Making healthier choices doesn’t have to feel like a big lift. You don’t need to completely change your diet or start going to the gym every day to be healthier. Look at the 10 tips below to make small changes for a healthier life.
10 Easy Changes to Your Habits
Swap the sweet drinks for a cool glass of water.
About 75% of American adults are chronically dehydrated, according to multiple news outlets. Filling your cup with water instead of sweet tea or soda could help you remedy this problem.
Choosing water over sugary drinks also decreases your risk for multiple health problems, like diabetes and heart disease. If you want more flavor, add some fresh fruit or sliced citrus to your glass of water.
Go to bed 20 minutes earlier each night until you reach your ideal bedtime.
Going to bed earlier will help you regulate your sleep schedule, and wake up earlier the next morning. Scientists have linked consistent, good sleep with lower levels of stress and improved mood.
Read a book instead of scrolling social media before bed.
According to Harvard Medical School, blue light before bed has been linked to increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Reading a book before bed can have positive, long-term effects on cognition. Plus, it offers new perspectives and challenges you to use a little extra brain power.
Go for a walk with a friend instead of heading to the bar to hang out with them.
Swapping out a pint of beer for a leisurely walk with a friend is beneficial for a couple of reasons. First, it’s always a good idea to cut back on alcohol intake. Second, going for an easy walk outdoors will improve muscle tone, lower stress and enhance your mood. Walking with a friend will keep you accountable, too.
Drink your morning coffee outside.
Next time you grab a cup of morning coffee, opt to sit in the backyard or on your balcony while you sip it. Bonus points if you leave your phone inside! Give yourself a few quiet moments of zen before you have to gear up for the rest of the day.
Get a desk that adjusts when you stand up.
Whether you’re working from home or at the office, it’s important to stand up and walk around periodically. This encourages blood flow and can help you re-focus on a task. Look for a stand-up desk or ask your office if they can order one for you.
Hang up to hang out.
When you’re with loved ones, remember to put your phone away so you can be present in the moment. Science has shown that people with healthy social connections tend to live longer, healthier lives than those who don’t.
Spend more time with friends and family.
As was stated above, people with healthy social circles tend to live longer. Set aside intentional time to visit with friends and family. For example, make it a point to have dinner with your parents every Monday night. Or, start a new family tradition, like sibling game night every first Friday of the month.
Set a realistic workout goal.
Most people simply don’t have the time or energy to work out seven days a week. Set a simple goal – like a 30-minute workout every Thursday after work. Specifying a day of the week and a time window will help you commit to it.
Once you habitually work out that one day a week, increase the workout time or add another day at the gym.
Practice mindfulness and take care.
Practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to be difficult. One way to do this is by practicing hygge, the Danish art of coziness. An example: Light some candles, pour a glass of wine, put on warm socks and wrap yourself in a blanket to read a book you’ll actually enjoy.
The key is to indulge (responsibly) in whatever makes you feel good – a movie, a bowl of ramen, coffee with friends, a bike ride around the neighborhood, etc. Your idea of “taking care” doesn’t have to be universal.
Gradually Incorporate These Changes
Don’t feel like you need to change your lifestyle overnight. Be patient and kind with yourself, and realize that change can happen gradually and be just as meaningful.