You don’t need to cut yourself off from sugar for eternity or run a daily marathon in order to discover a healthier you. Here are 5 small tweaks you can make to your daily life to live a little bit healthier this month!
Get more sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults ages 26-54 should receive 7-9 hours of sleep. If you’re not consistently hitting that metric, set a sleep schedule and stick to it! Start with three days a week for the next month. If you notice yourself feeling more refreshed, it might become habitual. Sleep is imperative to health; when we are catching up on our zzz’s, our body is going into hyperdrive to regenerate, renew and repair our cells (psst - there’s a reason looking “well-rested” is a thing!). It’s also proven to reduce inflammation, it can control your appetite during the day and a decreased likelihood of getting sick with viruses and colds.
Take the stairs. Or do something to change up your normal day to get more movement. Park in the furthest stall away from the mall entrance. Walk to the other entrance to the Metro to get an extra block or two. Suggest a standing or walking meeting instead of sitting. These small changes over time can make big differences.
Sneak your veggies in at every meal. Commit to eating 5 servings of vegetables - raw, steamed or cooked - daily for one week. Some of our favorite ways to load our meals with veggies include spinach in our morning smoothie (here are 9 tasty recipes from Greatist), a bed of kale for our proteins, vegetable noodles (like sweet potato, zucchini or beet) instead of pasta and vegetables in desserts (we’re for real - check out these delicious sweet potato brownies by Foodal!).
Hydrate. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Americans are not getting enough water - particularly women. With 55-75% of our body made up of water, hydration is so important! While different factors mean different hydration needs for each of us, try to commit to 64 ounces (~8 glasses) of water each day. Use a tracker on your phone or keep a digital sticky note on your desktop and actually mark down each glass you drink. You may be surprised just how dehydrated you are!
Prep your meals. If you’re one to eat out multiple times a week, commit to eating 1-2 times at home instead of eating out. Even if you are opting for healthier options (like a salad or lean protein), you are not always aware of hidden ingredients which may be derailing your healthy lifestyle. When you make your own meals, you know exactly what’s going into the prep process, so you’re better able to stay on track.