5 Small Steps for a Healthier Life
We all want to live healthier and feel our best, but sometimes it can feel incredibly overwhelming. But it really doesn’t have to be complicated -- a small shift in perspective is all that’s needed. Here are 5 small steps that can make a big difference to a healthier version of yourself.
1) Choosing Healthier Nutrition
Good nutrition is essential for a healthier life. Nutrition affects energy levels, disease prevention, longevity, and weight management. The optimal diet is predominantly whole food and plant-based, rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, minimally processed whole grains, nuts, and seeds. These foods are abundant in nutrients including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals.
Studies show that people who ate a serving of whole grains per day saw major reductions in their risk for diseases. Other data suggests whole grains can help lower levels of dangerous abdominal body fat, and have beneficial effects on the gut microbiome, which may strengthen digestive and immune health.
2) Hydration is key
Your body is over 50% water, so staying hydrated is essential in order for your body to function properly. The National Academy of Medicine recommends 9 1/2 cups of water per day for women, and 12 cups per day for men. Keep water near you and sip throughout the day.
Movement aides in reducing the risk of multiple diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and certain cancers. If that isn’t enough, physical activity improves sleep, physical function, prevents injury from falls, and is beneficial as an addition to pain medication in certain conditions.
To add more movement into your life, make small changes that are realistic in your daily life. Even if you can’t be at the gym every day, stay active every single chance you get. For example, set an alarm on your phone every hour to remind you to move around. Suggest to colleagues a “walk and talk” meeting, instead of sitting in a conference room. And take the stairs, everywhere. These small deliberate efforts add up surprisingly fast.
4) Give yourself the gift of sleep
Strive for 7 hours of sleep each night. The housework can wait, and work will still be there in the morning. Instead choose to decompress and lessen your stress in an effort to not only recharge the body, but reduce hormonal imbalances and inflammation that negatively affect your health.
5) Enjoy life & Make Time For Happiness
The ability to completely enjoy and savor a moment nourishes your mind, body, and soul and is crucial to your overall well-being, so intentionally plan time for that. Engage in relationships that make you happy and feel loved. There is nothing better than doing what you enjoy with those that you love.
This article was originally published at MillieandFriends.com.