Keeping it Simple: 6 Ways to be Healthier and More Active
Let’s face it: keeping yourself healthy takes a lot of effort. And with everyone’s busy schedules day in and day out, it can certainly feel that there is no more time left to prepare wholesome meals and go to the gym. However, there are many small, simple things you can do that add up to big health benefits. Here are just a few examples.
Use Dairy Alternatives
Fact: more than half of the global population do not have the capability to digest lactose, the primary sugar found in milk. Most of us outgrow this trait between two to five years old, because the body naturally stops producing lactase, which is the enzyme needed to process lactose. But no matter what its critics might say, milk does have certain positive effects to the body. So do you completely give up this tasty drink?
Those used to the creamy deliciousness of milk can turn to various plant-based milk products like those made from nuts and seeds, grains, and beans. The wide variety also means that people with allergies and other health conditions can still enjoy this beverage and their myriad health benefits. In particular, plant-based milks have lower calories per serving and are much easier to digest.
Eat More Iron
There are a lot of health conditions associated with lack of iron, including anemia, fatigue, and depression. Needless to say, including more iron in your diet can do your body a lot of good; it can even improve both your mental acuity AND physical strength.
Iron-rich foods include lean meats, lentils, spinach, peas, potatoes, and some fruits like apricots and raisins. Oatmeal, and therefore oat milk, is also a good source of iron. Almonds and almond milk also contain this valuable mineral.
Most of us are stuck in an office for a good part of the day. What’s more, hectic work schedules often mean that there isn’t time for much exercise. However, experts say that we don’t need more than 20 minutes to perform a quality workout and you can easily squeeze in some movement while at your desk. It’s admittedly a tiny bit awkward to march in place, in clear view of your colleagues, but there are also a lot of moves that won’t make you feel weird. These include leg stretches under your desk, shoulder raises, back twists, arm lifts (this one takes a lot of core strength!), and bicep curls.
Netflix and Flex
It’s easy to be a couch potato while binge-watching TV series and marathoning movies, but these leisure activities are actually perfect opportunities to squeeze in some workout time. Choose “mindless exercises” like basic cardio routines or bodyweight exercises, or even some good ol’ stretching so you don’t have to keep track of repetitions. Of course, you don’t have to workout throughout the entire episode or movie. You can take a break every ten to fifteen minutes of working out, then resume after a five to ten minutes of resting. Before you know it, you’ve already performed an hour’s worth of a workout!
Wash Your Sheets and Replace Your Towels
Washing your sheets, blankets, and pillowcases every week using warm soapy water gets rid of dust mites, one of the most common allergens. Clean beddings also contribute to better sleep quality, so it doesn’t hurt to always have your linens smelling fresh.
Towels should also be washed and replaced every five to seven days. The dirt and dead skin cells accumulate within the fabric, and its almost constant dampness makes a towel prime breeding ground for bacteria. If you don’t switch out your towels for clean ones at least every week, you are essentially putting back some of that grime back onto your skin. Just like your sheets, use warm soapy water to wash your towels.
Take a Break
Remember the simple saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Or in many people’s cases these days, a sick and unhealthy one. De-stressing is an important part of good health that many people forget, much to their detriment. Take a well-deserved break — your job will still be there after a quick vacation.
It doesn’t even matter what you do on your down time — play video games, watch movies, dance, some people even do a light workout as a form of stress relief. The point is to do something you love and let your mind and body do something other than work. The ultimate result is, of course, better overall health.
Of course, all of these things don’t mean that you should completely forgo a healthy diet and exercising. Start small and work your way toward bigger health goals; it’s going to be much easier and smooth-sailing that way instead of forcing yourself to change most of your habits at once.
Good luck on your journey toward a healthier life!