Improving your health may seem like an overwhelming task – especially if you may have neglected your health for various reasons. Trying to do it all at once and make lots of changes at the same time is not only un-realistic but can actually increase your stress level and sense of confidence – leading to feelings of failure.
Below are 9 steps you can begin to take to help you improve your health. Pick one step to work on at a time, pick one that feels most attainable, then move on to the next when you are ready. There is no specific order to do these in, trust your intuition when ranking these in terms of importance.
Drink More Water:
It is recommended that you drink at least half of your weight in ounces of water daily. So, if you weight 140 lbs – recommended water intake is 70 oz per day. It is helpful to fill a large bottle of water that you can carry with you everywhere you go and fill it 2-3 times per day. Drink before every meal – this will help with food absorption and fill you up faster, so you end up eating less
Homemade cooking is so much healthier than take out food. When you cook at home, you get to choose the exact ingredients that go into your meals, you get to control what you put in and what you leave out. You are also more likely to watch your portions when you cook at home as most take out meals give you portions that are way bigger than a single serving
Increase Vegetable Intake and Experiment with Different types of Veggies
Having vegetable with every meal will not only give you additional vitamins and nutrients, but also help you stay full longer since most vegetables are high in fiber. Try different sweet vegetables – this will help decrease cravings for unhealthy sweets that are high in artificial sugar. Leafy greens provide additional health benefits and dense nutrition your body may be lacking – which can lead to additional cravings for unhealthy foods
Experiment with Protein
No, I am not suggesting you need to stop eating meat and go all plant based, but experimenting with different types of protein with give your body a variety of different foods to try and also help you identify any patterns of proteins your body may be sensitive too. So, if you notice that you feel more sluggish after consuming red meat – try poultry or fish. Experiment with plant based protein too – variety is best. Make an effort to purchase meat/poultry products that are organic and antibiotic, hormone-free. Wild caught fish is a better option than farm raised
Eat Fewer Processed Foods
Processed foods are filled with chemicals that may be harmful to your body and in the long run contribute to significant health issues. Processed and artificial ingredients also have addictive properties that keep you coming back for more
Nurture Your Body
Exercise is the most under utilized anti-depressant out there. Nurture and take care of your body by getting it moving. Start with light exercise like waking and yoga, try different classes and programs and see what your body enjoys doing. Exercise should feel good and rewarding, it should not feel like a shore or a punishment. Reward your body for hard work by getting a massage or seeing an energy healer, meditate to clear your mind
Nurture Your Relationships
Focus on having at least one healthy relationship – it doesn’t have to be romantic, friendships, family relationships, relationships with co-workers. Set healthy boundaries and be assertive with your needs and wants.
Find Work That You Love
There is nothing worse than being stuck at a job that literally sucks the life out of you. Stress can literally kill you. If you feel overstressed and unfulfilled at your job – re-consider what still keeps you there. If you need that job for a paycheck – is that paycheck worth the potential health problems that can be exacerbated by the stress and if leaving that job is really not an option – what are some aspects of the job that are in your control to improve?
Develop a Spiritual Practice
Whether you are religious or spiritual or both – having a practice is so important to your physical and emotional health. It will help you center and ground yourself, it will help you let go off and accept the things that are outside of your control.