5 Small Steps That Lead to a Healthier You
It’s common for people interested in healthy living to run into obstacles. If that’s your case, DON’T GIVE UP! I always tell my patients to start small and work up to bigger achievements. This applies to everything: exercise, nutrition, weight loss and other goals. Here are five things that are easy to begin:
1. Get Plenty of Healthy Nutrients
Whenever my patients come to me complaining about pain, depression, fatigue or weight gain, the problem often boils down to missing nutrients. If you’re not getting enough iron, you’re going to feel exhausted. Without vitamin D, bones and muscles get weaker.
What if you add good things like omega-3 fatty acids to your diet? These nutrients are scientifically proven to fight depression, reduce stress, protect your eyes, lower cholesterol and alleviate inflammation. Make sure you’re getting plenty of omega-3s by eating more salmon or taking a supplement.
2. Spend Time in the Sun
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for your body. The good news is that your body can make it with a little help from the sun. If you’re spending more time inside the house because of COVID-19, take at least 10–20 minutes a day to get some sun. With a garden, this is easy. Another option is to eat lunch in a sunny area of the home.
3. Walk Around the House or at Work
Walking is good for your heart, great for your emotions and incredible for your metabolism. True, you won’t burn as many calories going to the copy machine as riding a bike, but you’ll still improve your health. Physical activity is good for your body, period. Even a five minute walk break lowers your risk of heart disease.
4. Add Fresh Fruit or Veggies to Every Meal
Instead of just munching on cereal, toss in antioxidant-rich blueberries or raspberries. When you’re making a sandwich for lunch, layer on avocado slices, spinach leaves or mushrooms. Is it spaghetti night? Add extra ingredients to store-bought sauce, including red and green bell peppers, carrots, garlic, basil, zucchini and cauliflower.
5. Fight Stress
Most people think that feeling stressed is normal. It’s not. Stress is terrible for your health. Kick it out of your life with one of these effective relaxation techniques:
- Hot water: Whether you prefer a bath or a shower, hot water whisks your anxiety away and gets in you in the mood for a great night’s sleep.
- Green tea: The antioxidants in green tea alleviate stress, plus sipping slowing on tea has a calming effect on its own.
- Exercise: When you work out, your body releases endorphins that make you feel great and get rid of stress hormones at the same time.
- Aromatherapy: Certain aromas are very calming, such as lavender, orange and lemongrass.
- Reading: If you’re like me, reading takes your mind off stressful things.
For persistent stress, take a natural supplement that targets the underlying cause. Turmeric and ginger can alleviate inflammation, making it easier for people with arthritis to sleep soundly. For a great mood and energy boost, it’s hard to beat moringa, an exotic plant that increases serotonin (the “happy” hormone) levels naturally.