February 22, 2021
Healthy habits don’t have to mean huge changes to your daily routine. Simple, small steps also contribute to a healthier you! You are a beautiful puzzle of many connected pieces. Here are 5 simple things you can do today that can benefit your overall health and wellness.
5 Simple Habits for Health
Practicing a daily relaxation technique can help you manage stress, improve your energy levels, and create an environment that supports healthy ageing. When it comes to relaxation, it’s all about what works for you and your situation. Relaxation techniques could include deep breathing, meditation, getting a massage, taking a bath, writing in your journal, visualizing something you consider beautiful (ex. art or nature), doing something creative such as adult colouring books, knitting, or sketching, and more!
Move Your Body
Moving your body is beneficial to your health. Movement throughout the day, including gentle stretching, yoga, or even housekeeping helps with better lung function and your mental health! Be it a brisk walk after a meal to help reduce blood sugar levels, or a simple standing exercise to boost circulation, movement is something you can do for your health. As an example, a simple standing exercise could include:
- Stand quietly with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent.
- Relax your shoulders and tuck your chin slightly.
- Slowly inhale and exhale
- On your next inhalation, slowly raise your arms out to the sides, and reach them up over your head
- Exhale as you let your arms lower, then bring your hands in to rest on your abdomen.
- Repeat, raising and lowering your arms, at least five times.
Relationships are an important piece of your overall health and wellness. Talking with someone that makes you happy or who makes you laugh, is supportive of you, or who nourishes your spirit can bring balance to your life. Spending time with loved ones, a good friend or even a pet can reduce stress hormones, bring joy into your life, and potentially help you live longer. Consider how you might build connections today: you could reconnect with a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while, call a mentor, or explore a new friendship.
Eat the Rainbow
There is a relationship between the foods you eat and your health. Consuming a variety of quality, colourful foods provides energy and nutrients that can benefit your heart, liver and other organs. Foods that maximize the potential for health also boost anti-inflammatory and immune systems, impact your mood, your brain, your skin health and hormones. One way to get the most out of the foods you consume daily is by eating from the colours of the rainbow’. Some examples of colourful foods can include:
Red: apples, beets, bell peppers, cranberries, pomegranates, radishes, and tomatoes
Orange: apricots, carrots, oranges, orange peppers, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and yams
Yellow: bananas, ginger, lemons, millet, pineapple, yellow peppers, and squash
Green: asparagus, avocado, broccoli, celery, cucumber, dill, green beans & peas, limes
Blue/purple: blueberries, boysenberries, eggplant, grapes, kale, olives, plums, black rice
White/tan/brown: cauliflower, garlic, coconut, chickpeas, mushrooms, nuts, whole grains (barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, spelt etc.)
Every day your body loses water through your breath, perspiration, urine and more. To function optimally, water must be replenished in the body. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest that adequate daily fluid intake includes:
- Men: about 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) of fluids
- Women: about 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) of fluids
These totals include fluids from foods (ex. watermelon, spinach), beverages like tea and coffee, and of course, drinking water! Some tips for increasing the amount of water you drink in a day can include exploring herbal teas to find a new favourite, drinking out of a fancy glass or water bottle, having a glass of water when you first wake up, drinking some water while you wait for your coffee to brew/tea to steep, and adding sliced fruit or cucumbers to your beverage.
Simple, small habits and steps add up to a healthier you – try adding these 5 health habits in and see how you feel at the end of the day.