Little Things You Can Do to Improve Your Head-to-Toe Health
Guest blog post by: Sheila Olsen of FitSheila.com
While most of us would love to be healthier, it can be incredibly hard to make the right lifestyle changes. It just seems easier to be unhealthy, but is it? Some incredibly simple actions can have a surprisingly significant effect on our mental and physical health. So, even if you have zero motivation, here are a few effortless things you can do to boost your overall health.
Clean Up Your Air
When we’re trying to get healthier, most of us don't think much about the quality of the air we're breathing. However, indoor air pollutants can cause several health effects, seriously impeding our efforts to get healthy. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, poor indoor air quality can contribute to dizziness, headaches, sinus irritation, and fatigue. Consider getting a MERV 8 filter for your HVAC system, air conditioner, or air purifier — these filters remove 90 percent of household airborne particles, including mold, pollen, smoke, dander, and dust. Check out FilterBuy to learn more about how MERV 8 filters can clean up your home.
Go on a 10-Minute Walk
Your respiratory system, along with many other areas of your body, can also benefit from short bouts of exercise. Walking briskly for just 10 minutes increases your lung capacity, strengthens your heart, and helps your body transport more oxygen to your brain. Studies have found that walking is also great for your cognitive abilities and overall mental health, improving concentration, attention, and mood in the process.
Carry a Water Bottle
Whether you’re out walking or sitting at home, try to keep a full water bottle by your side. Having water readily available throughout your day will encourage you to drink more. This is important since staying hydrated can help your body digest food, transport nutrients efficiently, and flush toxins. Increasing your water consumption may help you feel more energized and productive.
Avoid Screens Before Bed
Sleep deprivation, like dehydration, can also affect our bodies and minds in countless ways. According to TheGoodBody, 35 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. In addition to increased daytime sleepiness, sleep deprivation leads to irritability, depression, anxiety, and can even contribute to obesity and diabetes. The simple act of avoiding your smartphone, computer, or TV screen before bed may be your ticket to better quality sleep. These devices encourage us to put off sleep in favor of endless entertainment while the blue light emitted from screens can reduce the brain’s production of melatonin.
Breathe More Deeply
If you have trouble winding down at night, try some deep breathing. Breathing deeply can reduce stress and lower blood pressure, helping your body relax more easily both at night and during the day. Check out Healthline for some simple breathing exercises to gain more control over your style of breath. It's important to note that poor posture can affect your ability to breathe deeply, reducing lung capacity, putting stress on the heart, and contributing to brain fog and muscle fatigue, so practice keeping your shoulders back and your chest open.
Consume More Healthy Fats
You can further support your heart and brain health by incorporating more healthy fats into your diet. Healthy fats help your body absorb vital nutrients, support your nervous system functions, lower cholesterol, and keep your heart strong. Plus, good fats can actually help you burn belly fat! Stick to monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil, nuts, and avocados) and polyunsaturated fats (found in fish) while avoiding trans fats and saturated fats.
If you're struggling to get healthy, start by making tiny changes to your lifestyle. These changes should fit seamlessly into your everyday life so they're as easy as possible to maintain. Developing small but meaningful healthy habits here and there is the ideal way to get the ball rolling and set you up for more significant changes in the future.
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