We know that a healthy lifestyle is crucial for our overall well-being, but it’s easy to be intimidated by the thought of making major changes — even when they’re in our best interest. Fortunately, there are minor tweaks you can make in your everyday life that can significantly impact your health.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest that substantial health benefits can occur with just 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, every week for adults.
Similarly, making minor tweaks to your diet can greatly influence your well-being over the years to come. So, rather than thinking of healthy eating as an all-or-nothing proposition, consider finding healthy alternatives that you can stick with long-term.
We’ve rounded up some of the most effective small changes you can make that will help improve your health without completely overhauling your lifestyle.
Drink Water Before Each Meal
Staying hydrated is crucial for our overall health, but did you know it can also help promote weight loss? Water can lead to the feeling of fullness and reduced hunger.
One study of hydration and weight loss showed that those who drank 16 ounces of water before each meal saw more significant weight loss over 12 weeks than those who didn’t drink any water before meals. So, drink water and see the difference if you want to drop a few pounds with minimal effort.
Go for a Walk After Dinner
Walking is a great exercise that requires no equipment or particular skill. A simple 30-minute walk after dinner can help improve your digestion and also help lower your blood sugar. If you have trouble fitting in a 30-minute walk, start with 10 minutes and gradually work your way up.
Not only will walking keep you fit, but it can also improve your mental health by reducing stress levels. With so many benefits, there’s no reason not to take a walk after your next meal.
Stop Looking at Your Phone Before Bed
The blue light emitted by screens from phones, computers, and TVs suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm.
Electronic devices can affect a good night’s sleep because if you’re looking at your phone right before bed, you’re not giving your brain the time it needs to wind down and get ready for sleep.
Disconnect from electronics at least thirty minutes before bedtime to get the most rest. If you need to use your phone before bed, try a blue light filter or buy some blue light-blocking glasses. That way, you can still use your phone without disrupting your sleep and wake up feeling reenergized.
Say No To Sugary Drinks
Soda, energy drinks, and many fruit juices are loaded with sugar and empty calories. Ditching sugary drinks is one of the easiest ways to reduce calories and improve your diet.
A can of soda can have over 150 calories and 39 grams of sugar, which is more than the American Heart Association’s recommended daily sugar intake limit for an adult. Consuming high amounts of calories and sugar can quickly lead to weight gain, so it’s best to avoid sugary drinks altogether.
Instead, opt for water, unsweetened tea or coffee, and low-sugar fruit juice. You can also include flavors in your water by adding slices of lemon, lime, or cucumber.
Limit Foods That Make You Uncomfortable
We’ve all been there. You’re out with friends, and someone offers you a dish you know will make you feel bloated and uncomfortable later. While it’s tempting to go ahead and eat it anyway, resist the urge.If you suffer from or have symptoms of food intolerance, it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. Indulging in foods that don’t agree with you, such as gluten, dairy, or soy, can lead to digestive issues like gas, diarrhea, and other uncomfortable signs.
If you’re unsure which foods trigger your symptoms, consider testing for food sensitivity to identify what is causing the issue. Once you know what to avoid, making the necessary changes to your diet will be much easier.
Stretch Every Morning
Stretching is a great way to enhance your health and well-being without much effort. It’s also something you can do regardless of your fitness level.
Stretching has many benefits, including improving flexibility, range of motion, and circulation. It can also help reduce stress, tension headaches, and back pain. It is also a simple change that can help you start your day feeling refreshed and energized. Plenty of stretching routines are available online if you’re unsure how to begin. You can easily add this healthy change to your morning routine.
Explore Someplace New
There’s nothing like exploring a new place to jump-start your motivation and add excitement to your life. It can be as simple as taking a different route during your morning walk or trying a new recipe for dinner.
Doing something out of the ordinary can help break the monotony of daily life and give you a sense of adventure. It can also help you appreciate what you usually take for granted, such as your daily routine. Exploring the world around you is a simple way to enhance your mental well-being. The next time you feel stuck in a rut, take some time to try something new.
Spend Time Outside
Spending time in nature can improve mental health and reduce stress levels. It can also boost energy levels and enhance the quality of sleep.
There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors, such as hiking, biking, swimming, or simply taking a stroll through the park. Sunlight exposure can also help improve your health by elevating your mood and boosting your vitamin D levels.
If you live where the weather isn’t conducive to spending time outside, there are still ways to bring nature into your home. Try adding houseplants or a small water fountain to create a calming oasis in your living space.
Talk to People More
Making time for social interaction is essential for maintaining mental and emotional health. Whether you’re catching up with an old friend or meeting someone new, the conversation can help reduce stress levels and promote feelings of happiness and well-being.
If you’re introverted or shy, meeting new people can be daunting, but there are plenty of ways to ease into social situations. Start by attending small gatherings or events where you know at least a few people. You can also join a book club, take a cooking class, or participate in other activities that allow you to socialize while doing something you enjoy.
Keep a Journal
Journaling is great for mental health and will help you process your thoughts and emotions. It can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
There are many different ways to journal, such as writing about your day-to-day experiences, setting goals, or tracking your mood. You can also use it as a creative outlet by writing stories, poems, or songs.
Plenty is available online if you’re unsure where to start, and you can find journaling prompts to help you get started.
Making these small changes in your daily routine can have a significant impact on your overall health. By incorporating just a few healthy habits into your life, you can start feeling your best in no time.