Sometimes big changes start with little steps. When you’re ready to make some positive changes, but feel overwhelmed trying to figure out what you can do, check out these 5 simple ideas for creating a happier, healthier life.
#1 Get More Sleep: You’ve heard this before, but we’ll say it again because it’s that important. Get more sleep and make sure it’s quality sleep too. Studies keep coming out showing the importance of sleep and how getting too little elevates stress, causes weight gain and even takes years off your life. Shoot for 7 to 8 hours of sleep at least 6 nights a week. – more and better quality. Start small by going to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. Don’t eat late at night and turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed (no more Facebook as you try to go to sleep!).
#2 Get More Exercise: No matter what kind of exercise you like – just do it! Walk, run, hike, play sports, attend an exercise class or join a group fitness program. Finding your happy place for exercising has benefits for both the body and the mind. And if you mix up different types and styles of working out all the better. For some new ideas, be sure to check out this article about fitness trends we know you’ll love. Try for a combination of cardio, weight training, stretching or exercises such as yoga to boost the benefits for your body.
#3 Less Sugar & Caffeine: A little caffeine is fine, but don’t overdo it. Watch out for fancy drinks with lots of additives (sugar!) and not-so-healthy ingredients (sugar!). Oh, and did we mention that you should cut down on sugar? Sugar is everywhere, even in products marketed as “healthy.” Yogurt, nutrition bars, juice, energy drinks, and flavored coffees are some of the worst culprits. Too much sugar not only supercharges unhealthy weight gain, it zaps your energy, and leaves you at risk for obesity, Type-2 diabetes and heart disease.
#4 Less Screen Time: Smart phone addiction is taking over people’s lives. According to one study, people check their phones an average of 60 times a day, or every 15 minutes while they are awake. Do the math and this means we are putting in some serious screen time of about FOUR HOURS every day. When you’re at the gym, leave it in the locker. When you’re at the dinner table with family, on date night, or happy hour with the girls, put it in your purse and zip it up! Don’t leave the phone next to your bed at night (see #1) and don’t grab for it first thing in the morning. Oh, and never look at it while driving, that’s positively bad for your health!