When it comes to healthy living, the truth is that it isn’t that complicated. If you’re eating nutritious food, getting adequate exercise, sleeping the right amount for you, and managing stress, you are already way ahead of the game. That said, there are simple habits you can begin to implement today that can up the ante. Here are five:
- Spend time outside daily. Fresh air is good to reduce stress and boost energy. Being outside in nature is calming to the mind and body. The practice of “forest bathing” began in Japan during the 1980s and has been slowly spreading to the west as an important component of health and well-being.
- Get to bed by 10 pm. Getting to bed early can help you catch up on sleep and feel more refreshed. Some research shows that the most restful and renewing sleep occurs between 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. And, no electronics in the bedroom! Electronics are stimulating to the brain and their blue light can negatively affect melatonin (sleepy time hormone) levels. Electronics such as televisions, computers, tablets and smartphones should be off limits in your bedroom to ensure optimal rest.
- Avoid drugs and too much alcohol. Excessive alcohol and recreational drugs drain the body of vitamins and minerals that are essential to the body’s detoxification processes as well as overall health and well-being.
- If you smoke, stop. Cigarettes contain hundreds of ingredients which not only produce smoke but also chemicals that are harmful to your body’s health, now and in the future. Your body will try to repair the damage that smoking does it, but over time, smoking can wear down the body, leading to emphysema, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia. Smoking is highly addictive and, if you find yourself struggling to quit, don’t hesitate to reach out to your physician or other resource for support.
- Start your day with warm water and lemon. Lemon water is a source of plant compounds called flavonoids, some of which have antioxidant properties that can protect our cells from damage. Flavonoids from citrus fruits may benefit blood circulation and certain aspects of metabolic health. Some proponents claim that drinking warm water aids digestive health, and the benefits of drinking water are well documented – it helps us stay hydrated, can aid in weight loss, and help us feel more energetic and alert. I recently made warm water with lemon part of my morning routine and have found it a way to start the day with a feeling of energy and well-being. (Shout out to my friend Stef for the reminder!)
Now it’s your turn. Try implementing one of these new practices in your life and reap the benefits And write and let me know if there are any wellness practices that you have adopted in your life that have made a significant difference. I really love to hear from you!
Thoughts? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.