Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?
Because right now is the perfect time to get started on whatever it is you want or need to do. There is no other better time than the present. We often find excuses for all kinds of things, from bills to cleaning out our closets — and bettering your health is no different. “I’ll begin on Monday” or “When I can afford a gym…” or “I’ll start on January 1,” are common mantras for procrastinators.
However, we shouldn't limit ourselves. Today is the day to make the healthy choices your body is begging for. Getting healthier is a worthy goal, and many experts in the fields of exercise, health and nutrition have clear ideas about how to get there.
Here are the five things you should do right now to start being healthier.
Sitting at a desk all day really hurts your body more than you realize. Recent studies have found that sitting for long periods of time - no matter how much you exercise — can lead to increased risk of back pain, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Get up and move your body during the day. Each hour set an alarm where you stand up and stretch or go for a short walk away from your desk.
General exercise is also incredibly important to maintaining your health. You need to start today and stop making excuses saying you will tomorrow. You don't have to pick something that you absolutely hate. If running bores you, then choose something else instead. Find a work-out buddy to keep you motivated. You will get more energy, feel better overall, and be proud that you did.
Go to bed at the same time each night and follow your natural circadian rhythm. This natural rhythm releases certain hormones in our body at night to help us sleep, and during the day to keep us awake. Sticking to this rhythm will help you to achieve good, restorative sleep. Getting enough sleep nightly will make a huge difference in how you feel every day.
You don’t have to go vegan or adopt a Paleo diet to be healthy. However the small changes you make to your diet can be a big deal. As a general rule, try to limit the number of prepackaged, nonperishable food items you have in your grocery cart at checkout. Foods such as chips, granola bars and frozen meals are some of the worst for your health in the long-term. Purchasing perishable items, such as yogurt, bread and fresh produce, is a sign that what you’re buying more closely resembles foods your body can easily digest and use for fuel.
Maintain Your Stress
Chronic stress is a huge problem for our health. The longer the stress lasts, the worse it is for both your mind and body. You might feel fatigued, unable to concentrate or irritable for no good reason, for example. But chronic stress causes wear and tear on your body, too. Reducing your stress levels can not only make you feel better right now, but may also protect your health long-term.
Some ideas to help your stress include building healthy relationships, getting help from a therapist when needed, learning how to say no, and write down what is causing your stress. When you figure out what is making you stressed the most, make changes to lessen those pressures.
Drink More Water
Water is the elixir of life, and for good reason. Water regulates our body temperature, keeps our joints lubricated, helps prevent infections and delivers nutrients to our cells, just to name a few. Not only does drinking water keep you feeling full — so you’re not ravenously hungry (and overeating as a result) — it is also a way to not drink sugary beverages. When you’re drinking water, you’re not drinking soda or sugary juice.
Being healthy doesn’t have to be hard. Choosing to do only one of these things today will put you on the path for long-term success. Start out small. Go with one goal you know can achieve, and you’ll start to feel better about yourself. As you progress and these become overall lifestyle changes, you eventually will get to a point where you are healthier than you ever have been!