10 Surprising Ways to Be Healthier by Tomorrow

10 Surprising Ways to Be Healthier by Tomorrow

Even if you can’t make it to the gym, these tips will make you healthier in a flash.

By Wendy Robinson

I was eating my lunch at my desk at work, again, when I noticed that my pants were digging uncomfortably into my waist. I took another sip of my diet soda and tried not to yawn, a feeling of fatigue washing over me.

The last few weeks have been extra busy for me, and I feel like it is starting to show. I just don’t feel as healthy and active as I would like to be. Sometimes, especially when my schedule is tight, it can feel hard to get back on track with healthy habits, so instead I like to focus on easy, actionable ways I can be healthier by the end of the day. Here, 10 of those simple but oh-so-effective strategies.

1. Drink some water: Drinking water, especially in lieu of soda, coffee, or other sugary beverages, is a quick way to perk up (mild dehydration can make you feel lethargic), to make sure your system stays regular, and help your skin look fresh, notes the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

2. Get a little sunshine: We all know that too much sun exposure can cause skin damage, but catching a few minutes of rays every day can help boost your body’s production of vitamin D, which can benefit bone health for both adults and children and possibly offer a protective effect against multiple diseases and conditions such as depression, cancer, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.

3. Take a walk: New evidence suggests that the amount of time we spend sitting every day has a serious impact on our health, with some arguing that sitting is the new smoking, in terms of negative effects. A new study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that taking short breaks throughout your day to go for walks can help undo this damage. In fact, a five-minute walk might make up for an hour of sitting. If you can take a five-minute walk outside to get your sun exposure, you are killing two birds with one stone in hardly any time at all.

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4. Call a friend: Maintaining friendships is good for our mental health, and time spent reconnecting with a good friend can help lower stress levels. A short phone call or, even better, a walk with a good friend, is a boon for your wellness.

5. Share intimate time with your spouse: Much research shows that intimacy can boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, improve your heart health, and help you sleep better!

6. Turn off the electronics before bed: Turning off your electronics (including phones and television) for a least an hour before bed can lead to better sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, use of technology before bed can disrupt sleep patterns, so try to unwind with something like a book instead of your laptop before bed.

7. Put some fresh sheets on your bed: Not only do clean sheets smell and feel good, they can help you wake up feeling better rested. Sheets are one of the major collectors of dust mites, which can be a major congestion causer. Plus, I personally believe that there is no better feeling than shaved legs on fresh sheets. Ahhhh!


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8. Have a tickle fight: There is truth to the old cliché that laughter is the best medicine. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing helps relieve stress, improves your immune system, relieves pain, and improves your mood. If tickling isn’t your thing, find a funny movie or book to indulge in.

9. Quiet your mind: Whether it is time spent in prayer, meditation, or creating art (drawing, writing poetry, or even coloring in a “grown-up” coloring book), spending a few minutes of quiet time reduces stress and improves sleep, which is bound to make you feel healthier when you wake up the next day.

10. Floss: Flossing takes less than a minute, but is good for both your teeth and, surprisingly, might also be good for your heart. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, flossing may help reduce bacteria that can contribute to heart disease. So, grab some floss – you’ll make both your dentist and doctor happy!

On that note, I’m going to take a quick walk to the park with my markers and my coloring book. I feel healthier already!

Which of these ideas most appeals to you?

Wendy Robinson is a writer, working mom, and graduate student. Someday she'd like to sleep in again. She also blogs at www.athleticmonkey.com.

Image ©iStock.com/digitalskillet

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