Some of the best things you can do for your body take little effort and will become routine in no time.
1. Drink more water
Start by buying a reusable water bottle and start carrying it with you wherever you go. Water fountains and kitchen sinks are always around, and to be sure the water is clean look into buying a filtered water bottle. Brita offers a BPA-free filtered bottle for less than $10. A filter lasts over two months and a pack of five filters is less than $20. This will help cut back on plastic waste and will give you fresh, clean water. Staying hydrated will keep you feeling more energized throughout the day, cleanses the body and keeps skin soft.
When looking to go a step further, start cutting out all soda or energy drinks, which cause dehydration and are linked to many health problems. Even diet soda contains artificial sweeteners that affect the body the same as regular sugars.
2. Set 10 minutes aside a day to stretch or practice yoga.
Start taking care of your body. The many benefits of yoga are numerous and the practice of yoga is a very social, doable activity. Practicing yoga can help strengthen muscles, flexibility, lower blood pressure and can help you combat insomnia. The physical and mental health benefits are longstanding and can help you live a healthier lifestyle without spending too much time in the gym.
If you decide to begin an at home yoga practice, be sure to know your limits and not get discouraged by them. What you can’t do one day may be easy the next, and that’s what keeps it fun. If you’re unsure where to begin, check out Yoga With Adriene, who offers free yoga practices online. Start with a 30-day yoga challenge or a 10-minute beginners yoga flow, see what you like and how it feels. After practicing stretching or yoga for a while, you may feel ready to try different workouts. Try some exercises with light weights, or squats and lunges.
3. Get outside
Even if it’s just sitting outside to get some sun, be sure to get outside while the weather allows it. Vitamin D does great things for you and can help improve your mood. On top of that, getting fresh air and enjoying nature is an easy thing to do to feel better. Go for a walk, maybe jog and eventually try running. Do what feels best, and check out some of the nature trails or parks in your area. Instead of driving to a close location, try walking there.
4. Buy fruits and vegetables
Buying fresh is great, check the fruits and vegetables at the store or farmers market to make sure they are not starting to spoil. Store most fruit in the fridge and if it starts to look tired, throw it in a blender. Smoothies are a great way to get lots of great nutrients and there are lots of interesting combinations you can try with your family.
Salads can be a creative way to get vegetables into your diet. Dress them up with cheese, chicken or beans to add some protein into the mix. There’s more to a salad than iceberg lettuce, try spinach, arugula or romaine. Try cooking some recipes you’re used to while adding in a vegetable or fruit with the meal.
Starting to change your lifestyle may seem scary at first, but these are exciting changes that will improve your quality of life. Be mindful and respectful to your body, and find what you enjoy. Try to be more active every day, and don’t get discouraged if you miss a day of exercise or eat poorly that day. Begin again the next day and remember you’re bettering yourself and improving your health. It will take time, but the journey will be worth it.
LynAnne Vucovich is a journalist who studied at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She has a passion for culture, community and cats.