Here are 10 simple ways to be healthier with minimal effort
Get enough sleep
Research shows that an average adult needs at least eight hours of sleep every night to be alert and energized during the day.
To have a good night's sleep, you have to train your body to follow a consistent sleeping schedule. Make your bedroom a sleep-conducive environment by reducing artificial light.
It is also recommended that you lay in bed only when you are ready to sleep. Do other activities - like reading or browsing the internet - outside your bedroom. This will condition your body to associate your bedroom with sleeping and being sleepy.
Another suggestion is to unplug from technology for at least one hour before bedtime. Gadgets emit blue light - commonly available during the day - and make your brain think it is daytime.
Lastly, sleep at the same time every day. A consistent sleeping schedule will train your body clock to fall asleep at a particular time.
Do 25 jumping jacks after you wake up
If you can’t find time to go to the gym, do your morning exercise right inside your bedroom.
A quick morning exercise will give you more energy and mental clarity for the day. A study from Bringham Young University has found that people who work out in the morning are more active than those who don’t.
You can also expect to feel more optimistic and have an overall better mood after your morning workout. This is because exercises release more happy hormones – endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin – in your body.
Because of these happy hormones, you will feel less stressed throughout the day. Completing a quick morning exercise also makes you feel accomplished even before you start your day at work.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, an exercise at night may reduce your stress level and stimulate your body, but the release of endorphins will make sleeping difficult. Exercising in the morning will allow you to maximize the sleep benefits of a workout.
Drink black coffee
Most people find it impossible to start their day without coffee. However, one study has found that around two-thirds of regular coffee drinkers add creamer, milk, or sugar to their beverage.
One way to cut your calorie intake is by skipping these additives in your coffee. Switching to a cup of Americano from a tall latte in Starbucks will already reduce 189 calories from your usual consumption.
Another lesser-known fact about coffee is that it is a diuretic beverage. Coffee makes you want to urinate often. If taken without sugar, it helps clean your stomach by flushing out toxins and bacteria in your body in the form of urine.
Black coffee also helps you lose weight. Fitness trainers usually recommend drinking black coffee at least 30 minutes before going to the gym because it makes you work out more. It also boosts your metabolism by up to 50 percent.
Eat in smaller containers to help control your food portions
If you have overeating problems, prepping your food using small containers will help you start controlling your portions.
The mind is very powerful. Visually, it looks as if your container is full or overflowing. This illusion tricks your brain into thinking that you have so much food to eat. This helps get rid of the feeling of being deprived when you are on a diet, which makes you crave and want to eat even more.
Over time, eating small portions will curb your cravings and reduce your calorie intake without you having to make significant adjustments.
You can continuously reduce the size of your containers until you reach the optimal food portions for your body.
Drink water with every meal
It is known that an average adult needs to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
If you have a hard time drinking enough water, having a glass or two each meal ensures that you can drink a few glasses every day.
Aside from that, drinking water - especially before every meal - can also help you lose weight. Water keeps you full and increases the number of calories you burn.
An adequately hydrated body produces enough saliva - saliva is an important part of your digestion process. The enzymes found in saliva break down food into nutrients that your body absorbs.
Some people also mistake thirst for hunger. The next time you feel hungry, make sure that you are able to drink enough water for the day.
Eat while sitting down
In today’s fast-paced society, people are always eating on the go. Research has shown that doing so results in adverse effects on your body’s capability to process hunger signals.
Sitting down while you eat helps you better process hunger signals and make you eat lesser amounts of food.
Eating while sitting down makes your brain think that you have enough time to eat. So, you end up eating slower. Studies have shown that eating slowly helps reduce appetite and makes you feel fuller - both results in lesser calories consumed in a single meal.
On the other hand, walking or standing make you feel like you are in a rush to do or finish something. You feel less relaxed. Thus, you eat faster and end up overeating and consuming more calories.
Choose your company
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. This is why it is very important to choose the type of people to surround yourself carefully.
Hearing negative thoughts, rants, and unhealthy conversations every day will eventually draw you into that same kind of mindset. Even just reading the negativity they post on social media will adversely affect how you view things.
No matter how much you try to be a source of positive energy in your circle, it will wear you out in the long run.
The best thing to do is to choose people who have the same goals and aspirations that you have. It would be good for your mental health to have a support group that feeds your mind with positive thoughts and conversations.
The right circle of friends can also be your stress-reliever after a tiring day at work. Go out with them, have a good meal, work out, do some shopping, and travel out of town - a healthy friendship with the right people will give you an equally healthy mind and body.
Wear an activity tracker
If your goal is to stay healthy, fitness trackers can help motivate and remind you to stay active all day.
A typical activity tracker monitors your step count, sleep, heart rate, stress, and etc. All of which you can do during your busy work week.
A tracker can alert you if you have been idle for too long and remind you to stand up, move around, and walk a little. It also detects if you have high stress levels.
There is usually an app linked to a fitness tracker where you can input your goals and see trends and progress in your activity. You can even add your friends as team members to compete with towards achieving a goal.
Recently, several giant tech brands have been launching their variations of fitness trackers. You could not tell an activity tracker apart from a typical sports watch or every day watch anymore. There are even designs that would match your formal office attire.
Watch funny or happy videos
In the middle of a rough day at work or while stuck in traffic, watching a funny video can definitely lift your mood.
As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine.
Watching even just short clips and funny videos can help refresh your mind and lower your stress levels. Patients with heart conditions are actually advised to watch funny videos to stimulate their body into producing more endorphins - hormones that make your heart healthy.
Lower the volume of your headphones
Although listening to good music and watching happy videos help reduce stress, you must also be mindful of your hearing health.
Remember, hearing is a non-renewable resource.
Experts recommend that you follow the 60/60 rule: The volume of your headphones should be not more than 60 percent of the maximum and be used for at most 60 minutes per day.
Loud music can lead to loss of hearing. If you have been experiencing ringing in your ears after listening to loud music, it is already an indicator that you are damaging your hearing.