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5 Simple Ways to Make Every Day Healthier

By Michelle Hoeing, RDN LN

 

So maybe you can’t change your health overnight in a “Cheetos and Twinkies” world. But you can get off to a great start with a few proven ways to boost your health (and lose a few pounds while you’re at it). The following are five simple rules to live and lose by:

  1. Plan ahead. Having a few of your meals planned out for the week ahead will save a lot of stress and time when you’re scrambling to get dinner on the table. If you plan to eat out at a restaurant, look up the menu and nutrition facts online. Almost all restaurants and fast food establishments have this information available nowadays. This will keep you from making an impulse decision about food, when we often tend to make unhealthy choices.
  2. Prep your veggies. We are much more likely to consume vegetables when they are already cleaned, chopped, sliced, and ready to go. A quick dinner could be as simple as a stir-fry. Throw together sliced chicken or beef, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms, with a simple soy or other favorite sauce and you’ll have a nutritious meal ready in less than 10 minutes.
  3. Get moving! Studies have shown that exercise is more efficient in lowering your blood pressure than simply reducing your sodium intake. Doing so allows your blood vessels to open up and allows more blood to flow through to important tissues in your body. So exercise as often as you can!
  4. Drink more water. If you are one of the many people addicted to caffeine, soda, or other artificially sweetened and/or carbonated beverages, replace at least one of those with 8-16 ounces of water every day. Your ultimate goal should be to cut out unhealthy beverages altogether. Just think...your body will work more efficiently if you are adequately hydrated.
  5. Make time for yourself. Whether you carve out as little as 10-15 minutes, or an hour throughout the day, take some time to yourself to de-stress and relax. High levels of stress can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors and can even promote fat storage in your body!