Today's diet and exercise fads aren't exactly a secret, and yet tons of people still refuse to take part in any form of healthy eating habits or exercise regimens. What's the excuse? Some people say they're too busy, others just lack the motivation.
But when it comes to certain healthy lifestyle habits, there shouldn't be any excuse not to do them. There are some changes that you can start making today, right now in this very minute, actually, that will help you drastically improve your overall health and prevent significant health issues in the future.
Drink Clean Water
Ditch the tap water. Now. Although most drinking water straight from the faucet has been filtered and cleaned at some point before it ever reached your tap, you just never know if the water that you're drinking is actually clean.
The truth is, drinking water is often recycled and then sent straight back to your home. So that means that the water that gets flushed down your toilet, drained down the sink or even sent down the storm drains outside your home is simply "cleaned up" and sent back to your sinks.
So don't even take your chances, and drink a truly clean glass of water that has been filtered and/or treated ahead of time. Bottled water is an easy fix, or invest in a water filtration system for your home or office to ensure you're consuming clean water every time you drink or cook.
And don't forget the cardinal water consumption rule: 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water every single day to stay hydrated. It's an easy change to make and the benefits for your body will be huge!
Skip the Coffee
This one sounds like complete blasphemy, I know, but a cup of coffee every morning, even though it does give you that much-needed jolt and increases your alertness almost instantly, isn't actually all that great for you.
Caffeine dependencies are unnatural and too much of the drug (yes, it's actually a drug – a stimulant, believe it or not) can cause jitters, dizziness, anxiety and nausea, among other symptoms.
If you want to make a healthy lifestyle change right now, switch your morning coffee out for a cup of hot herbal tea, or even a simple cup of hot (clean) water with a slice of lemon in it. Quitting caffeine cold turkey will likely prove to be a challenge, so try to cut back slowly, swapping 1 cup of coffee for tea a day, and gradually increasing to 2 cups of tea instead of coffee, and so on.
Get Up From Your Desk
If you're sitting down reading this right now, take 5 minutes to take a break from reading, stand up, walk around your office or even go outside for a walk.
Sitting for extended periods of time can have significant negative effects on your body, including increasing your risk of lower back and neck problems and encouraging poor posture. To combat the endless hours of sitting at the desk, get up and walk around for just a couple of minutes every chance you get.
If you can swing it, try to take a couple of 10-minute breaks throughout the day to get outside for a short walk. Even increasing your daily physical activity by the small amount will have some significant long-term health benefits, and you'll feel more energized throughout the day because of it, too!
Believe it or not, your mindset has the ability to affect your body and the rest of your lifestyle. The more stressed out and miserable you are, the more likely your body is to feel tired and unmotivated.
On the contrary, the more upbeat you consciously act and the more positively you think, the more energized you will feel throughout your day. Here's a simple way to get started: post stickies on or around your desk and computer that have positive, inspirational quotes written on them.
Before you know it, you'll be oozing in positivity and in energy, and the more of both of those that you have, the more willing you will be to make other positive lifestyle changes. Refocusing your energy toward a more positive mindset can set off a major chain reaction when it comes to the rest of your lifestyle.
You'll feel more motivated to make other healthy choices, for one, including healthier eating choices and more frequent exercise.
Brush Your Teeth
The next time you have a toothbrush handy, pick it up and brush your teeth. It won't only make your breath smell fresh, but it'll improve your overall health, too!
Your mouth is basically a hotbed for germs, bacteria and plaque, and if your teeth aren't properly cared for, all of those things can enter into your body without any warning and make you ill. In fact, a study back in 2005 showed that gingivitis (a disease of the gum that makes your gums swell and bleed) that goes untreated can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
So check up with your dentist regularly to make sure you're keeping your teeth clean and brush and floss at least twice a day (though the recommended frequency is after every meal). Keep bacteria and germs from reaching the rest of your body by simply brushing your teeth more often. You'll have a whiter smile that you'll want to show off (increasing your mood and positivity!) and your body will be healthier because of it.
Mary Richardson is a freelance writer who is constantly making small changes to her lifestyle to improve her overall health. Her most recent initiative was installing a system of bag filters in her drinking water supply in her home so that she always has access to clean, fresh water!