7 Quick & Simple Tips to Improve Your Health Almost Instantly
Alright, all you resolutioners! If you made it a point to jot down "Get healthy" "Be healthier" "Get in shape" etc. for this upcoming year, then you'll want to read (& use) some of my quick and simple tips on how you can improve your health almost instantly!
Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning (before reaching for your AM caffeine fix)
If you think about it, your body went anywhere from 6-8 hours without water. Instead of reaching for that AM cup of coffee or tea, drink an 8-16 oz. glass of water to kickstart your metabolism. It aids in flushing out toxins and can help you eat less (if you're one of those breakfast eating peeps... I'm not one of them).
Drink one glass of water before every meal
Another key habit to create is to drink a glass of water before each meal. This helps your digestive system and can fill you up so you don't end up overeating. Also, if I'm feeling hungry throughout the day, I reach for a glass of water to see if I'm really hungry, or just thirsty. Your brain will trigger feelings of hunger even though it really just needs to hydrate!
Get up every 20 minutes
If you have a desk job, or you live a pretty sedentary life, grab your phone and try this: Set a reminder to get up and move every 20 minutes. Whether that's a quick walk, stretching, grabbing the mail, getting another glass of water... This helps blood circulation, improves oxygen levels, and can improve your mood.
Incorporate lemon and cucumber in your water
Just do it! Lemon is an amazing additive to water because of the acid it contains. The acid from a lemon aids in relieving indigestion, stomach pains, and stimulates your liver amongst other things. Cucumbers are great too because it too contains an acid - pantothenic acid - aka Vitamin B which is great for your skin and hydration.
Stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed
I (try to) stop eating around 7 PM because I like to be in bed by 10 PM. Why should you do this you might ask? When you stop eating 3 hours before you're in bed it allows your body to digest not only the last meal you had but the meals prior to that. If you stop eating at 7 PM and start eating at 8 or 9 AM the next morning, you just gave your body a 13-14 hour fast which enables it to detox and work through whatever you fed it. Aiding in digestion, repair, burning off fat, etc. Is it necessary? Not quite, but it can improve your eating habits.
Speaking of fasting or for a better term, intermittent fasting... beyond religious purposes, it has become quite a popular topic among the fitness/health industry. While some of you may think, "No Sam, if you don't eat every couple of hours, your body stores fat!," well, be prepared to hear the complete opposite of just that. Research has shown that fasting actually speeds up the ketosis process... which is basically switching your energy source from carbohydrates to fat. When this happens your body actually burns off fat for fuel rather than storing it for "energy later". Fasting is starting to be viewed as a key tool in health rather than as a harmful starvation period for your body.
Perfect example, when an animal is sick, does that animal eat food? No. That animal is choosing not to eat because that is it's way of fighting off the infection/whatever it has. Your body is no different. When you consistently feed it empty calories, fast food, junk, sugar, etc., fasting is a way for your body to rid itself of toxins, lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and aid in cancer prevention to name a few (I'll be posting a entire blog post on the Ketogenic diet and how Ketosis prevents cancer cells from becoming active within the body).
So next time you binge on junk food and alcohol for a weekend, instead of feeding your body with more food to digest/break down, try intermittent fasting!
Click the following evidence based links below for more information on the benefits of fasting and how to properly incorporate it into your routine.
Disclaimer: Fasting is beneficial to those who are already living a healthy lifestyle. Please consult a doctor if you're unsure if fasting is something you're able to do without repercussions.
Sleep 7-8 hours a night
I'm sure this is a dead give away but still so many of us refuse to make this a priority. Sleep plays an essential role in physical health because during sleep your body repairs itself. It improves your concentration, productivity, mood, and overall well being. So be sure to put the electronics down and get some shut eye ;)