So, you have decided with good intentions to eat healthier, move more and meditate daily.
In your enthusiasm, it’s tempting to go overboard when trying to change your lifestyle.
But drastic lifestyle changes usually don’t lead to lasting results. Instead, take small, doable steps towards your goals.
Take a look at a few simple things you can do today to boost your health and happiness.
Eat Slowly, without distractions
Eating slowly gives your brain the chance to get the signal that you’re full, so you’re less likely to overeat.
We are all guilty of sitting in front of the TV or mindlessly tapping on our phone as we eat.
But eliminating distractions and instead being mindful and eating slowly has shown to reduce overeating, promote weight loss, and reduce anxiety.
Connect to people
Loneliness is a risk factor for early death. So, connect with those you love, mend broken relationships and seek social connection.
Not only will you improve your own health, but you just might increase the lifespan of someone around you. Invite a neighbor to dinner. Join a club or hobby group.
Ditch the juice, eat the fruit
If you like orange juice, have an orange instead.
Even 100% pure juice loses nutrition when you process it, and it can put a lot of hidden sugar in your diet.
On the other hand, actual fruits are good sources of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and folic acid. And they’re low in fat, sodium, and calories.
Take time off
It’s a time when you can bond with family and friends, which is good for your mental and physical health.
People who take more vacations live longer and are less likely to have heart disease and other health problems.
Eat more healthy fats
Upping your fat consumption can help fight depression, improve your cognitive function, strengthen your bones and decrease your risk of disease (just to name a few).
My favorite healthy fat sources are avocado, eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, fish and nut butters.
Move your body everyday
Regular exercise helps to ward off nearly every degenerative disease, including cognitive decline.
Although exercise isn’t as easy as taking a pill, it doesn’t require an enormous commitment.
You can start walking as few as five minutes every day and add five more each week.
Within two months you’ll be logging the recommended amount: 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes a day five days a week. If walking is painful, try water exercises or cycling.
If you work in an office, get up and walk around every hour or so, or try a standing desk for part of the day.
You’ll burn more calories, improve your circulation, and stay more alert. It may even help prevent certain health issues, like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Eat your greens
One of the best things you can do for your health is to eat more greens!
Whether it’s spinach, fenugreek, lettuce, broccoli or dill – it is pure life.
Your skin will thank you. Your mood will thank you. Your digestion will thank you.
Every single cell will thank you when you eat more greens.
Dance it out
It keeps your mind sharp because it’s a skill that involves body movement, and that’s especially good for your brain.
It’s also social and can be lots of fun, which bring health benefits of their own. And you might not even notice that you’re exercising!
It’s linked to heart health, brain health, a long life, a strong relationship, and even happiness.
Just keep it safe. Use condoms to protect yourself and your partner against diseases and unwanted pregnancy.
Sleep until you’re rested
Few people can do well with fewer than six hours of sleep a night, and most of us need seven or eight.
Wind down as bedtime approaches. Refrain from caffeine and alcohol. Exercise, but not within three hours of bedtime.
Establish soothing bedtime rituals. Take a warm bath or shower, read for pleasure, listen to music, or meditate. Make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleeping and sex.
Don’t let computers, work projects, or television invade that space. Screen out light and set the thermostat at a comfortable level.
Being in nature improves your mental health. Most cities have at least one green space, whether it’s a park or trails.
Plan a picnic, hike, or ultimate frisbee game. It’s free and you’ll de-stress with social time and exercise all at the same time.
Follow a heat-healthy diet
It once seemed as though you had to choose a diet tailored to the disease you were trying to avoid.
However, research in the last two decades has indicated that eating to reduce your heart-disease risk also offers protection against diabetes and many cancers.
Snacking can be a source of hundreds of extra calories if you head for the bakery or a bag of chips between meals.
Instead, grab a handful of nuts or a piece of fresh fruit, both of which have far fewer calories and far more nutrition than a cookie or bag of chips.
The fat in nuts, the water in fruit, and the fiber in both will make you feel full longer.
Go for Coffee
A cup of coffee is brimful with antioxidants.
Since the health benefits observed in most studies came from drinking at least a cup a day, feel free to get a refill or two.
But go easy on the extras: while a cup of black coffee has only two calories, a mocha Frappuccino can pack almost 500.
Don’t shy away from chocolate
Once synonymous with decadence, chocolate has become a wholesome choice.
Some forms are full of cocoa flavanols, powerful antioxidants that may help protect against heart disease and cognitive decline.
You can enjoy 30g of chocolate a couple of times a week without risking a weight gain.
Practice meditation daily
In a recent article, published in a medical journal , researchers from John Hopkins University showed that mindfulness meditation can help ease anxiety, depression and pain.
The practice of mindfulness meditation is simply sitting quietly and comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and bringing your mind’s attention to the present.
Even 5 minutes of meditation per day (optimal is 30 minutes twice per day) can help balance both mind and body.
Take a good multivitamin and an extra D
Poor diet and lack of variation in food intake are some of the reasons we find deficiencies.
Eating a wide array of local, in season, organic fruits and veggies, taking a good multivitamin and extra vitamin D are all good things to do to ensure your body is functioning at its best.
Drink more water
Think about how your house plants look after you forget to water them and imagine your body organs the same way when you’re dehydrated.
The health benefits of water are numerous and include improved kidney function, weight management, and improved bowel function.
Boost your health with a daily dose of gratitude
Research studies in mental health show that grateful people tend to be healthier than their not so grateful counterparts.
They tend to engage in healthier lifestyle traits such as regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. tart your day either thinking about or writing down five things that you are grateful for.
Dose it daily and you’ll be healthier and happier this year and years to come.
Sit up straight
When we feel tired and depressed, our shoulders tend to curl inward, our spines round out, and we basically collapse into ourselves.
Sitting up straight can instantly improve confidence, open lungs for more energy, and boost your mood. Ready, set, posture check!
A smile can improve your mood and reduce stress. So, turn the corners of your mouth upward, even if you don’t mean it. Only good things can ensue!
Volunteer your time
Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” It’s easy and natural to get caught up in our own problems.
The best way to turn this around is to focus on helping others.
Wash hands and floss teeth.
Washing hands and flossing teeth are two highly underrated hygiene practices.
Wash your hands every chance you get and keep them away from your face.
Don’t forget to floss those pearly whites! Keeping your gums clean will help you avoid bad breath and heart disease.
Food manufacturers tend to sneak sugar, chemicals, and fillers into our food, which we definitely don’t need.
Less is more when it comes to ingredients so read labels to ensure you are putting premium fuel into your body