Did you know that more than 300,000 deaths per year are caused by poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity? To top it off, people in the United States are less healthy and die younger than those in other high-income countries, according to a report done by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. The time to start making changes in your life towards a healthier you is now.
Whether you’re in the office or at home, make today your motivation to embark on a better-feeling tomorrow. Here are 7 simple things you can start doing now.
- Trade in your soda for a glass of water. Drinking soda has many negative side effects. Recent studies have shown that drinking sweetened drinks, especially diet sodas may lead to depression. To top it off, many diet sodas use aspartame as a sweetener. Aspartame can actually increase your appetite and stimulate fat storage. Say no to soda and hello to a glass of ice cold water. Add some lemon for an extra vitamin C boost and to help your digestive system.
- Make time for tea. Recent studies have shown that people who drink at least one cup of hot tea a day have a lower body mass index and smaller waistlines than those who don’t. Take a tip from the Queen reach for a cup of hot tea next time you head to the break room at work or your kitchen.
- Take the stairs. By just climbing the stairs at work, home or in the mall you can help lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol levels, relieve tension and stress and increase muscle strength. You’ll also burn calories. All of these things help add years to your life. Plus, taking the stairs contributes to the daily exercise that everyone should strive to get each day. Consider the stairs your free mini-workout session, and take a step in the right direction.
- Say no to the vending machine. Midday snacking isn’t bad as long as your keep your snack to around about 100 calories. Instead of a bag of chips or a candy bar, reach for a cup of Greek yogurt, almonds, a banana or some celery sticks and peanut butter. All of these snacks have natural nutrients in them that are important for a well-balanced diet and that help you feel full and burn belly fat.
- Take your lunch break on time. A new study published in the “International Journal of Obesity,” suggests that people who eat lunch late in the afternoon have more trouble shedding pounds than those who eat earlier. Plus, going long periods of time without eating slows down your metabolism and sets you up to binge eat when you do finally get your hands on some grub. Break the late lunch habit today.
- Take a multivitamin. Most people don’t get all the nutrients they need just from eating. Vitamins and essential micro-nutrients are important to the body’s daily functions and are vital to its growth and repair. They are considered essential because they are not something the body produces. Let’s face it, eating all the nutrients and vitamins we need, isn’t always feasible. Taking a multivitamin can ensure you get all the nutrients you need on a daily basis.
- Spend some time outside. Getting outdoors is good for both your physical and mental health. Sunlight on your skin begins a process that leads to vitamin D creation, a vital nutrient that the body needs. Studies have also shown that light elevates peoples’ moods and can help improve concentration. Breaking away from your desk to be outside also means you’ll get in some exercise. You’ll also help reduce eye strain and headaches by spending some time away from staring at your computer screen.
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