Hoping to live healthier, feel better, and make this year your best year yet? Luckily, adapting a healthy lifestyle can be easy, cheap and the best gift you can give yourself.
After learning firsthand the dos and don'ts of health and wellness over the last 10 years, I've found five easy and effective ways to get and stay healthy.
1. Act like you live in a desert and start drinking a sh** ton of water.
I know, you've heard this before ... but why haven't you started doing it? Drinking water not only keeps you hydrated, it also keeps your skin looking healthier, aids in digestion, and gives you more energy. For the love of God, put down your soda (forever!) and pick up a glass of water. Drink at least five glasses a day.
2. Eat real food, not too much, and mostly plants.
Mike Pollan was onto something when he wrote In Defense of Food, and if you haven't read this book, then go buy it now, it will change your life. In short, Pollan encourages us to:
- Eat real food... Opt for fruits, grains, and veggies. Steer clear of pre-packaged non-nutritious foods.
- Not too much... A calorie is a calorie. It doesn't matter if a calorie comes from broccoli or white bread, it's still a calorie. If you eat too many, you will gain weight. That said, a slice of white bread gives you no nutritional value, it's as if you ate cardboard and if you wouldn't eat cardboard, then why eat white bread? Use your head.
- Mostly plants... They taste really good and they are really good for you. There's no reason not to incorporate more plants into your diet. You can have your meat and eat your fruit and veggies, too.
3. Catch more zzzs.
Sleep is overlooked and underrated when it comes to being healthy. Your body needs rest like it needs food and water, so stop depriving it! If your current lifestyle keeps you from getting a good night's sleep, then change your lifestyle. Life is not work, it is not money, and it sure isn't about dying early from stress. So sleep, nap, go to bed early or wake up late. Fit it in, no excuses.
4. Make like an extrovert and socialize.
Heath doesn't start and end with food and working out. Your mind and emotional state matter, too. Making time to be social helps with depression, anxiety and stress. Give yourself the gift of happiness and socialize this year.
5. Start moving that awesome body of yours.
Find something movement-based that you enjoy. (Some ideas: yoga, running, or kickboxing.) Why? Because movement makes you feel good. Our bodies are hardwired to inform us of what we should and shouldn't do. When our body feels good after a nourishing meal, a morning walk, or a nice overdue phone call to a friend, it's the body's way of saying, Hey, this is good, keep it up. Start listening to the signals your body sends; they'll light your path towards longevity, sustainability and happiness.
Happy New Year