
Eating nuts regularly can lower the risk of heart disease. They are good source of protein and are also rich in fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Nuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are considered good fats because they can help lower LDL (or bad) cholesterol levels.
4. Do some household chores. Vacuuming, gardening, washing the car all keep you active.
Cleaning your house can be a great workout, with the extra benefit of enjoying a clean home. If you’re curious about how many calories you can burn doing household chores, check out this article from Hive Health Media.
5. Eat an apple! An apple a day really will keep the doctor away!
Apples are known for having antioxidants that help fight diseases. Apples contain pectin, a soluble dietary fiber that helps with digestion and reduces blood cholesterol levels. You can read more about the health benefits of eating apples from Best Health.
6. Next time you go to the shopping mall pick the furthest parking spot and enjoy the walk.
Walking is always good for the body, so try doing it every chance you get, even if it’s just a walk from your car to the shopping mall. Also, make sure to breathe deeply, take in the view, and enjoy the walk to release tension and stress.
7. Go vegetarian for one or more days each month.
Committing to a full-fledged vegetarian diet is not easy for everyone, but there is no denying how important it is to include vegetables in your diet. The solution, plan one day or more per month to go vegetarian.
8. Take your spouse, partner, kids or furry friend for a walk after dinner.
Walking is beneficial no matter what time of the day you do it. However, walking after dinner can help jump-start digestion, effectively burning more calories and helping to shed pounds faster. It also helps you relax after a day’s work. Read more about the benefits of walking after dinner.
9. Replace your soda (even diet soda) with seltzer. Too boring? Add lemon and a splash of pomegranate juice for an antioxidant-rich and tasteful drink.
Seltzer has no additives so it’s a much healthier choice compared to regular soda, even the diet ones. Mix with a fresh squeeze of your favorite fruit juice and you’ll have a refreshing drink to go along with your meals.
10. Pick a time in the evening at least an hour before bed when you will turn off all electronics, including the TV. You’ll get a more restful night’s sleep!
According to Charles Czeisler, PhD, MD of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed at night suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour—making it more difficult to fall asleep.” Other than the light exposure, activities like texting, checking email or watching the news before bedtime can also trigger anxiety making it difficult for us to relax and fall asleep. Read more about the recent study conducted by National Sleep Foundation about the effect of using electronics before bedtime.
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net