5 Free And Easy Ways To Get Healthy In 2017

Our health is our greatest asset, but it’s often one of the first things we neglect when we get busy. Making choices that aren’t in the best interest of our health, hoping that it won’t come back to bite us, can be an easy trap to fall into. However it’s the choices we make today that will impact our health in the future. So here are 5 free and easy ways you can make small investments in your health now, which will pay big dividends in your future.

1. Drink two glasses of water in the morning to rehydrate your body and kick-start your metabolism

Are you rehydrating after you wake up? Drinking two glasses of water after rising is a quick and easy way to rehydrate your body, flush out toxins and ensure your cells have the oxygen they need to function as they should [1]. Drinking water can also help kick-start your metabolism and boost your body’s ability to burn fat. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking two glasses of water increases metabolic rate by 30 percent in healthy men and women [2].

If you struggle to drink water in the morning, don’t resort to coffee as this will only further dehydrate you. Why not try making a nutrious breakfast smoothie to get you hydrated? Find out how to make a smoothie like a boss.

For digestive support, try adding the juice of half a lemon or one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your water 15 to 20 minutes before eating. These help stimulate stomach acid and can also help to relieve digestive issues like bloating, indigestion and heartburn [3]. Trial this for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference to your digestion.

2. Eat more leafy greens to support healthy weight management and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease

Leafy greens are among the most nutritionally-dense foods you can get your hands on. Upping your daily intake of leafy greens, like kale and spinach, is one of the most effective ways to crank up your vitamin and mineral intake and get a healthy dose of disease-fighting plant-based compounds. So whether you’re making a salad, smoothie, or maybe even a green salad dressing, it pays to get crafty with your greens!

We know that for some, eating more greens is easier said than done, so we make sure every Craft Smoothie box includes two green smoothie recipes each week. This means you can add extra greens to your diet without having to plough through too many salad bowls! Even if you’re just adding two extra servings of leafy greens to your diet each week, that’s 104 more servings over the course of the year!

3. Get more sleep to support physical health and optimal brain function

Are you getting the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep per night? Sleep has been proven to play a critical role in supporting our immune function, metabolism and memory (and the benefits don’t stop there). However, studies suggest that one in four Kiwis will suffer from sleep issues in their lifetime. According to Ariana Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution, sleep deprivation has “profound consequences — on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness.” This is why it’s important to establish boundaries so you’re able to free yourself from the demands of your day and unwind, enabling you to go to sleep in a relaxed state.

To get into good bedtime habits and enhance your sleep (and hence your health), try switching off all devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed, avoid working in bed, hold off on caffeine after 2pm, and have camomile or lavender tea before hitting the hay. While it can be difficult to break existing habits, it’s not impossible. Start small — you don’t have to try everything at once.

Ensuring you’re organised for the day ahead is an effective means of helping you get into a relaxed state before going to bed. The beauty of joining Craft Smoothie is going to bed knowing you have a healthy breakfast waiting for you when you wake up.

4. Get into a habit of gratitude — this has been shown in clinical trials to have significant impacts on both your emotional and physical health

So we get that remembering to give thanks can make us feel like better people. Well, researchers are now finding that practising gratitude is actually good for your physical health. Leading gratitude researcher, Robert A. Emmons, shared: “Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life”. His studies suggest that gratitude can support your immune system, lower blood pressure and support better sleep [4].

Reaping the benefits of practising gratitude can be as simple as recording the things you’re grateful for each day — maybe in a journal, or you could start a gratitude jar. Doing this before you go to bed each night can help you establish healthy bedtime habits and therefore support a better sleep.

5. Get the health benefits of regular exercise without having to sign up for the gym

Are you getting the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week? For those of us who find it hard to stick to a regular exercise regime, starting small and keeping it simple is the way to go. You don’t need to sign up for cross fit, or start training for a marathon to enjoy the health benefits of regular exercise. If you’re going to pick one form of exercise, research suggests walking should be it. Walking can help keep your weight under control, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen your bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood, and lower your risk for certain diseases. Studies have also shown that walking and other physical activities can improve memory and reduce the risk of developing age-related memory loss [5].

If weight loss is a goal, try changing up your terrain — walking on grass or gravel burns more calories than walking on a track, while walking on soft sand increases caloric expenditure by almost 50 percent [6]. Numerous studies also confirm that having a strong support group is vital for achieving and sustaining weight loss success, so try coordinate walking schedules with a mate, or join a walking group.

And don’t forget to start your day right!

Starting your day right is vital and has a positive flow-on affect for the rest of your day. If you want to nail your first morning habit, try Craft Smoothie today.

References:

[1] Why Executives Swear By A 30 Second Habit Which Anyone Can Adopt

[2] Water-Induced Thermogenesis

[3] Dr Libby: Daily Habits To Keep Your Gut Health

[4] Study — Gratitude Is A Healthy Attitude

[5] Harvard Health — 5 of the Best Exercises You Can Ever Do

[6] Berkeley Wellness — Better Walking Workouts


Originally published at www.craftsmoothie.co.nz.

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