10 health hacks for 2020
Thursday, January 09, 2020
A new year is upon us and with it typically comes the desire to get healthy. Here are some health hacks to give your healthy resolutions a jump-start!
1. Less is more.
With KonMari and the minimalism movement taking off, it is clear that clutter and owning too much stuff can be chaotic and overwhelming.
Selling, donating and consigning are all easier than ever and can also be fun. Collaborate with a friend to help each other downsize. Celebrate with a fun outing or dinner out afterward.
2. Water. Water. Water.
A recent survey by Quench showed that 80% of working Americans don’t drink enough water. In addition to not feeling thirsty, many people find plain water boring or bland. One way to make it more appealing is to dress it up a bit: flavor it with fresh fruit (lemons, strawberries, cucumbers) and serve it in an attractive container.
3. Get up and move!
If sitting is the new smoking, then it’s essential to find creative ways to move. Instead of setting aside time to stretch or move, double up! Stretch while waiting for your coffee to brew in the morning, take a 10-minute walk during your lunch break, do yoga while watching television or talking on the phone, dance while doing housework, etc.
4. Train your brain.
According to the American Heart Association, failing brain health is a public health epidemic with 3 out of 5 Americans developing a brain disease in their lifetime. The good news is that the brain is able to change and develop new pathways.
Some ways to strengthen your brain include: 1) learn something new such as a new language or new vocabulary words; 2) exercise your memory by not relying so much on your phone for directions or Google for information; and 3) try one of the many brain training apps available to challenge your thinking.
With time in front of a screen taking up a large portion of waking hours, it’s time for a break. As with anything else, unplugging requires planning.
Set aside a day a week, a half-day or blocks of time here and there in which you are completely away from all screens. Your eyes and your brain will thank you.
Healing with sound has been around for thousands of years. In addition to listening to music, in most major metro areas, you can also attend sound healing events with crystal bowls, gongs and other instruments. Online, there are many options for sound healing in which you can listen to solfeggio frequencies or binaural beats.
7. Plant-based lifestyle.
A study by Harvard researchers found that swapping 3% of processed red meat for plant proteins reduces your chances of an early death by 34%. You don’t have to make the switch to meat-free completely; instead, try eating this way for one meal a day.
8. Sleep hygiene.
In a 2016 Consumer Reports survey 68% of U.S. adults had trouble with sleep at least once a week. To improve your sleep quickly, try listening to a guided meditation or sleep hypnosis recording. You can find them on Spotify, YouTube and other online platforms.
9. Get curious about sobriety.
There’s a movement afoot based on the 2018 book “Sober Curious” by Ruby Warrington that’s inspiring people to be social without alcohol.
Curiosity is the motivator as people discover what it feels like to engage with others without mood altering or numbing. Search for or start a Meetup group to find other sober-curious folks.
10. Rest and restore.
More emphasis than ever is being placed on the need to let the body recover after strenuous exercise. Don’t be surprised if you see more and more gyms offering “recovery fitness.”
When planning your exercise routine, not only should you leave enough time to do cool-down stretches, replenish nutrients with a smoothie or fresh juice and take some time to rest, but also fill some of your non-exercise time with activities to help your body recover. These include infrared saunas, massages, rolling, resistant bands, compression therapy, cold water therapy, and more.
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