It is never too late to start focusing on health and wellness. Being healthy is important if you want to live life to the fullest and be the best version of yourself. The good thing is that being in good shape doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Here are four quick but effective health hacks you can incorporate in your life, starting today.
Drink More Water
Dehydration is a more serious problem than you might think. In fact, from 2005 to 2010, adult Americans only drank an average of 39 ounces of water on a given day, according to data published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Dehydration isn’t just about you feeling thirsty, it can manifest in symptoms like headaches, nausea, and impaired memory. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends men to drink 3.7 liters per day and women to drink 2.7 liters.
To hit the daily water target, bring a water bottle you can easily carry around. Make sure to refill it throughout the day. Some people have trouble drinking enough water because they hate the bland taste. To fix this, flavor the water with fresh fruits. Add a slice of lemon into it to make it taste better and give you an added dose of vitamin C.
Learn At-Home Exercises
Working out regularly has a wide range of benefits. It can help manage your weight, improve sleep, boost your immune system, and keep you in a great mood naturally. To up your exercise game, invest in gadgets that can improve performance and motivation, like a bike power meter and fitness tracker.
Even if you already play a sport or have a gym membership, you should learn exercises you can do at home. These exercises can be very useful if you travel out of town because then you can do them in a hotel room and not worry about slacking off on your fitness goals. A burpee is one handy exercise to know because it is a full-body workout and doesn’t require any equipment. You can also learn to do sit-ups, planks, and inch worms.
Cut Back on Sugar
Sugar is becoming a worldwide problem and has been linked to some of the world’s top health problems like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. The challenge in quitting sugar is that it is practically everywhere nowadays. Even seemingly “good” health foods can be loaded with hidden sugars. One of the best ways to cut back on sugar is to learn to cook healthy at home; this way, you can control the ingredients you use and get the most nutrients. Learn one recipe at a time and start packing your own lunch to work so you aren’t tempted to buy fast food or unhealthy processed meals.
Another tip is to be vigilant in reading labels and be on the lookout for terms like sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, and agave nectar, which are just fancy names for sugar. Sugar addiction is real, and if you suspect you may be dependent on the sweet stuff, you might consider going on a detox to get it off your system.
Get More Sleep
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Getting good quality sleep every night improves memory and cognitive abilities. You also feel better and have more energy to do the things you need to do. On the other hand, the dangers of sleep deprivation are very real and well researched. These include a weakened immune system and serious health conditions, like obesity, diabetes, and heart problems. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, start being more disciplined in the bedroom. For example, ban the use of gadgets like laptops, mobile phones, and televisions in the bedroom, which may stimulate the brain and keep you from falling asleep easily. Reading should be done outside as well.
Living in a noisy neighborhood can affect the quality of sleep, and you can remedy this by putting a white-noise machine in your bedroom. If you are a coffee drinker, limit your intake to one cup per day, and only drink caffeinated beverages—including cola and tea—before 3:00 p.m.