How to: Improve our health with small steps

If you have bad habits, they can cause big damage to your mind and body quickly. It doesn’t matter if it’s eating too fast, drinking a little too much (alcohol) or spending way too many hours in front of the TV.

Did you know our bodies give us warning signals long before we realise our health is in danger?

There was a time when I didn’t really listen to my body. And I didn’t care either. I just ate too much unhealthy, fatty, sodium-rich food, spent too much time televiewing, got barely enough physical activity, and let the wrong people into my life, which dragged me down all the time. I really wasn’t happy and so anxious at that time. I thought that’s how life is going to be. My self-esteem was at an all-time low.

But suddenly my then-boyfriend decided to break up with me out of nowhere, and looking back now, that was the best thing that could have happened to me.

I started realising where I was going to end if my lifestyle wouldn’t change right now. There was a time when I was so active and open minded. I wanted to do so much with my life, but I was never going to reach any of my goals with this attitude. So I had to change. And I’ve changed.

Sounds familiar to you? Maybe you should also break with some bad habits!

“That is easier said than done” you may think now. You know what? It is easy. There are some simple hacks which have a huge impact on your health.

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to begin with a big, dramatic, challenging change. Making small changes and incorporating them into your life slowly will increase the likelihood of sticking to them. In fact, you more likely want to do more for your health in the future.

Cut sugar and starch

Eating too much high-sugar and high-carbohydrate food makes you feel like crap. Sounds challenging? Of course it can be, but when you’re creating a new habit, it’s best for you do start small so you don’t become overwhelmed.

Willpower is like a muscle and it’s growth takes some time. Start by eating no high sugar or high starch foods for four days per week. After two weeks, move to five days per week and so on.

Read food labels

You have to pay more attention to what you’re eating and drinking. Therefore start reading food labels, become familiar with the list of ingredients and start to take notice of everything you put in your mouth. Usually the longer the list of ingredients, the more chemicals have been added to the product and the worse the product is for you.

The order of the ingredients is also related to the amount that’s in the product (it starts with the largest quantity and moves on to the least).

Drink enough water

We can’t live without water! Staying hydrated is one of the most important ways to stay healthy, maintain a proper body weight and keep you sharp between the ears.

Without sufficient water in your body, your cells get congested, your skin can’t detox, and your bladder and kidneys won’t work properly. When you feel thirsty, your body is already insufficiently hydrated. You can make a habit of drinking water first thing in the morning and with every meal to help stay hydrated.

Never consider sweetened juices, soda or coffee as a substitute for pure water. Both sugar and salt as well as caffeine dehydrate the body. If you are like me and can’t kick the morning coffee habit, be sure to drink a tall glass of water along side of it to make sure you aren’t dehydrating yourself. Remember, don’t drink calories!

Start to read more

Or if you don’t like to read, then listen to podcasts. Do something that is challenging you and makes you think. Most of us won’t even read unless there’s an exam in sight.

But you know what? Everyday of our lives is an exam. You have the opportunity to grow beyond your present barriers and circumstances every day. Each day is a chance to become a better person.

Here are some book recommendations for you:

  • The 4-Hour Work Week: escape the 9–5, live anywhere and join the new rich by Timothy Ferriss
  • #AskGaryVee: one entrepreneur’s take on leadership, social media, and self-awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Ishmael: a novel by Daniel Quinn
  • Living with a seal by Jesse Itzler

Manage your stress

Most of the time, bad habits are simply a way of dealing with stress and boredom. You might not want to hear it, but physical activity plays a big role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress, but you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to experience the benefits.

Exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood. It can also serve as a valuable distraction to your daily worries. Just take your dog for a walk or start walking or cycling to the grocery store, instead of taking the car or the bus.

Stop cooking everything in olive oil

Yes, it’s true: Olive oil is packed with heart-healthy antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, which are known to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise the “good” HDL cholesterol.

But most people are using it simply too often or way too much of it. If you’re cooking on high heat, skip it or use coconut oil instead. However, (a little bit of) olive oil is a great choice for making a salad dressing.

Go to bed earlier

A proper amount of sleep reduces stress, keeps your heart healthy, reduces inflammation, makes you more alert during the day, helps you lose weight and reduces your risk for depression. You will think clearer, feel better and look better.

Keep in mind: Creating a healthy lifestyle requires consistency. Start small and go after it!

Want more? Stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for new post updates and more.

Leave a comment!