9 Ways to Be Much Healthier With Very Little Effort
Obviously we’d all love to be as healthy as possible. But, for most of us it’s placed on the back burner. In fact, we compromise our health in so many ways. The way we eat, the lack of exercise, stress placed on our bodies, and so many other things, play a huge role in how healthy we are and how we feel.
Many of us don’t make positive health changes unless something bad actually happens. And even at that, some of us still don’t make changes, and end up feeling horrible each day and are likely on some type of prescription drug.
Without our health, it’s nearly impossible to fully enjoy anything. We instead just go through the motions each day feeling “blah” and bury ourselves in things to numb the pain, hoping we’ll feel better for at least a short period.
I’m not writing this to try and make anyone feel bad. I’m writing this because I want to inspire people to be a little healthier. A little healthier goes a long way when you consistently do it. And believe me, I’ve been there, on several different occasions. But, we’re all here to make a better effort with ourselves. I hope to give you a few tips that you can implement at any time that will have you feeling better, and much healthier.
Here’s 9 easy ways to be much healthier:
1. Drink enough water - About 75% of people are dehydrated. Your body doesn’t function properly in any way without enough water. That goes for your mind, too. It helps fight off infections, keeps your organs functioning properly, improves your sleep quality, helps with your mood, and so many other things.
The easiest way to know if you’re hydrated is to look at your urine. Each time you use the washroom, if your urine is nearly clear, then you’re hydrated. Don’t worry about the traditional saying of "8 cups of water a day". That doesn’t work because every person is different. Everybody’s a different size, some have more physical activity, and some live in hotter areas. Because of that, simply go by the color of your urine. If it’s nearly clear, you’re hydrated.
2. Get enough quality sleep - Sleep is the time that your body heals and replenishes itself. Without regular, adequate sleep you could potentially be taking years off your life. Make sure that you’re getting between 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night.
There’s several ways to help with quality sleep:
Sleep in a dark, cold room
No electronics in the room
No pets in the room
Have sex in the evening
Exercise during the day
Go to bed at the same time each night
Don’t eat 2 hours or less before bed
Don’t watch TV or look at your phone 2 hours or less before bed
3. Move a little more - It’s all about getting your body moving. Our ancestors were much healthier on average than what we are, and a big factor in that is because they were always on the move. A lot of us, like myself, are stuck to a computer for a large part of the day. And then we get home and sit on the couch the rest of the evening.
Do little things to start moving more:
Park further away from the doors when you’re at the mall or store
If you work in an office, try to stand as much as possible and pace around
Challenge yourself to walk just a little each day, and then increase it by a little every other day
Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Stretch for a little bit every time you’re sitting for a long period
4. Eat until you’re not hungry rather than eating until you’re full - In North America, we don’t exactly have the best diets. Way more than half of us are obese. One way to help your body out is to eat until you’re not hungry rather than until you’re full. Here’s what I mean by that: Have you ever noticed that we always try to finish what’s on our plate? Or, we have that extra bite or two even though we know it’s too much. Well, next time you’re eating, try to stop when you’re not hungry anymore. Our bodies already struggle enough to metabolize things because of how processed they are. If you slow down how much you eat consistently, your body will thank you.
5. Slow down on work - I’m not saying to go and quit your job. What I’m saying is that a lot of people put in way more for a company than what you get back. If your contract or salary is to work 40 hours a week, then work 40 hours a week. Don’t put in 5-10 extra hours a week. We need to stop the idea of “putting in more hours means you’re a better worker”. We’re compromising our health when we do this, and then we’re wearing it like a badge of honor. There’s nothing about losing sleep, adding more stress, being away from family, and eating poorly, all for the sake of working more, that should be viewed as honorable. Instead, use that extra few hours a week to relax, spend time with family, do things you love, and be healthier.
6. Limit your alcohol consumption - If you can eliminate alcohol completely, that’s great. But for those of you who do enjoy some cocktails, then work at limiting your amount. If you typically drink 3 times a week, then try to limit that down to 2 times a week. Keep pushing to improve that. Maybe each time you drink, you have 5 drinks on average. Try to limit that down to 4, then 3, then 2, and so forth.
Alcohol is a depressant and does nothing good for our bodies. It instead leaves us feeling anxious, dehydrated, causes headaches, causes stomach issues, and so much more. Anytime you’re able to slow down on your alcohol consumption, you’re doing your body a favor.
7. Listen to happy music - We all love music, of course. It makes us feel things even more than we already do. When you listen to happy music that you enjoy, it sends positive signals throughout your whole body. When your body is “happy”, it’s much healthier because there’s less stress present. Anytime we can limit our stress, we’re doing our body wonders.
8. Eat darker chocolate rather than milk chocolate - If you’re anything like me, you have a huge sweet tooth. Dark chocolate is much healthier than milk chocolate. Try eating darker chocolate to satisfy your cravings. You may need to slowly work your way up, but you’ll start to crave the darker chocolate more and more as time goes on. If you can work your way up to 70% cocoa or more than you’re doing great.
9. Do things you love - I don’t mean go eat a full 16 inch pizza by yourself and wash it down with 5 beers. What I mean is that if you love going for walks in the park, go do it a lot. If you love playing with your kids, go do it a lot. If you love building furniture, go do it a lot. When you’re doing things that you love, it greatly benefits your body because you’re at peace.
That’s only 9 of a billion things you could do to be healthier. It’s all about taking those little steps and making better decisions. Any little positive step helps you be healthier. Do what you can and challenge yourself.
I hope you’re able to use some of these tips. There’s nothing more important than our health, so treat your body the way it deserves to be treated. Nurture it as much as you can, and you’ll find yourself living a much healthier and happy life.
What are some simple ways you’ve improved your health?