We see them too. The models on Instagram with their six (and in some cases, eight) pack stomachs. The “everyday” adventurers who tear up the courses on shows like American Ninja Warrior and The Titan Games. The marvels they display can sometimes make the bar feel a bit too high to actually reach. But, maybe we’re looking at the wrong bar. While we can be inspired by their amazing accomplishments in aesthetics and athleticism, sometimes we just need to remember easy ways we can promote and maintain our own personal health. Here are six simple ways to improve your health you can use every day.
- It would be challenging to find a list of health tips that did not include this one: Drink water. The amount that should be consumed daily depends on the article and has been a topic of debate for quite some time, but at the end of the day, most everyone can agree that water does a body good. In case you need a reminder, here are a few of the many benefits a little H2O can bring:
- Improves energy to muscles
- Aids in digestion
- Helps the look of skin
- Supports the health of your kidneys
- Assists in weight loss
- Sleep. Water first and now sleep… these may seem like pretty common sense health tips, but if they are, why aren’t we getting enough of both? Operating long term without substantial sleep can increase your risk of heart disease, create mental fatigue, add anxiety, weaken the immune system, contribute to weight gain and compound problems with depression. Conversely, logging seven to nine hours of sleep as the National Sleep Foundation recommends can enhance and stabilize moods, increase productivity, sharpen alertness, and aid memory. If you’re having a hard time getting the quality sleep time you need and deserve, we have some good tips for you.
- Breath/Meditate. Taking just five to ten minutes from your day to fully stop may make all the other minutes of your day more manageable and even enjoyable. According to studies, practicing deep breathing can reduce levels of stress hormones, improve the quality of sleep, and decrease anxiety. Similar positive results can come from meditation. The types of meditation vary greatly. It will be helpful for you to take the time to find the style of meditation best suited for you. Need help staying focused in these quiet moments of meditation and deep breathing? Apps like Calm can provide great coaching.
- Socialize. While sometimes human interaction can be the cause of stress and lead to decreased health, it also can be the source of inspiration and motivation. Too often today, we channel our actual time with people through social media platforms. Truthfully, face to face time cannot be replaced with technology. Add in a hug and the body releases hormones such as oxytocin which is shown battle depression, reduce anxiety, elevate moods and reduce inflammation.
- Express Gratitude. Whatever your current circumstances may be, there is bound to be at least one or two things you can find that you are grateful for. Expressing thankfulness, even for the smallest things, can reframe your thinking and decrease stress. Simply having the thought is a good action. To help build the momentum of this “attitude of gratitude,” consider keeping a Gratitude Journal. It may help spark ideas when the thankful thoughts aren’t flowing and also provide encouraging thoughts on bleaker days.
- Practice Self-Kindness. What charges you? Television programs that lighten your mood? A cozy breakfast? A great book? A calming bath? An intense workout? However you refuel your tank, be sure to take the time to do it. Build in rewards to each day. Life brings enough chores as it is. The little ways you choose to be kind to yourself help motivate you to knock out other tasks that seem less fun. Treat yourself and see how your overall mood becomes more positive and your approach to your health improves.
We don’t have to be a Ninja Warrior to be healthy. Sometimes the simplest ways help the most.