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If you're in a bet of a health funk or you just don't feel like your best, healthiest self, it may be time to make a change in your daily routine to boost your wellbeing and improve your health long term. And who better to take advice from than super fit, healthy people who eat well, stay active, work on self-care and practice self-love each day?
Read more: 10 Unhealthy Habits You Need to Break Now
Here are a few tips for health and wellness that are easy to implement into your lifestyle, and they'll make a huge difference in your daily outlook and wellbeing.
Your body become dehydrated over night when you're sleeping, so wake up and drink a glass or two ASAP to hydrate the body and awaken the mind. The brain becomes fatigued when you're dehydrated, which won't help you start the day right and get out of that just-woke-up brain fog. You should also keep water on your nightstand in case you wake up thirsty and need a sip, and continue drinking from morning through the rest of the day to keep hydration levels stable.
Green tea has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, thanks to its source of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), and can speed your metabolism and aid in weight loss, so it's smart to enjoy green tea as a way to improve your health and stay hydrated. Squeeze some lemon in it for flavor and to help keep the body alkaline and balanced. If green tea isn't your fave, all teas offer plenty of health benefits.
Super healthy people make time to get outside in the fresh outdoors to experience sunshine and nature, even if it's just for a few minutes each day. A good way to do this is to go for a lunch break in the day, where you can be outside for 30 minutes to an hour and recharge. Plus, if it's sunny, you'll get a dose of vitamin D, which can make you happier and lower risk of depression.
The brightest and most colorful fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and fiber, to help you live longer and to lower the risk of various diseases. Enjoy both fresh and frozen, as frozen does retain their nutrients, too (and maybe even more so than fresh!). So, get fresh picks that are in season and go for frozen for foods not in season and for convenience.
Don't load up on tons of natural sugars and sweeteners, as they still need to be consumed in moderation, but you should avoid artificial ones and have natural instead. When you do need a touch of sugar, go for a little bit of honey, real sugar, maple syrup, or agave, rather than reaching for another sweetener. Artificial sweeteners can be linked to weight gain and risk of heart disease, so steer clear. Learn more about what artificial sweeteners do in your body.
It's not about calorie counting, but rather what you are eating in terms of quality. If you are eating mostly colorful foods, healthy fats, and lean proteins, you'll be in great shape. And realize that while a candy bar might have the same number of calories as a Greek yogurt with nuts and fresh fruit, they will not affect your body in the same way. You'll get satiety, protein, and probiotics from the yogurt, and likely a bit of a sugar crash from the bar.
Treat exercising like a deadline for work and make sure you schedule training sessions on your calendar and book classes in advance to be prepared. What's more, try and workout in the AM even. According to a new study, people who worked out before noon had lost more weight after 10 months, on average, than those who exercised after 3 PM. Oddly enough, no one seemed to workout between noon and 3 PM, so there isn't much info on that time frame. Still, no matter what time you do it, just make sure to squeeze it in where it fits!
On the flip side, you want to find some balance with your movement. If you over train, you run the risk of chronic overuse or injury, which will set you back and delay your wellness efforts. So, make sure to do cardio and strength training in the week, but take a day or two of rest to recover those tired, damaged muscles. That's the best way to strengthen and protect them. Plus, vary your exercise, so not every day is all-out crazy mode with HIIT or sprinting.
Sleep is super important for lower risk of disease, feeling more awake and productive each day, and staying on track with eating well due to lack of cravings and poor decision making. When you are too tired, ghrelin, the hunger hormone increases, so you might eat more food and dig into the candy jar a day after a bad night's sleep. On the contrary, when you do sleep, leptin, the hunger-suppressing hormone, is higher and you'll be able to make healthier choices and have a stable appetite. Eat more of these foods that can help you sleep.
Avoid sugary drinks, as they are just liquid calories with no nutritional value. That means ease up on the whipped cream, syrups, caramel and mocha at the coffee shop. Same goes for soda, as drinking soda has no health benefits and is just calories and sugar. Instead, have plain water that's sparkling and add some fresh fruit like lemon squeeze or a frozen berry ice cube for natural sweetness to spruce it up.
Learn more: Healthy Snacks to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth