The number one thing stopping moms from enjoying a healthier lifestyle is inconvenience and time. It seems to be a common misconception that you cannot be healthy without being miserable and spending all day working on it, but nothing is farther from the truth. To feel healthier, you do not need to spend hours running and eat nothing but bland vegetables and dry chicken breasts. Instead, you can just make these seven simple changes to your lifestyle and immediately enjoy the healthy benefits.
Get Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep has been strongly linked to increased risks for cardiovascular disease, depression, and many other health conditions. Most people need at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night to function at their best. It may be annoying to cut back on your entertainment time for extra time spent unconscious, but it helps your brain and body to function better the next day. If you have trouble getting to bed early enough, try to avoid computers, television, and cell phones for the hour before bed because these bright lights wake up the brain.
Take a Short Walk
Exercise does not need to be time consuming and exhausting. Just a little bit of extra physical activity can make a big difference, so you should try to at least start for a few minutes each day. For example, Dr. James Levine found that taking three two minute walks each hour during your workday could be just as beneficial as spending an hour at the gym. Even a brief walk is enough to get your blood circulating better.
Sip Some Tea
All teas are a powerful source of antioxidants and caffeine, and green tea has unusually high antioxidant levels. Studies have found that just a few cups of tea each day can help people to lose weight, reduce cancer risks, and lower inflammation. Just one cup can help to boost your health, but you really start to get all of the fantastic benefits of tea once you drink multiple cups.
Increase Your Fiber Uptake
Fiber is often overlooked, but this beneficial ingredient keeps you feeling full longer, aids in digestion, and reduces cardiovascular disease risks. Most people do not get enough fiber each day because it is primarily found in fruits and vegetables. Just adding a little more fiber to your diet each day can make a big difference.
Change Your Snacking Habits
One of the biggest dangers to good health is all of the easily-available junk food. Things like potato chips, cookies, and crackers are all packed with sugar and calories, yet they don't actually help you to feel full. If you are getting a bit hungry, try to find a snack that is high in fiber and protein instead of being nothing but carbohydrates. Good choices include a gluten free nut mix, some apple slices with peanut butter, or beef jerky.
Spend Time With Friends
More and more medical research is finding that stress is just as unhealthy as buckets of potato chips or sitting on the couch all day, and the best way to lower stress is by relaxing with your friends. One 2010 medical article that reviewed 148 studies on friendship and mortality found that having strong social ties could reduce your risk of death. The researchers concluded that good social relationships were twice as important as exercising when it came to increasing life span.
Drink More Water
The human body needs a massive amount of water to survive, but most people are actually slightly dehydrated. Whenever possible, drink water instead of sugary drinks or sodas to cut back on calories and increase your health. The average person needs at least 64 ounces of water each day. Keep in mind that caffeinated beverages have a diuretic effect, so even healthy drinks like tea should not count towards your daily water total. Without enough water, you feel fatigued, have trouble focusing, and even get sick easier.