Skip to main content

Simple Tips for Improving Your Health

Many people every day set out to become a better version of themselves and finally make the leap to start being healthier. So they invest in 10 new gym memberships, research the hottest new fad diets, purchase weight loss pills, and so on. Getting healthy is a concept that is often seen as overly complicated, expensive, and time consuming. Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be overly complicated, there are countless ways to implement simple changes to start being healthier today.

Here are some simple tips you can use to start improving your health:

1. Drink More Water!

Water is essential to staying healthy and keeping your body functioning properly. Water helps remove toxins from your body, regulate your body temperature, lubricate your joints, and keep your organs doing their jobs. Every cell in your body depends on water to work properly. Recent studies by The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend drinking 15.5 cups of water per day for men and 11.5 cups of water per day for women. About 20 percent of your water intake comes from the food you eat, so give or take a couple of cups, you should be drinking close to the recommended amount every day. You can tell if your water consumption is adequate if you are not thirsty very often and if your urine is light yellow to clear in color.

Water vs. soda: Your body naturally loses about 8 cups of water per day which must be replaced in order to have a well functioning body. While soda certainly tastes delicious, it does not provide any nutritional value and can actually cause dehydration. Caffeinated sodas do not replace any of the water that your body loses, they actually increase urine production and make you lose even more water. So even if you drink soda, you still need additional water to keep up with your body’s needs. Replacing soda with water is a simple way to start being healthier and will aid in weight loss as an added bonus.

2. Exercise Daily

Getting regular exercise may sound complicated, especially if you’re busy and can’t seem to find the time. However, you’d be surprised to find there are many simple ways to incorporate exercise into your current daily routine.

Quick and easy ways to get more exercise:

  • Morning stretches: Immediately after getting out of bed, spend a quick 10-15 minutes stretching. If you are feeling extra motivated, throw in a few jumping jacks or pushups to really get your blood flowing nice and early.
  • Take the scenic route: Instead of taking the elevator, opt for the longer route and take the stairs. If you are shopping, try parking towards the back of the parking lot so that you have to walk just a little bit further. These minor changes can make a huge difference in your health.
  • Get moving on your breaks: If you work, take walks on your break. If you are a student, take walks in between classes.
  • Make the most of your TV time: Is it part of your daily or weekly routine to get in a few episodes of your favorite TV show? Take advantage of this time and fit in some stretches or movements while watching TV.

Regular physical activity has powerful health benefits. It can keep your memory, learning skills, and brain sharp as you age. It can also help reduce symptoms of depression, as well as keep your heart healthy, strengthen your bones and muscles, and aid in weight management.

3. Choose Whole Foods Over Processed Foods

Whole foods are natural unprocessed foods like whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, unprocessed meats, and whole grains. Whole foods are usually more nutrient dense and fibrous than processed foods. Whole foods are also usually lower in sugars and unhealthy fats than processed foods. Processed foods often contain additives like sugar, corn syrup, artificial dyes and flavors, and extra fats.

Don’t let social media fool you by making you think eating fresh foods has to be difficult. You don’t have to shop at expensive markets or make fancy meals that you see on Pinterest if you don’t want to.

Here are simple whole foods you can shop for to make eating healthy less complicated:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Unsalted/ unsweetened nuts
  • Lean meats like chicken and turkey
  • Fresh fish
  • Eggs
  • Low fat cheese
  • Whole grains: pasta, brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa

4. Practice Self Care

Self care is all about improving your well being. There are 8 dimensions of well being that are good areas to focus on improving through self care techniques. These dimensions include: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual. You can create specific plans and goals to implement self care by focusing on the dimensions that need the most improvement in your life.

Here are some self care techniques that can help you improve your well being:

  • Talk to people you love
  • Read
  • Write in a journal
  • Take a walk
  • Practice mindful breathing
  • Develop a financial plan
  • Try something new
  • Take a class
  • Apply for your dream job
  • Have a night out with friends
  • Meditate
  • Do yoga

5. Use Sunscreen

This one might seem obvious, but wearing sunscreen is such a simple way to keep healthy and is often overlooked. So many people want golden sun-tanned skin, but at what cost? Without proper protection, too much exposure to the sun's UV rays can cause premature aging to your skin cells, wrinkles, sagging, and even skin cancer. Even if you “don’t get sunburns,” your skin will still be damaged from sun exposure.

When should sunscreen be worn? Anytime you are outside. According to research conducted by the Skin Cancer Society, even when it’s cloudy outside, as much as 80% of the sun’s rays will still reach Earth’s surface.

6. Schedule Annual Health Exams

Having annual health exams done with your primary care provider are essential for maintaining good ongoing health. Annual exams are done to assess your overall health and determine if you have any underlying conditions that require additional care. Having health exams done regularly can help screen for health issues that may arise, and early detection of health issues such as heart disease and cancer can drastically increase the success of treatments.

Scheduling physical exams is usually quick and easy. They are commonly free with health insurance and only take about 30 minutes of your time once a year. The benefits of having an annual exam done far outweigh the small inconvenience of going to a quick appointment.

When it comes to living a healthier lifestyle, it doesn’t need to be complicated. Try out some of the above tips and see which ones can be easily implemented into your life. Remember, achieving health and wellness is a lifetime process. It takes commitment every day, and even small changes will make a huge difference in your overall health in the long run. If getting healthy seems difficult to you, try starting with just one change at a time until it becomes a habit. For example, if you aren’t physically active, don’t worry about being able to run 5 miles overnight. Start small with even just 10 minutes of walking every day and build upon your successes. Starting the journey to a healthier life is the most important step, the rest will come with time and practice.