We know the touchstones of health: Exercise, getting enough rest, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and no smoking. Sometimes, our hectic schedules make having a healthy lifestyle seem difficult to attain. However, these tips can improve our physical and mental well-being, while easily being added to our daily routines:
1. Drink at least two cups of tea per day. White, green, and black teas are all made from the Camellia sinensis plant. The plant is rich in polyphenols — which are antioxidants fighting against the free radicals causing cancer and heart disease. Drinking tea has also been linked to a number of other benefits, including weight loss, the prevention of cavities, and soothing the digestive system.
2. Include extra virgin olive oil in your diet. Similar to tea, EVOO contains polyphenols — which protect your body against oxidative stressors. EVOO is also a healthy fat, which is good for lowering cholesterol and making us feel satiated. Aim for at least two tablespoons a day.
3. Eat foods with Vitamin C daily. It’s been shown to aid your immune system in staying strong, and the antioxidants help keep your skin smooth. Oranges, of course, are rich in Vitamin C. Kiwi is also another delicious source for getting your Vitamin C fill.
4. Have a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in. Studies have shown the anti-glycemic effect of ACV prevents some of the starch we eat from getting digested. Therefore, it keeps our blood sugar levels more steady. Remember to dilute the vinegar before drinking. The acidity can damage teeth enamel and the esophagus.
5. Eat seeds for a quick boost. Snacks like pumpkin seeds are a simple way to get some protein, Vitamin E, and zinc.
6. Drink probiotic rich Kombucha, or eat other probiotic centric food (such as yogurt). These items provide “friendly bacteria” — which assist in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Look for Kombucha or yogurt flavors that don’t contain a lot of sugar. The cranberry Kombucha is a good option.
7. Add chia seeds to your yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or whatever else you’d like. The seeds are loaded with fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
8. Choose your food carefully late at night. It’s not necessarily bad to eat before bed. If you work in the evenings, a small, high protein snack about an hour before you fall asleep can be helpful in stopping the hunger that keeps you awake. However, to avoid bloating and weight gain, try to stay away from midnight fast food runs (although, late night In-N-Out Burger is acceptable because when is In-N-Out not the right choice?)
9. Double cleanse your face to remove all impurities, and to prepare your skin to absorb moisturizers more effectively. Technically, this method is even considered triple cleansing. First, use a facial wipe (the ones by Burt’s Bees are non-irritating to most complexions), and gently run it over your face to remove surface dirt. (If you’re wearing makeup, use a separate remover to take that off, as well.) The next step is to take an oil-based cleanser, and massage it over your face, while it’s still dry. Rinse it off, and follow it with a water-based cleanser. Get to know your skin type, and choose products accordingly. Note: your face should never feel tight or uncomfortable afterward.
10. Use a plain Greek yogurt face mask. Wash your face, apply the yogurt (some people add honey and lemon for additional skin smoothing), and rinse off after about 5-10 minutes. The lactic acid in the yogurt exfoliates and brightens your complexion. Any skin type should do fine with the mask. If there is any irritation, always discontinue use.
11. Run an ice cube over your face after you wash your skin. The ice will increase circulation, and bring down any puffiness you may have.
12. Wear sunscreen — even in the winter or when it’s raining. Seriously! Harmful UVA and UVB rays can come through in any kind of weather. Not only will sunscreen help protect you against skin cancer, it will aid in preventing wrinkles. Apply it at least fifteen minutes before going outside, reapply every two to three hours if possible, and don’t forget to put it on places like your ears and hands. There are a lot of lightweight sunscreens today that aren’t sticky like the ones from our childhood.
14. Wrap your wet hair with a soft t-shirt instead of a towel. It’s more gentle, which will reduce hair breakage.
15. Wait at least a half hour after eating before you brush your teeth. Certain foods, like ones that contain citric acid, can make your teeth more susceptible to enamel damage if you brush too soon.
16. Add a whitening booster to your toothpaste. Arm & Hammer offers a safe and effective option found at any drugstore. It can be used several times a day. If you find your teeth becoming sensitive, dial back your usage.
17. Set a timer for ten minutes, and read that book you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s fairly easy to find that amount of spare time in the day. Even if you only read for this short period, you’re still reading more than you would have otherwise.
18. Set a timer for ten minutes, and write your stream of consciousness thoughts in a journal. This is especially nice to do when you just wake up as a way to clear your mind before you begin your day.
19. Get up every hour and take a brief walk. Sitting for too long has been connected to heart disease and diabetes. As such, take a little time to move around.
20. Edit your closet. Get rid of any clothes that you have to constantly adjust while wearing, anything that has rips and stains, and anything that no longer feels like your style. Having only your favorite clothes to work with is freeing. You’ll get dressed more quickly in the morning, and you know you will feel comfortable in whatever you put on.
21. Do your best not to multitask. Iconic actress Audrey Hepburn was known for her ability to focus on the task at hand. It was reported that, “When she reads, she reads; …when she talks clothes, she talks clothes; when she sits under a dryer, she simply sits and dries.” Audrey’s skill of being present allowed her to give the best of herself. She was said to have had a special way of making others feel cared for because she devoted her full attention to whomever she was with.
22. Breathe deeply to feel more calm and focused. And if you have a few minutes? Try a meditation exercise centered around breathing.
23. Spend some time each day in nature. If you work an office job or live in an urban environment, you may find peace in going to a park and taking a walk.
24. While you’re on the subway, waiting somewhere in line, etc., look at the people around you, and send them good thoughts. Being compassionate toward strangers helps us remember that we’re all in this together.
25. Be grateful. Not to be too “after school special,” but every day has beautiful moments that are worth taking note of.
Image Source: Nihilist