Medically reviewed by Dr. Jen Palmer, ND – Naturopathic Doctor,
Director of Education for Charlotte’s Web™
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to get healthy in one way or another, you’re certainly not alone. Every year millions of people start the year off with goals to exercise more, eat better, or get better sleep, but many have trouble following through. To make it easier to stick to your goals, we’ve pulled together 14 easy tips on how to get healthy and how to live a healthy lifestyle:
1. Taking Walking Breaks
If you have not heard yet, sitting is the new smoking. For those that have a job that requires you to sit for prolonged periods of time, it’s especially important you get up and move around for at least 5 minutes every hour. One fantastic way to accomplish this is to go for walks outside.
Walking outside gets you away from your screens, puts fresh air in your lungs, and gets the blood pumping through your lower extremities. If you can’t get outside because of the weather, going for a walk through your building or even around your office are still great options.
2. Breathe with Intent
Breathing comes naturally, but in many cases our breathing could be improved. By practicing different breathing exercises and finding what feels right there are many benefits to be had including reduced stress levels in your body, a lowering of your heart rate and resulting lower blood pressure. This can be great to do for a few minutes before or after a meeting, or even during a meeting. It can be integrated into your morning routine or at nighttime prior to bed.
3. Drink water
There are many benefits to drinking water, but the short of it is that drinking more water makes you healthier. Drinking water has been shown to speed up your metabolism, helping you lose weight faster, while also allowing you to perform better during workouts, among plenty of other things. Drinking water is one of the key factors in how to be and stay healthy.
4. Establish a Sleep Schedule
Simply put, sleep directly impacts your productivity, overall health, and wellbeing. Sleep deprivation can cause you to lose up to 11 days of productivity per year, and people who only get five to six hours (as opposed to seven-plus) are over four times more likely to get sick. Making sure you go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday reinforces your circadian rhythm, ensures you get your optimal amount of sleep, and increases your overall health.
Charlotte’s WebTM CBD gummies for sleep are designed to help you get to sleep fast and stay asleep throughout the night. * Read our blog post on the science of CBD for sleep or how better sleep can help your workout to learn more.
5. Snack on Fruits and Nuts
Much like vegetables, fruits and nuts provide your body with essential vitamins, nutrients, and trace minerals. Try substituting your normal snacks with snackable fruits and nuts a few times a week to get started. You’ll be cutting out some of the unhealthy food you regularly consume and replacing it with food your body can benefit from.
6. Probiotics and Fiber for Gut Health
It’s important to take care of your gut. Specifically, it’s important to take care of the bacteria in your gut called gut microbiota. Changes in the composition of this bacteria has been proven to lead to a “broad range of inflammatory diseases, such as allergic disease, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), obesity, and associated noncommunicable diseases (NCDs),” according to The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Eating probiotic foods like yogurt or fermented foods like KimChi, help to improve your gut’s overall health while fiber helps to fuel the bacteria that keeps you regular. To create the best environment for your gut microbiome, consider eating a wide variety of foods, especially raw foods if possible. The more diverse the range of healthy foods you eat, the better off your gut will be.
7. Take the stairs
Much like taking walk breaks, choosing to take the stairs overriding the elevator helps to get you moving and exercising just a little bit more. Moderately physical activities, like climbing stairs, have been shown to reduce the risk of developing a serious disease while research has shown that taking the stairs may actually be faster than taking the elevator. The idea is to find creative ways to avoid the sedentary lifestyle. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
8. Cut out the soda
Sodas and other sugary drinks are some of the unhealthiest things you can consume. This is because your brain simply doesn’t recognize sugar from beverages the same way it recognizes sugar from solid foods causing you to consume more sugar than you normally would. Sugars like high fructose corn syrup spike your insulin levels and cause an internal imbalance. Sugar itself is not bad but the form it takes is what matters. Sugar in a piece of fruit is ok because as you eat the fruit, the fiber it has supports the slow release of sugar into the system effectively buffering the sugar spike. You will see a noticeable difference in your health after cutting artificial sugars out of your diet.
9. Drink in Moderation
Alcohol, much like soda, can be detrimental to your body if consumed too frequently. Both have a similar effect on the liver. Not only can alcohol have negative effects on your internal organs, it can also cause you to gain weight. Consult your physician on what is acceptable for your body, but the general rule of thumb is the less, the better.
10. Use a Smaller Plate
This may seem simple, but oftentimes our eyes are bigger than our stomach. Having less room on your plate forces you to cut back on portion size and, in turn, train yourself to want less food.
Some people can eat whatever they want and still look great, this in part has to do with their metabolism and activity level. If you are exercising and want to feel great, a larger portion may be exactly what you need, but if the only activity you have done during the day is walk from the house to the car to the office and back, a smaller portion makes sense.
11. Trade in for a standing desk
Like we said before, sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental to your health. Studies have shown that people who sit for long periods of time have a greater risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and death. So, get that blood flowing through your legs and possibly lengthen your lifespan by standing at your desk rather than sitting.
12. Try CBD
If you’ve been hearing about CBD lately, it’s for a good reason. More and more people are beginning to recognize the many benefits of the hemp plant and CBD in particular. This is because adding CBD to your daily routine can lead to many different benefits ranging from decreased stress and better sleep to quicker recovery from exercise induced inflammation. Check out our “What is CBD?” page to learn more.
13. Break Goals into Bite-Sized Chunks
Breaking your goals down into bite-sized chunks helps to make them much more manageable and attainable. Whether they are goals to get healthier, to perform better at work, or anything in between, breaking them down into small steps can help you reach them without losing faith first. Start small and establish a habit, then build it up in duration and frequency. After a while, the habit will be formed, and the benefits are achieved more effectively.
14. Get More Sunshine
Lastly, sunshine has many health benefits, the question is are you getting enough? A study on the health benefits of sunshine published in 2008 spoke about how sunshine allows our body to synthesize vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in regulating calcium metabolism and neuromuscular and immune system functioning. The study outlines many other benefits of sunshine, one of the more noteworthy is that sunshine increases levels of natural opiates called endorphins.
Living A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be Easy
Choosing how to live a healthy lifestyle starts with identifying bad habits, altering them with the right techniques, and building healthy choices into your day to day routine.. Doing things like eating off a smaller plate, taking walk breaks, or establishing a sleep schedule are easy ways to start your journey to a healthier life. Learn more about how CBD can get you there even more quickly by checking out our blog on CBD education, looking at our CBD products, or contacting us directly.