We’ve all had those well-intentioned moments when we resolve to do better. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up exercise, or eating healthier foods, making an effort to improve our health is usually motivated by one thing: love. We want to be around for our friends and family members, and we also appreciate the more intangible benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, like having more energy.
But what steps can you take today that will contribute to your overall well-being? Here are some quick ways to get on track without breaking the bank.
1. Detoxify Your Body
Although we might like to believe that the body cleans itself, even people who eat healthily and exercise often find their bodies feeling sluggish and tired. The truth is that it’s nearly impossible for our bodies to rid themselves of all the environmental chemicals we encounter daily through indoor and outdoor pollution, pesticides, and additives in processed foods.
And while your liver does an amazing job at detoxifying your blood, you can help speed up the process by using detox thee, which is a detox cure that cleanses and regenerates the liver. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (particularly cruciferous veggies like broccoli) containing cancer-fighting antioxidants detoxifies your body. Some of the best detoxifying foods include garlic, onions, turmeric, ginger, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts), dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard), and fruit (lemons, limes, grapefruit). You can also drink detox teas like dandelion tea or nettle tea.
2. Drink More Water
We all know it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Still, many people don’t realize how much of an effect even mild dehydration has on their physical and mental performance. A growing body of research shows that staying hydrated throughout the day can improve mood, cognitive function, and overall productivity. One study showed that dehydration was associated with increased feelings of anger, confusion, and fatigue.
So, how much water do you need to drink per day? The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends women drink 2.7 liters (about 11 cups) of total beverages a day and men drink 3.7 liters (about 15 cups). Of course, this amount will vary depending on your activity level, climate, and other factors, so it’s important to listen to your body and make adjustments as needed.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Did you know that not getting enough sleep is linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease? It’s true. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies produce more of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, and less of the hormone leptin, which signals fullness. This can lead to overeating and poor dietary choices. In addition to making better food choices when you’re well-rested, getting enough sleep also improves your workout performance and recovery time.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s a good idea to try cutting down on caffeine and alcohol intake in the evening and avoiding screen time (TV, computer, phone) in the hour before bedtime. If that doesn’t help increase your shut-eye, consider taking melatonin supplements or using a relaxation technique like meditation, massage, or yoga 30 minutes before bedtime.
4. Find A Workout You Enjoy
Not everyone will have an easy time sticking with a formal exercise program, so it’s important not to get frustrated if you start strong but then quickly fall off track. Instead of looking for ways to make your workouts harder or more complicated, consider focusing on the benefits you get from exercise. After several weeks, if you do not see results, it might be time to switch things up by trying a different activity that gives you the same health benefits. For example, instead of always running, try swimming or hiking – if you don’t like doing cardio, incorporate weight training into your routine.
5. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet for many reasons: they’re low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients like folate, potassium, and antioxidants. These highly nutritious foods also make staying hydrated easier due to their high water content. We all know fiber is good for us, but many people still struggle to get the recommended amount every day, so here are some quick tips for making sure you hit your daily target:
- Snack on fresh fruit and veggies – berries are one of the best sources of fiber.
- Add beans to salads, soups, or chili – beans are a great source of fiber and protein. You can also make meatless meals by swapping the meat for black beans, black-eyed peas, or lentils.
- Swap white pieces of bread for whole wheat bread and pasta to get more fiber into your diet slowly over time.
6. Surround Yourself With Good People
Did you know that stress can be contagious? It’s true. According to one study, people who had frequent contact with individuals who were under high levels of stress were 70% more likely to experience an episode of acute illness during the six-month follow-up period than those who did not have regular exposure to highly stressed individuals (Brummett et al., 2011). Most people know that stress can contribute to health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity, but fewer people realize that it also affects our mental health.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), depression is one of America’s leading causes of disability. Individuals who live with chronic stress are also at risk for developing anxiety disorders, leading to substance abuse problems, self-harm behavior, and suicide.
- If you’re currently experiencing significant levels of stress, try talking with your friends or family members about what’s going on – sometimes just getting an outsider’s opinion or feedback helps tremendously, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Make sure you carve out some “you time” every day, whether it’s taking a walk, practicing yoga, or meditating for 20 minutes.
- Avoid spending time with people who are always negative – the last thing you need to do is surround yourself with energy vampires.
- If you think you could benefit from professional help, call your doctor and ask if they can recommend someone who specializes in both stress management and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
The bottom line is that there are many things you can do every day to improve your health without spending lots of money. By following the tips above, you can make small changes that have a big impact on your overall well-being. Improving your health is easier than you think. So what are you waiting for? Start implementing these tips today.