10 Small, Healthy Actions You Can Do for You
You don’t need to make major changes in order to feel better
Becoming healthier can seem intimidating, but these 10 easy, healthy actions to do regularly can make a world of difference in the way you feel every day.
The idea of being healthy all the time, every day, sounds extremely time-consuming, doesn’t it? On the other hand, don’t we all deserve to feel great and keep our bodies happy and minds clear? All it takes is adopting a few small, healthy, consistent habits you can take with you through the rest of your life.
Easy, healthy actions to do regularly
1. Find one small way to add more steps to your day.
Martha Gulati, M.D., a cardiologist and editor-in-chief of the American College of Cardiology’s CardioSmart, confirms that we sit too much. Get closer to your 10,000 daily steps by parking at the end of the office parking lot; getting off the bus or subway one stop earlier; doing 10 jumping jacks between video calls; or taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
2. Just be – even for five minutes a day.
Pure Yoga instructor Alison O’Connor believes in spending time alone every day. “Taking a few minutes for yourself – away from social media, work, entertainment, and anyone who demands something from you – can go a long way toward mental health.”
3. Make sleep a top priority.
The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night in order to stave off depression, keep stress hormones at bay, prevent overeating and crabby moods, succumb to sugar cravings, and minimize inflammation.
4. Refill your water bottle.
Water is, quite simply, essential. It helps your skin look fresh, flushes toxins from your body, helps maintain healthy bowel functions and keeps muscles from fatigue.
5. Take a few deep breaths.
According to Gulati, remembering to pause periodically and spend one full minute focused on deep breathing and positive energy can help you cope better with anxiety and stress and ground you in the present.
6. Wear something you love.
Feeling confident and happy can come from knowing you look good, says Forever Freckled stylist Carrie Greenberg. “Dust off classic pieces and consider investing in some great new accessories,” she says. Make it a point to wear something that makes you feel fantastic every single day.
7. Make something in the kitchen.
New York-based personal chef and fitness instructor Alyssa Gagarin says cooking your own food “gives you full control over what’s going into your body.” Load up on fruits, veggies, whole grains, eggs, meats, seafood, nuts, seeds and legumes – and stop eating once you’re full.
8. Deliberately choose a healthy ingredient.
Even if you aren’t able to prepare your own meals, Gulati suggests mindfully choosing at least one healthy meal or snack a day. Reach for the banana in the office fruit bowl, or add one more veggie to your chicken Caesar salad.
9. Pay attention to your needs.
Ellen Friedrichs, a Brooklyn, New York-based health and sexuality educator, says we need to assess our needs, moment to moment. Acknowledge that you matter and these healthy actions to do for you matter. Do you really need those potato chips, or are you just thirsty for a big glass of water? You’re exhausted – RSVP “no” to that cocktail party. Feeling distant from your partner lately? Suggest a date night.
10. Tell the truth as often as you can.
“Acting with integrity – where all of your words and actions align with your core beliefs – brings peace of mind and a sense of freedom,” O’Connor says. This may seem challenging, but she believes that lying or ignoring your principles could make you sick, both mentally and physically.
Real Simple magazine provides smart, realistic solutions to everyday challenges. Online at www.realsimple.com.
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