A Daily, Healthy Me
When I take an important issue, like my health, and break it down into daily routines, it is easier for me to stick to my goals. Here are some realistic tips that I use on a daily basis to be healthy:
Buy Healthy Snacks – I love to snack. I usually just snack the whole day till dinner. This means I need plenty of healthy snacks around the house. If I can use self-control at the grocery store, then I don’t have to use so much of it at home. If I don’t buy Oreo’s, then they will never end up in my cupboard tempting me to eat the whole package in two days, which I did in college… often. Now I buy fruit: apples (Pink Lady are my favorite), oranges, bananas, fresh pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries. I eat the berries with yogurt and granola. Yummm! I get my veggies in with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and celery dipped in cilantro avocado dressing! I grab a string cheese and bag of coconut strips on my way out the door instead of a coke and bag of chips. Lately, I’ve found white cheddar rice cakes are surprisingly yummy. Try them if you haven’t yet.
Drink Water – I have a big (32 ounce) water bottle that I keep with me all day. If I get in my car to run errands, I take my water. If I sit down at my desk to work, I have my water right there. I make it a goal to take a sip whenever I see it. Do you know what water does to your body? There are so many reasons to stay hydrated. Just to name a few: it helps prevent colon and bladder cancer, helps you think clearer, helps your mood, your skin, your blood flow, and helps you lose weight. Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, dizziness, electrolyte imbalance, and weight gain. Water boosts your immune system and your metabolism. Water is amazing! It pretty much helps every part of your body, so guzzle it down.
Exercise – My dad is a family doctor. He is the best one I know, and has been practicing in California for over 20 years. A few years ago I asked him a question. “You visit with different types of people every day. If you had one piece of advice for everyone, just one thing that everyone could do everyday that would drastically help them be healthier, what would it be?” His answer… “walk a mile everyday.” He said it helps your body dramatically, just to get your heart rate up and Adrenalin pumping everyday. Now, I hate running and I mean really HATE running, so I was glad he didn’t say run. He said walk. I can do that! My tip is to try new ways to get that mile in everyday, however you can. Just like my dad said, pick some activity that gets your heart rate up. It could be a brisk walk around your neighborhood, a Zumba dance class, or simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Just make yourself get a mile worth of steps in each day.
Get Your Sleep – Easier said than done. With all the demands of the day, how do we find time for sleep? How much sleep do we need anyway? This is what the National Sleep Foundation recommends for each age group.
Newborn: 0-3 months – 14 to 17 hours of sleep
Infant: 4-11 months – 12 to 15 hours of sleep
Toddler: 1-2 years – 11 to 14 hours of sleep
Preschooler: 3 – 5 years – 10 to 13 hours of sleep
School age: 6 – 13 years – 9 to 11 hours of sleep
Teen: 14 – 17 years – 8 to 10 hours of sleep
Adults: 18 – 64 years – 7 to 9 hours of sleep
Older Adult: 65+ 7 to 8 hours of sleep
Why do we need sleep? Good question. Many people assume that when we sleep our body shuts down and rests. That is only partly the case. Many parts of our body do rest, but our mind is still very active while we sleep. Even though we are asleep, our brain is working hard to clear out toxins and waste, while also reviewing memories and daily learning. Sleep even helps regulate your mood and appetite. So think again when you are debating on pulling an “all-nighter.” I did that several times in college. Those weren’t my healthier years.
The facts I use in my article are taken from the following site: