Let’s talk in this post about simple ways to get healthy fast. I think that health is our most precious possession and we have to work on improving it every single day.
If wintertime and all that time spent in your house during quarantine have left you feeling less than your best, I have some great tips for you to get healthy! You don’t have to do a complete upheaval of your current lifestyle. If you want to know how to get healthy fast, all you have to do is make simple changes to your everyday lifestyle until they become part of your routine.
There are many things you can do to improve your well-being. Of course, following a healthy diet is one of the most important ways to improve the quality of your life. We all know that diet plays an important role in our health and often determines how we look and feel. But there are also other things that you can add to your everyday routines to feel your best. Here are some of them:
Studies show that on average, the majority of Americans don’t get enough cardio in their day-to-day routines. According to experts, “enough” cardio is about 12-20 minutes per day or around 150 minutes per week. When we increase our aerobic capacity with cardio, we allow our bodies to use oxygen more efficiently, therefore, improving our overall health.
Regular, moderate cardio can make us healthier in the following ways:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce blood pressure
- Regulate body weight
- Strengthen the immune system
- Boost your mood
- Improve balance and reduce the risk of falls
You don’t need to buy a treadmill or join a running team in order to add enough cardio to your routine (but if you want to do either of those things, go for it!). You can get just enough cardio every day by:
- Taking the stairs instead of elevator/escalator or walk/run up and down your stairs at home a few times a day
- Cleaning your house
- Parking your car down the street or farther away from store entrances
- Plan a daily walk
Take contrast showers
Contrast showers are a form of hydrotherapy. If you’re wondering how to get healthy in a way that is super simple, this is it. Contrast showers are one of the simplest ways to boost your immune system and detoxify your body.
Essentially, a contrast shower is a process where you “shock” your body by quickly changing it from hot to cold and then back again. This is done in the shower by first running it as hot as you can stand, turning the hot water off completely and then bringing the temperature back up just as fast.
It’s important to get the proper technique for contrast showering down in order to reap all the benefits. Experts say that the proper method is to shower at your most comfortable shower temperature for about 10 minutes, turn the water hot for 3-4 minutes, then cold for 1 minute and then switch back to hot. You want to repeat a few rounds of cold/hot and then finish with normal temperature.
Contrast showers work for a number of reasons. On one hand, they bring stress to your adrenal system and with each shower, your adrenal system gets stronger. On the other hand, cold water is stimulating and releases endorphins. Endorphins make people happy! Contrast showers also work as a sort of mini massage for your muscles because you are forcing them to quickly adapt to the change in temperature. If you want to get rid of cellulite on legs or other body parts, contrast showers can be very effective as well.
Eat more greens
It’s incredible how right our parents were when they told us to eat our greens. Green, leafy vegetables have an incredible positive impact on our bodies and overall health, but most people don’t eat enough of them!
This is how incredible leafy greens are: one serving of kale contains more calcium than a cup of milk and more vitamin C than an orange, lutein and indoles, which are in vegetables like broccoli and asparagus, strengthen teeth and bones, and green veggies can help reduce the risk of cancer. Green veggies can also:
- Keep your brain functioning well and fight degeneration
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Lower risk of developing glaucoma
- Decrease the chances of developing diabetes
As a good rule of thumb, the darker the vegetable, the more nutrients it has. That’s why spinach is so much healthier than, say, iceberg lettuce. Instead of being made up of mostly water and fiber dark greens are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and phytochemicals.
If you’re not too keen on eating your veggies, there are a few ways you can sneak them into your diet without feeling like you’re on a bunny’s diet.
Smoothies – Throw a handful of spinach or kale into your fruit smoothie. You really can’t even taste the spinach once it’s blended up with a bunch of berries! You might even find a frozen fruit mix that already has spinach in it.
Juice – You can make your own fresh-pressed green juice or buy one from most grocery stores! Try a few different kinds at first to see which one you really like.
Soups – you can really throw a few cups of any greens into whatever soup you’re making! They also go well with a fantastic curry dish over rice.
Cut down on sugar
While adults aren’t getting enough cardio or green veggies in their life, they are getting plenty of sugar. In fact, most adults get about 15% of their daily calorie intake from refined sugars alone! That means it’s not even counting the natural sugars that are found in fruit.
Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet can reduce the risk of many adverse health conditions:
- Type II diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Cavities & plaque.
Once you start delving into which foods contain sugar and how much sugar they contain, you might start feeling overwhelmed. This isn’t a process that can necessarily happen overnight! Start by eliminating the obvious sources of sugar: candy, baked goods, sugary beverages and alcohol, and try to top adding sugar to your coffee or tea.
The next step is to try and cut out foods with refined or added sugars. These are sneakily hidden under names that might not sound like sugar at first but they’re just sugar that’s really good at hiding! For example, generally speaking, words that end in -ose are sources of refined or added sugar.
Make sure you check my article “How to quit sugar” for more helpful tips.
Another thing to look out for is white flour and white four products. White flour is a simple carbohydrate and when it and its products are ingested, the body breaks down that simple carbohydrate into sugars which can cause a drastic spike in blood sugar levels. For some, this is why they feel so lethargic after eating bread products. After you eliminate sugars from your diet, it isn’t a good idea to immediately (or ever, really) replace them with artificial sweeteners. While they contain no calories, they are much sweeter than real sugar and this might make is difficult for you to stick to a sugar-free diet.
Get plenty of sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to get healthy fast. Even though there are people that brag and thrive about being able to function on four hours of sleep, chances are, they would be able to function even better with twice the amount.
While you sleep, your body has a chance to recover from the day it had and prepare it for the day to come. Without sleep you,
- Are at risk for certain health issues
- Can’t manage your hunger levels well
- Have a weakened immune system
- Risk decreased cognitive abilities
Getting 8 hours of sleep per night is the easiest way to take care of the inside of your body and mind. If you sleep less than 7 hours, your body isn’t able to go through all of the sleep cycles. To ensure a good night’s sleep, use these tips:
Have a sleep schedule – just as you would wake up at the same time every day, you should have a set time when you go to bed in order to have a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
Exercise in the morning – Exercising early in the day helps to promote a deeper and more restful sleep. Exercising close to bedtime might fill you with energy and keep you up all night.
Revamp your bed – if you’re having trouble sleeping, treat yourself to a new mattress or a fresh set of sheets. Mattresses or sheet sets with ‘cooling’ technology are known to help people fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night
Avoid stimulants – for at least four hours before bedtime. Caffeine, chocolate and nicotine are three things you should stay away from after dinnertime.
I hope these tips were helpful to you. I know some of them are really cliche and you’ve probably heard about it already. But have you tried to ACTUALLY implement them? This post was made in an attempt to encourage you start doing all those things. It’s only 5 tips to get healthy fast, but if you make them your habits I’m sure you will see amazing results. So don’t be lazy, start doing at least something consistently and you will change your health and body for the best.
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