Working out for hours a day while sticking to a strict diet isn’t very realistic. But you don’t have to go to extremes to live a healthy life. Start small, and in just a few minutes a day you can set yourself up for success.
Water is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Depending on your health, activity level, and the weather in your area, the amount of water you need to drink each day may vary greatly. Some studies recommend that the average adult needs more than the 8 cups a day you’ve probably heard before. Considering that water flushes toxins out of vital organs and delivers nutrients all over your body, more really is better. Bonus: Foods with a high-water content count toward your total!
If you have a hard time staying hydrated, try these helpful tips:
- Drink 1 cup of water before you consume any sugary or caffeinated beverages in the morning
- Keep a refillable water bottle with you in the car or office
- Infuse water with cucumber, berries, or citrus fruits for added flavor
- Eat fruit with a high-water content: watermelon, tomatoes, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and peaches
- Eat vegetables with a high-water content: cucumber, iceberg lettuce, spinach, celery, radishes, green pepper, cauliflower, baby carrots, and broccoli
Go For a Walk
Walking at a brisk pace, you could cover half of a mile in 10 minutes. Over the course of the week, you could walk more than 3 miles. Walking regularly can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. Once you get started, you may not want to stop after just 10 minutes. And that’s ok! When you increase the frequency, intensity, and distance of your walks you’ll further reduce your risk of cardiovascular events.
Take the Stairs
Keep your body active by opting to take the stairs or walk along hilly paths. Going up an incline is more physically demanding than walking on an even plane. When going upstairs you may notice that your breathing gets deeper and your heart rate increases. Taking the stairs regularly is a great way to get your blood flowing and release endorphins, which improves your energy, reduces anxiety, and lowers blood pressure
Brush Your Teeth
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums can improve your overall health. Problems with teeth and gums are often found in combination with heart disease and other life-threatening conditions. In addition to brushing and flossing regularly, make an appointment to visit your dentist as they may be able to detect early signs of disease at your oral check up.
Exercising your brain is as important as exercising your body. Whether you prefer to read books, online articles, or the good old newspaper, keeping your brain active everyday can help prevent the Alzheimer’s. Not interested in novels? Try brain teasers, cross-word puzzles, or Sudoku games for mental stimulation.
Before working out or getting dressed for the day, stretch. Spend 10 full minutes on concentrated stretching or gentle yoga to relieve tension, reduce headaches, and relieve joint pain or stiffness. Stretching before a strenuous activity prepares your muscles for movement and reduces the risk of injury.
Take your Vitamins
Most of us don’t get everything we need from the food we eat. Take a multivitamin to help fill the gaps. Increase your vitamin C intake when you need an immunity booster. Include calcium and vitamin D in your routine if Osteoporosis is a concern.
Probiotic live cultures found in some yogurts help regulate digestive health. Greek yogurt offers a healthy dose of protein. Yogurt also features the regular calcium-rich benefits of any dairy product.
Feel like you’re trapped inside all day? Stepping outside for even a few minutes allows your body to soak up some mood-boosting, disease-fighting vitamin D. However, if you plan to be outside for an extended period of time, it’s best to use an SPF 30 sunscreen to protect your skin.
This article originally appeared on www.bhg.com