Imagine the joy of discovering a shortcut just when you needed it the most, inestimable right?. When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a lot of people find themselves making excuses at the prospect of a change to their routines, but everyone wants to look better, feel better and live longer. We have compiled some healthy hacks that can help you improve your fitness, diet, mental health, and general well-being. These hacks are like shortcuts to the healthy life you desire, it’s not time or money draining and can easily fit into your schedule.
1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP AND WAKE EARLY
If you’ve ever had a sleepless night, then you already know what it feels like the next day (swollen eyes, tiredness, headaches, and crankiness) you name it. Consistent lack of sleep or inadequate sleep hours have been linked with a number of health problems such as weight gain, weakened immune system, risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, memory and mood issues. Your body needs at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep to heal itself, so for night owls and busy bees, try to finish your task early enough, so you can go to bed on time and also wake early because waking early is also important for your health.
Meditation has numerous benefits, it helps you think deep, sharpen your memory, and maintain focus which is needed for your daily activities. Studies have shown that meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, blood pressure, and sound sleep. Guess what? 10 minutes meditation is enough to carry on for the day.
3. EAT RAW VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
The health and nutritional value of vegetables cannot be overemphasized. Consumption of raw vegetables and fruits gives most enzymes, vitamins, and minerals needed for good health, you will likely get more energy, improved skin and digestion, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. If you can’t eat raw vegetables (as a salad), try adding them into your meals and do not overcook them.
4. EXERCISE REGULARLY
There is no doubt that one of the best things you can do to improve your general wellbeing is to make fitness a regular part of your life. Exercising regularly has several benefits but if you have a busy schedule, you might find it difficult to be consistent. So here is what you can do; stick to the easy routine you can do right before you shower (sit-ups, lunges, crunches, planks), take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk around and stand more at work instead of sitting in a position from 8 am – 5 pm every day, you can also join a group workout (it will motivate you).
5. REPLACE SUGARY DRINKS WITH WATER
Soda, refined juice, alcohol, and beverages contain sugars, dyes, and flavourings your body doesn’t need. They contain high calories which are increasingly linked to weight gain, so you need to substitute these sugary drinks with water. Water helps to regulate body temperature, helps to process body metabolism ( through sweat, urine, stool), aids digestion, weight loss and improves blood circulation. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, if you struggle to drink water, get a measured water bottle and mark with time intervals.
6. NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST
An average person sleeps for at least 7-8 hours at night, and your body can be considered to be fasting at this point because it is a long time to go without food. So if you do not eat in the morning, your body won’t get the energy it needs to function properly. Take a nutritious breakfast (whole grains, lean protein, fruit, and vegetables), it will set the tone for the day, and helps you focus on the task ahead instead of being interrupted by the rumbling sounds coming from your belly.
7. USE A SMALLER PLATE
Many of us eat to the point of discomfort or regret and one of the best ways to reduce your food intake is to eat from a smaller plate and pace yourself while you eat. Eating too much, especially unhealthy foods can lead to weight gain, increased blood pressure, and diabetes, all of which have a direct effect on your mood. You can also chew gum to curb cravings and keep logs of the food you eat in order to monitor your food intake.
8. AVOID SCREENS BEFORE BED
Gadgets like phones, laptops, televisions, and computers emit artificial light which suppresses the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall asleep. Reduce your phone or computer brightness or harsh glow and quit operating these gadget hours before bedtime. Replace phones with books hours before bedtime or just go for long hours without a phone, computer or internet to help you relax your eyes from the screens.
9. LAUGH MORE OFTEN
Laughter is considered to be a natural medicine for both mental and physical health. It re-energizes the human body and mind, assists as a mild antidepressant, relieves stress, and even makes you look younger and healthier. Indulge yourself with funny content (e.g stand up comedy, comic movies, or funny viral video), play with pets, hang out with friends, visit places that spring funny memories.
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Keep staying safe and healthy!