We all know how important our health is and how difficult it can sometimes seem to be to stay in shape and eat a healthy well balanced diet since we tend to always be on the go, rushing to and fro and rarely have the time to eat properly or take care of ourselves. Well, getting healthy does not have to be an overwhelming and daunting task.
Here are 6 very simple, quick and easy tips to help you improve your health, eat better, and get out of that rut that we often find ourselves in.
Quick Tip #1: How to Eat Spinach
Are you one of those people who just dream of a nice large plate of steaming spinach after a long day at work? No? Oddly enough…you are not alone. The problem is that spinach is one of those foods that happen to be great for your health, even if it is not one of the most popular choices for a lot of people.
Spinach is high in several essential vitamins and nutrients including potassium, iron, fiber, calcium, and vitamin A, vitamin B, and Vitamin C. There are a wide range of health benefits from eating this little leafy green vegetable, some that you may not have suspected. Eating a diet rich in spinach can help you fight heart disease, improve the muscles of the eyes and reduce eye strain, help to naturally strengthen the arteries for better circulatory and heart health, is a good defense in combating memory loss, fights harmful free radicals and can aid in the prevention of various cancers including breast cancer and colon cancer. And if all that was not enough, some studies suggest that it can even help in reversing the signs of aging.
Looking at the impressive list of just a few of the great benefits from having spinach in your diet may make you realize that you need spinach but may not make it seem any more appealing to you. Not to worry, you can actually find really quick and easy ways of getting spinach into your diet with all of its great health benefits in ways that will not you making you cringe. Simply use the foods you are already eating, and sprinkle in a bit of spinach here and there throughout the day. For example, you can add spinach to omelets for a simple way to get some of the green stuff. Spinach also goes great on pizza or in veggie and chicken lasagna. It compliments the sauce well and you will not even notice the taste. You can also use some fresh spinach tossed into your salad or mixed in with the lettuce on a sandwich or wrap.
Instead of trying to force yourself to eat a large serving of spinach as is, you will find that you can incorporate this very healthy food easily in your regular diet and by mixing it in with other foods you can mask the taste easily if it is not to your liking.
Healthy Tip #2: Drink Cranberry Juice!
Instead of that soda or regular sugar loaded fruit drink, trying grabbing some cranberry juice for a quick and refreshing way to get healthy.
Cranberries have long been used for their role in improving urinary tract and kidney health and is believed to prevent bacteria from adhering to the wall of the urinary tract which helps to prevent urinary tract infections. Because cranberries are chocked full of antioxidants, they have also been shown to have several other great health benefits including protection from free radicals and fighting plaque. Drinking cranberry juice on a daily basis can also help to lower your cholesterol, fight stomach cancer and prevent ulcers and there is some research that shows that cranberries can also boost the immune system and aids in weight loss.
So instead of reaching for the sports drink or other juice, try substituting a glass of cranberry juice instead.
Quick Tip #3: Switch to Diet Drinks
Speaking of what you drink, one of the quickest ways to change your habits for the better is to simply switch your sodas and other high sugar beverages to diet drinks and sugar free choices. No change in routine, no extra expense, just a simple switch and you can cut calories and help to prevent diabetes later in life.
Quick Tip #4: Snack on Almonds
Almonds are another one of those power foods that are bursting with great health benefits that can help you lower cholesterol, protect your heart, boost your energy levels, aid in the development and function of the brain, reduce weight, and even help to prevent diabetes and gallstones. Almonds are also high in folic acid, a key element in the development of babies during pregnancy, making almonds an excellent snack for expecting mothers as well. Although almonds may not be a good choice for people who have kidney problems because they do contain oxalates which can lead to crystallization, making almonds a bad choice for people suffering from kidney issues, but for most other people they are a great and healthy snack.
So keep a pack of almonds in your car or at your desk and the next time you get an attack of the munchies snack on the almonds instead of chips or other unhealthy snacks that are high in fat and sodium.
Quick Tip #5: Sleep
Many of us are those driven, burn the midnight oil types who just can not seem to rest until we get everything done. Unfortunately, this often results in a lack of sleep which is detrimental to our health and our productivity. The more and more we try to cram into our day, the more we seem to eat into our sleeping time, so instead of getting at least the 8 hours of sleep that we need to have each night we tend to get only 5 to 7, sometimes even less.
Depriving ourselves of the full night’s sleep that your body needs can have serious consequences on your health. Lack of sleep can interfere with your body’s ability to regulate hormones and your metabolism which means that you are at a greater risk for things like obesity and diabetes because your body can not process the carbohydrates properly. A lack of sleep also interferes with your cognitive abilities making you sluggish and leading to difficulties in concentration. Other studies have also shown a link between inadequate and irregular amounts of sleep to an increased chance of developing cancer and heart disease and such studies have indicated that the average adult needs between 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, on a regular basis in order to maintain good health and for the human body to function normally.
So while we might think that we are doing more by sleeping less, we are really lowering the quality of our own health and being less productive when we are awake so all in all we end up doing less by going without sleep. So a simple way to increase your own productivity while taking care of your health is to simply get to bed on time. And if you find that you have trouble sleeping you can try safe herbal remedies, such as chamomile than can help you to relax and fall asleep.
Quick Tip #6 Chair-a-cise!
When you are stuck at a desk all day it may seem hard to keep in shape and to release all of the stiffness and tension that can build up during the day but there are some great and simple little exercises that you can do right from your chair that can make a big difference in how you feel and perform throughout your day.
Doing simple leg extensions from a sitting position and flexing your ankle at the hight of the lift is a simple way to get your circulation going and get your muscles working. To add resistance you can even use ankle weights if you want to keep them at your desk. Doing side bend stretches are another easy way to stretch and move while sitting at your desk. You can also do arm circles by extending your arms and moving them in tiny little circles with the entire arm, holding them straight as you move. Another easy one is a simple neck role than can be great for relieving stress as well by just relaxing and slowly moving your heard around in a circle gently to release some of the tension in your neck.
This might not seem like much, but doing such simple exercises can help you to keep your muscles stretched out and release the stiffness and tension that you often feel when chained to a desk. Also make a point of standing as often as possible, take the stairs when you can, or even park on the far end of the parking lot to get in a little extra exercise on the go.
No matter how busy you are, you can make the time for these tiny little changes that can have a big impact on your health and help you to start living a healthier lifestyle, even when on the go. And of course, any time you make a change to your diet or exercise routine you should always check with your health care provider first.