I get it. Sometimes being healthy can feel like hard work. And the unfortunate reality is that our physical, emotional, and bodily health often get shunted to the bottom of our priority list whenever our plates are too full.
But fear not! Here I bring you 10 super simple tips that can yield amazing health benefits — no energy or time required. You’re welcome.
Health Tips for Your Lazy Side
Drink some water.
Our body is composed of approximately SIXTY PERCENT water. While being hydrated improves circulation, digestion, absorption, and elimination, being dehydrated can influence your mood, induce fatigue, and lower alertness, according to the international peer-reviewed journal Nutrition Reviews. Carry water around all day as a reminder to drink as much of the stuff as you can!
2. Go to bed earlier.
Sleep is not only essential to maintaining mood, memory, and cognitive performance, but it also plays a vital role in the normal functioning of our immune system and endocrine system (a.k.a our hormonal system). According to the National Sleep Foundation, studies show a growing link between sleep duration and a variety of serious health problems, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and depression. Those who are consistently sleep-deprived are also more likely to gain weight since cravings for carbohydrates will ensue. Oftentimes I find myself going to bed late for such silly reasons—like taking yet another quiz on Buzzfeed about what my spirit animal is. Be conscious about the nonsense you’re getting up to at night and shut that laptop or iPad down earlier!
3. Lay out your workout clothes out the night before.
If your workout clothes are ready to go and in a place where you can see them first thing in the morning, it will remind you to work out. Bonus: It makes packing your gym bag way easier, too.
4. Eat some nuts with that fruit.
Having some nuts whenever you eat fruit is a super simple way to lower the glycemic load of sugary fruits. Translation: doing this stabilizes your blood sugar levels and keeps you fuller for longer. Just watch the portion size of those nuts — the calories can add up!
5. Go outside.
If only smokers weren’t inhaling nicotine and tar with every puff, they’d really be onto something with those outdoor cigarette breaks! Being outside in the sun provides you with vitamin D, fresh air, and a break from those harsh fluorescent lights in your office/home/wherever. Even if you’re just out there for five minutes, it’s a nice break that will help make you feel more energized when you go back to your desk.
6. Chop up some veggies.
Have you ever opened your fridge and felt like you either don’t know what to eat or don’t have anything to eat? Chopping up some veggies and putting them in clear baggies or containers will remind you that you have healthy, ready-to-go snack whenever you’re hungry.
This also comes in handy when a recipe calls for chopped veggies. Done already!
7. Cook a little extra.
Whenever you make a meal, cook an extra portion or two. You can use those leftovers as lunch or dinner on another day of the week or even stick them in the freezer for those emergency “what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-eat-for-dinner?” nights.
8. Add some probiotics to that yogurt.
While yogurts typically have naturally-occurring probiotics within them, the benefits of adding more probiotics are endless. From powders and capsules to liquids and foods themselves, probiotics take on many forms. Choose whichever one works for you. One of my favourite options is to add some plain kefir to my yogurt or smoothie.
9. Swap refined products for whole wheat varieties.
By picking rice, pasta, and bread that is made with 100% whole grain rather than multigrain or white versions of those products, you’re giving your body more vitamins, minerals, protein, and nutrients overall. You’re also going to lower your blood sugar levels and up your fibre intake in the process. It’s an easy switch, but a very worthwhile one.
10. Use glass instead of plastic.
BPA is a chemical found in cans and plastics (i.e. water bottles, canned fruits and veggies, plastic containers, etc.). Through reviewing 91 different studies on the link between BPA and human health, an article in Reproductive Toxicology confirmed that BPA exposure in adults may be associated with: reduced male sexual function, altered thyroid hormone concentrations, blunted immune functioning, obesity, inflammation, asthma, and a host of other problems. Stick to BPA-free glass jars, especially when microwaving!
The Bottom Line
Though it might feel like being healthy is a daunting task at times, simple changes like these can greatly influence your health. Remember the great Chinese proverb: “Be not afraid of growing slowly; be only afraid of standing still.”
You Tell Me!
What’s your lazy-person health hack? Let me know in the comments below!