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Are you looking to get back on track after falling off the wagon? Or looking just to improve your health and wellbeing with a few simple tweaks? You have come to the right place. While there is an overwhelming amount of information loaded with tips and tricks for a healthy lifestyle, these are the perfect starting point. Whether you are looking to lose weight or become a healthier version of you, we have compiled three of the most helpful tips.
Tip #1 Set a step goal
Implementing a step goal is beneficial for anyone and everyone for numerous reasons. Walking is one of the best ways to relieve stress, provide gentle movement for your body, and it helps to create a higher energy expenditure. Walking helps reduce the risk of common health problems such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even depression. It is recommended to set a step goal count of 10,000 steps daily. This will differ depending on your current activity level and what is manageable for you. 10,000 steps equate to roughly five miles, which is 3.5 miles more than the average American walks daily! To start out, first determine how many steps you want to walk each day and set your goal. Second, figure out the best way to track your steps, this can be done many ways. There are walking apps you can download to your mobile device, and there are also inexpensive pedometers online. Another option is to use either a Fitbit or Apple Watch to get the most accurate step count. 10,000 steps may sound daunting but you can make it fun! Various ways to make it fun include listening to a podcast, going on walks with friends, walking your dog, taking the stairs, or taking mini walks to build up your step count throughout the day. Incorporating a step count leaves your body and mind both happy and healthy; you will feel accomplished at the end of the day, and your body will thank you!
Tip #2 Begin each week by writing down your health goals
Organization is KEY in any endeavor you take. At the beginning of each week, write or type out two health goals you want to accomplish that week. This can be as simple as drinking more water, hitting your step count every day, or eating more vegetables. The goals you set for yourself should be SMART goals, SMART stands for specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely. Under each goal you created, write “SMART”. Then, next to each letter in the acronym, write down the strategies you will use to accomplish your goals. For example, if one of your goals was to increase your step count, you would write out “10,000 steps” next to the S (specific), in the SMART acronym. For M (measurable), you would write, “will be measured using my Fitbit”, for (A) actionable, you would write, “I will fit 10,000 steps in my day by going on a long walk in the morning and working out in the afternoon.”, and so on until you’ve filled out the entire acronym for each goal. A Harvard study showed that when you write out your goals, you are more likely to follow through and accomplish them. An idea is to hang up your goals on the wall so you are reminded of them each day! Seeing your goals and having specific strategies in place will increase the likelihood of you crushing your two goals by the end of the week.
Tip #3 Increase your water intake
Drinking water is one of the most important ways you can take care of yourself and it is often overlooked. Water is essential for our bodies to function properly. Many people wonder how much they should be drinking each day. A good rule of thumb is to divide your body weight by two, this leaves you with the minimum number of ounces of water you should drink daily. Say a woman is 140 lb., 140 divided by two is 70, which means she should be drinking 70 oz. of water a day! Why is water so essential? Water can help energize muscles, control calories, clear skin, boost energy, fight off illness, aid in digestion, absorb nutrients, and much more! If you do not like the taste of water, try putting fruits or lemon in your water to create a more flavorful experience.
Implementing these three simple health hacks will lead you to your best self: mind, body, and soul!
Written by Kara Hines.