Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What to do Everyday to Stay Healthy

You don't need to make resolutions to change your whole life on January 1st. In fact, making small changes daily, or starting a new goal every few weeks is more likely to keep you successful and make you healthier in the long run.  Let go of the fad diets, obsessing about every calorie that falls onto your plate or stressing about how you are going to get to the gym.

These simple ideas can you make you healthier and have you feelings better if you consistently do them.  But Don't start them all at once, pick one and add to a your new healthy lifestyle, after a week or two, add another one and keep going until you are doing all of them as part of your amazing take-care-of-yourself lifestyle.

Here you go, 8 things you should do every day to stay fit and healthy.

1. Eat Lots of Veggies

This one isn't a big surprise and there probably aren't too many people that would disagree that consuming more vegetables is a critical part of eating healthy.  Having more vegetables in your diet has numerous benefits for your health, even the holy grail of weight loss.

Vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, healthy fats. They are rich in fiber both insoluble and soluble. Having a diet full of vegetables has also been shown to reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes and cancer.

Try and have veggies at every meal.

2. Walk More

Walking may seem like an inconsequential activity, but it can actually be the best activity to get you healthier and more fit. You can burn up to 500 calories by just walking 5 miles. And it doesn't have to be all at the same time, you can get your walking steps in throughout the whole day.

Walking doesn't just burn calories, walking regularly (especially out of doors) reduces stress levels, lowers your blood pressure and can boost your immune system. When you walk outside the exposure to fresh air and sunlight add to the things that are necessary for your good health.

3. The Back Bridge

If you are someone who spends a long day seated - like a typical 8 hour work-day, you should do the back bridge regularly.

This simple stretch can help undo the effects of spending a whole day sitting and gets rid of lower back pain and improves posture.  This exercise can also improve your spine flexibility and improve your back strength.

If you don't feel flexible enough to start doing a back bridge, you can start with the glut bridge. You'll begin to be able to do a full back bridge as your flexibility and strength improves.

4. Eat an Apple

If you want to know a fruit you can eat every day without worrying about excess calories then you should have yourself an apple. The average apple has between 50-80 calories.

They are also rich in antioxidants - the disease fighting compounds that also reduce inflammation in the body. Apples also have lots of fiber, so you'll stay fuller longer when you have one for a snack.

If you are someone who snacks regularly, replace an unhealthy snack with a delicious apple.

5. Drink At Least 2 liters of Water

Water is so good for you, and I know that I often over-look the fact that your body needs water and including in your life proactively is something that will benefit your health.

You can find lots of opinions on how much water your "should" be drinking or need to be drinking a day. But the truth is, there is no answer that fits everyone. The amount of water that your body needs depends on your body size, the temperatures, levels of activity, what else you are consuming in your diet....  lots of things.

But with that information, that average person should drink at least 2 liters of water a day to stay hydrated.

6. Get Enough Sleep

I think all of us could say that we are busier than ever, and most if not all of us, could say that we aren't getting enough sleep. That's a tough one. But research and studies have shown that not getting enough sleep has a negative impact on almost every area of our lives - cognitive ability, mood, over all health and even your sex life.

It is recommended that the average person get at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night.

7. Stretch Your Hamstrings

Another activity to counter-act the negative effects of the long days that we spend sitting.  Sitting down for long periods of time tightens the hamstrings and this can greatly reduce your flexibility and your ability to bend over and pick things up.

Regularly finding a way to stretch your hamstring muscles will enable you to do a deeper squat and help reduce the risk of injury when you are working out.

All you need to do is bend over and touch your toes without bending your knees. You can do this standing up or sitting down on the floor.  If you aren't able to touch your toes, just bend over and stretch as far as you can and you'll be able to reach farther and farther as you keep doing it.

8. The Plank Exercise

One of the best exercises for all around body strengthening is a plank. Doing a plank will increase the strength of your core and abdominal muscle groups. It also has the added benefits of improving your posture, your balance and those two things will reduce the risk of you becoming injured.

Hold the plank position for as long as you can. Try and increase the time that you are able to do it weekly. Set a personal record and try to improve on it as the weeks go by.

You don't need to start living a completely different life to start having a healthy lifestyle.  Add one of these changes as a new habit and see how much better you feel, then when you feel you have it mastered, add another one.

You can take it slow, eventually you'll have them all as part of your amazing healthy life style!