7 Simple Things You Can Do Every Day to Improve Your Health
With so many gimmicks and products promising to improve your health, it can seem like living a healthy lifestyle is something only experts understand. But making healthy choices doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. You can make significant improvements to your health with simple, small changes in everyday life. For better health from head to toe, make these seven everyday health strategies a part of your life.
1. Change Your Air Filters
It makes sense that breathing polluted air can cause health problems, but it may not be as widely known that a lot of the polluted air you breathe is actually indoors. That’s because you can carry outdoor pollutants into the home without realizing it. Plus, mold can be growing somewhere in your home, which can also negatively impact your health. Changing your air filters regularly improves your home’s air quality. In order to effectively remove allergens — such as mold and bacteria — buy a MERV 13 air filter, which traps 98 percent of the toxic particles lingering in the air.
2. Go to Bed on Time
The importance of quality sleep can’t be overstated. Poor sleep doesn’t just lead to fatigue and irritability the next day, it weakens your immune system, disrupts your hormones and contributes to chronic health problems including diabetes and heart disease. Poor sleep also affects your mental health and cognition, leading to problems at work, school and in your personal life. Schedule enough time for seven to nine hours of sleep each night and maintain a consistent bedtime to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.
3. Use a Refillable Water Bottle
Without water, your body can’t function the way it’s supposed to. Colorless or light yellow urine is a sign you’re well-hydrated. If your urine is consistently darker than that, you need to up your water consumption. Rather than buying plastic water bottles that are bad for your wallet and the planet, carry a refillable water bottle and drink the entire thing several times a day.
4. Make a Home-Cooked Meal
People who cook at home tend to have healthier diets and spend less on food than people who eat out frequently, according to a study from the University of Washington School of Public Health. Cook at home as much as possible, setting aside a weekend afternoon for meal prep or planning crockpot meals if you’re short on time.
5. Stand Up from Your Desk
Sitting for long stretches in an office chair isn’t good for you. Use your phone or computer to remind you to stand up once every 20-30 minutes throughout the workday. Medical Daily recommends using a sit-stand desk so you can alternate periods of seated work with standing work.
6. Take the Scenic Route
Midtown Yoga shouldn’t be the only place you move your body. Work more physical activity into your days by finding opportunities to take the long way. Choose the stairs over the elevator, park at the far end of the parking lot and walk instead of drive whenever you can.
7. Call a Friend
Social connection is essential for good health, but friendships tend to fade as we grow older and grow busy with careers and family. Keep your relationships strong by scheduling time to reach out through phone calls, texts, and quality time together. Your mental and physical health — and theirs — will benefit. If you don’t have enough close friendships in your life, join a hobby, volunteer or find a different way to connect with others.
Healthy living isn’t about eating clean for 30 days, spending too much money on cold-pressed juices or committing to a New Year’s resolution you’ll abandon by February. A truly healthy lifestyle is about the little choices you make day after day. If you want to feel your best physically, mentally and emotionally, start by making these seven simple changes to your life.