Every January, gym memberships go up. This is when everyone is attempting to fulfill their New Year’s resolution to “get into better shape.” Sadly, by March, many of those new members have drifted away. With a busy work and family schedule, it is hard to carve out gym time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to transform your body. Here are five simple health hacks that can go a long way towards improving your body.
Cut the Sugar
It is important that we pay attention to what we use to fuel our bodies. Reaching for an energy drink during a late-night gaming session might provide a temporary caffeine jolt, but if that drink is loaded with sugar, then it isn’t going to be doing your body any favors. Sugar abuse can often be as bad as alcohol abuse. Sugar is often converted to fat and that’s never good. Start to read the labels and if sugar is high on the ingredient list, then reach for something else. If you must use sweets in your cooking or in your morning cup of tea try honey instead as it is a healthier type of sugar!
Add More Fruits and Vegetables
Do you take multivitamins? It is a good way to provide the missing vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. Unfortunately, a multivitamin isn’t going to fill you up in a satisfying way. Fruits and vegetables can take care of that goal. Having fresh fruit within reach throughout the day is a good habit to get into. You can also add more fruits and veggies to your diet by making healthy smoothies. They’re perfect for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. If you’re not sure how to make a green smoothie, start with this recipe from The Foodwright.
Build Lean Muscle
Building lean muscle today is going to set you up for a healthy retirement. It doesn’t matter if that retirement is literally decades away, the lean muscles you maintain can become your body’s “baseline” for balance and strength. This will require some of that gym work, but you don’t have to become a gym rat. An effective cross-training workout can target all your major muscle groups. Just make sure you’re fueling up with plenty of healthy protein, too so your body has the energy and building blocks it needs to build healthy muscle mass.
Ditch the Booze
Time for a reality check about booze. Binge drinking has become the most widespread form of alcohol abuse in the United States. According to The Recovery Village, over 30 million adults in the U.S. (approximately 15 percent) admit to binge drinking within the past month. This is the kind of habit that can literally wreck your body. Not only does it mess with the mind, but it forces a major “reboot” the morning after. Continued binge drinking will make those recovery times even longer. That is going to impact all aspects of your life and that is no way to get and stay healthy
Find Better Stress Management Strategies
There are plenty of awesome video games that allow players to engage in a primordial instinct: “fight or flight.” When that happens, the production of cortisol kicks in. This is your body’s primary stress hormone. When triggered, cortisol can either provide an energy boost or shut down bodily functions like your digestive or immune system. That is why you want your cortisol levels to be maintained at an even level. This is where stress management comes into play. By carving out time to relax each day, you’ll be able to bring your stress levels down. Relaxing through guided meditation, reading a novel or even a power nap can all contribute to maintaining that balance. Not sure how to relax? Start at How-To-Meditate.org.
Achieving a healthier lifestyle doesn’t require a major upheaval. You just have to dedicate yourself to making minor adjustments. Take it slow and watch how good habits can become your only habits. You’ve got this.
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