Believe it or not, you don’t need to live off of green juices or spend hours on the elliptical in order to lead a healthy lifestyle… Of course, “healthy” means something different to everyone, but our definition of a healthy way of life is one that helps us achieve our best selves. Whether it’s eating cleaner or working out more often, it’s always wise to start small—trying to overhaul your wellness regime overnight often ends in failure and a half-eaten roll of cookie dough. That being said, below are 5 modest but effective ways to nourish your body inside and out, and kick-start our best selves.
1. DRINK UP
Your body needs water in order to function properly. Water increases our energy and relieves fatigue, flushes out toxins, improves skin complexion, and maintains regularity in the body. An easy way to up your water intake is by having warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. Always carry a water bottle with you throughout the way as a reminder to keep sipping, and if you don’t like plain water then try adding some cucumber slices or mint! Opt for water rather than soda when eating out–your body and skin will thank you!
2. EAT BREAKFAST
Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast slows down your metabolism and often leads to mindless pre-lunch snacking on convenient foods, like a bag of chips from the school vending machine. Breakfast provides your mind & body with energy for the day and prevents that mid-morning slump. Begin your day with protein, whole grains, and fruit to jumpstart your metabolism and keep your body burning calories all day long.
3. CATCH SOME ZZZ’S
Sleep is essential to our health and wellbeing. Sleeping gives our bodies the time to repair and reset, which is crucial to physical growth and development. How much we sleep directly affects our attention span and energy during the day, thus determining our mood and performance at school or work. Getting 8 hours of sleep a night is ideal, however may not be realistic. Aim for 6.5-7 hours a night for your optimal mood and strength.
4. THINK WHOLE FOODS
Whole foods are foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from additives and other artificial substances. By choosing natural foods over processed junk, we are fueling our bodies with chemical-free, sustaining macronutrients and vitamins. You can be more aware of what you’re putting in your body by reading ingredient labels; odds are if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you shouldn’t be eating it. Pack plenty of wholesome snacks for school or work to your metabolism moving throughout the day. Fruits, veggies, and nuts are always safe bets that your body will thank you for consuming!
5. STRETCH IT OUT
Whether it’s first thing in the morning, while watching your favorite TV show, or right before bed, stretching is a basically effortless exercise that reaps major benefits. Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect from stretching regularly:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Increased range of movement in the joints
- Enhanced muscular coordination
- Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body
- Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)