Simple Ways to Start Healthy in 2017

Eat fruit instead of candy 

This is a great way to avoid processed sugar.  Plus, the added fiber of the fruit helps you to break down the sugar slower, makes you feel ‘full’ sooner, and it can regulate your bowel movements.

Go food shopping when full 

If you aren’t hungry at the store, it’s been shown that people buy fewer unhealthy foods and less impulse buys.

Learn how to cook 

Dieting doesn’t work because cutting out food groups only makes you crave them more.  It’s better to aim for a lifestyle change.  Cooking at home is healthier than eating out, saves money, and you gain a helpful life skill.

Drink coffee black

I’m guilty of this one.  My old clinical instructor used to say I made ‘foo-foo’ coffee because I would add lots of Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Creamer.  While it tastes great, eliminating milk, cream, sugar, and flavorings will help you cut calories.  Did you know that some studies suggest that drinking 3-5 cups of coffee a day could help you live longer?

Switch butter on toast to mashed avocado 

Avocados are fleshy green fruit filled with healthy fats, and nutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamins C and E, and fiber.

Switch out white bread to whole wheat bread 

Remember what I said about fiber? Whole grain bread has more of it, and that’s a great thing!

Drink plenty of water 

I talked about this before on a previous post.  Drinking water before each meal can help you lose weight, plus being hydrated can make you feel more energetic.

Pick up the pace 

A 2013 study determined that slower walkers had a higher risk of dying than their briskly paced peers.  Plus, you’ll get where you want to go faster!

Park in farther away (or get off the bus/train sooner) 

This a quick and easy way to get more walking into your daily routine.  Walking burns calories, can help reduce anxiety, and helps to strengthen bones.  Exercising 30 minutes a day might seem difficult, but you can break it up into three 10 minute walking sessions!

Take the stairs 

This is an easy way to tone your legs and burn more calories when you struggle to get in a workout.

Stand on one leg when brushing your teeth/getting ready

While this won’t work when getting dressed, multitasking helps to improve your balance.  Balance is critical to your health, especially when you start to get older.

Wash and dry your hands regularly 

This is one of the most effective ways to prevent infection.  Make sure you are washing your hands thoroughly.  Can you sing all of ‘Happy Birthday’ before you’re done?  Good!  If not, spend more time with the suds.

Wear Sunscreen 

So it may be slimy or smelly, but it sure beats having skin cancer.

Wear Sunglasses 

These aren’t just for fashion; it’s important to protect your eyes from UV radiation as well.

Buy a plant 

If you’re like me, buy several.  (I did not inherit my grandmother’s green thumb.)  Bringing plants into your office at work can help you feel happier.

Moisturize

This can help prevent dry, flaky skin.  There’s several different types and effects, so you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right one for you.

Meditate for 30 minutes a day 

I’ve found this one very helpful.  It’s a great way to handle stress, improve memory and awareness, and lower blood pressure.  Several cardiac surgeons are now recommending that their patients practice meditation for the heart healthy effects.  One study found that people who meditated 30 mins/day, 5 days/wk, for a month saw changes at the brain level for improving self-regulation.

Read a book 

I’m an avid reader, so if anyone needs suggestions, hit me up.  It’s healthy to briefly break away from the internet and your phone.  A small 2012 study found that reading about someone else’s experience made people more satisfied, less tressed, and more likely to volunteer.

Turn off your phone 

Reading your phone an hour before bed can make going to sleep difficult.  Take a technology break every once in awhile.

Have a regular bedtime

When you shift your sleep schedule over the weekend, it can led to the ‘social jet lag’ phenomenon, which can throw off your natural sleep schedule.

Work near a window

A room with a view may help you to sleep longer and do more physical activity according to a small study in 2014.

Cherish close relationships

Harvard psychologists found that close relationships are vital to living happy and healthy lives.  Some scientists believe that a lack of social connections can be as big of a risk to your health as smoking.

Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year!

References:

Drink Coffee For Your Health 

Meditation and Heart Health 

Walking Speed and Length of Life 

Breaking Up Your Workout Time

22 Ways to be Healthier with Minimal Effort

I am so thankful to Greg Todd & Smart Success PT for all that I have learned about physical therapy and businessPre-register for  Smart Success that re-launches in January. Be the first to know how to Change you Career!!

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