Living a healthy life doesn’t have to be another item on your list of things to do. Instead of thinking of your health as a chore, follow these exciting ways to stay healthy every day.
1. Buy a water bottle
The British Nutrition Foundation recommends drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Since our bodies are 90 percent water, it makes sense we’d need a lot to keep hydrated and function properly. However, studies also show that drinking water 30 minutes before a meal can help manage appetite and weight loss. Use a water bottle to remember to get your daily dose of H2O.
2. Make your key-chain more useful with clip-on sunscreen
Most people know they should use sunscreen, but you might be surprised to learn that skincare science shows 80 percent of aging comes from UV ray damage. Why spend hundreds of dollars on anti-aging creams when you could just clip a tiny, cheap bottle of sunscreen onto your key-chain and use it throughout the day?
3. Spend a little time in nature
Most people live in cities, but it’s important to spend a little time outside immersed in nature, whether it’s a park, garden, or going for a hike. Studies show nature reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety and reduces stress hormones to improve your overall health.
4. Boost your brain and play games at the same time
Health isn’t only physical; it’s mental as well. Download fun brain games or apps designed to boost memory and keep your brain healthy as you age. Luminosity is the most well-known, but there are tons of free puzzles and games online too. AARP has some free options for you to peruse.
5. Express your gratitude
To live healthily, you also have to think positively. Harvard Health Publications highlights several studies that show expressing appreciation, whether you’re just writing it down or telling someone, can improve your happiness. If you don’t feel comfortable telling people yet, try writing down your gratitude in a journal or an app like Bliss.
6. Play with adorable animals
Give in to your love for animals, because studies show interacting with them boosts your mood and reduces anxiety. Putting a fluffy critter reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases oxytocin, a feel good hormone. Besides, you can’t help but smile at their silly antics.
7. Sing loud and proud
In her article for the Huffington Post, Tania de Jong emphasizes the scientific benefits of singing, which are quite a few. It boosts your mood by releasing endorphins and oxytocin, exercises the brain’s creative right side and makes new neural pathways, and may even help manage depression. If you can sing with people, even better.
8. Choose healthy snacks
The best diet plan is high in fiber, which helps people stay fuller for longer. Fruits and vegetables just happen to have a lot of it, so swap the chips and crackers for a bag of baby carrots or fruit to snack on.
9. Give an old friend a call
You might not live close to one another anymore, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose touch with your childhood friends. Sure, sometimes it feels like life is pulling you apart, but in her book the Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Bronnie Ware found that most people wished they’d stayed in touch. Avoid regret by nurturing important relationship – you still have time to catch up.
10. Don’t take the easy way out
Let’s face it, getting 30 minutes of exercise a day can be nearly impossible. However, you don’t have to go to the gym to get the exercise you need to stay healthy. Instead, incorporate physical activity throughout the day by taking the stairs, riding your bike to work, and walking during your breaks.
11. Make time to follow or find your passions
If you know what you love, don’t abandon it just because you don’t have time – make time for it. It will nourish your mind, bring joy to your life and keep you motivated. If you aren’t sure what your passions are, try new hobbies and take some classes, they can’t hurt, and will keep your mind fresh.
Hopefully following these tips will help you lead a healthy lifestyle in a way that’s a bit more exciting than just working out and eating healthy. There’s a lot more to health than what’s on the outside – the inside counts too.