With the second allergy season underway alongside classes, work, and other commitments ramping up, committing to your health is essential if you want to stay on top of everything. Here are four big things that you can start doing, today, to keep yourself happy and healthy this fall!
This fact may surprise you: scientists estimate that 75% of the United States’ adult population suffers from net fluid loss– more commonly known as chronic dehydration. Staying hydrated can lead to a variety of health benefits for your skin, joints, brain, hair, and even weight loss! Scientists have proven that adequate amounts of water can aid in our digestive systems buy lightening the load on the kidneys and helping break down fats and soluble fibers. Keeping tabs on your water intake was also proven by a team of scientists at the University of Connecticut to keep your moods consistently happy! In case you aren’t yet entirely on board, though, having a cold glass of water is a great, healthy, and natural way to get woken up if you start to get tired.
How much water you should be drinking daily is individualized. For adult men, it should be around 104 ounces, or 13 cups, while for women it should be nine cups (72 ounces,) says the International Institute of Medicine (IOM.) If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, exercising, live in a hot climate, or live at a high altitude, consider adding another cup or two of water to your daily intake.
How, though, do you keep up with all of that water intake? It’s simple! Drinking water routinely based off of an alarm can help with your overall consumption. Taking a swig or two of water on the hour, having a glass before you sit down to eat, or even just having a glass of water when you get up every morning all are simple approaches to begin great drinking habits. Including natural produce, minerals, or herbs to your water to give it a taste that you can stomach, keeping tabs on your pee to watch your hydration level, or keeping a beautifully decorated water bottle close to where you sit for work or school are all great ways to keep your water intake at a healthy level.
Sunny Days are Here Again
Daylight assumes a crucial role in how your body works. More time in the light of the sun can help in the regular creation of vitamins and endorphins, which together can prompt feelings of happiness and reduced stress! Daylight releases vitamin D; a vitamin essential for sound bones and decreasing instances of tumors, melatonin, which controls your sleep cycle and can enable you to rest better, nitric oxide, which can bring down your pulse, and serotonin, which plays a role in the process of happy thoughts and feelings.
Scientists have discovered that the advantages of melatonin, found in the rays of the sun, extends out to support of your rest cycle. Sitting outside in broad daylight for an hour in the morning or early afternoon is a beautiful, scientifically-touted method to keep a predictable sleep cycle–and taking a quick walk in the sun for an hour is an effective method for getting fitter and keeping up a calm, peaceful state of mind.
Also incredibly essential to the feelings of peace and happiness is serotonin, which your body naturally makes as a response to sunlight. Having consistent serotonin levels can enable you to ward off any mental health struggles you may have and remain in control of your emotions.
If you are having trouble justifying spending an hour per day outside, make it your lunch break, walk the dog when you get home, or stay and watch the kids at their sports practices. Even getting out of the house for fifteen or thirty minutes can make a difference!
Meditate on It
Stressed about the bills, work, or the kids? Take a few minutes for yourself so that you can meditate on your anxieties. Meditation is clinically proven to reduce your stress, manage or mitigate worries, and extend your attention span! With websites and apps like Headspace and others that exist, there is no need to go out and spend a bunch of money on classes, services, or goods to meditate. All you need is a quiet space and a right attitude to start meditating.
If you need more motivation to get started, there are entire channels on YouTube dedicated to guided meditation, and website upon a website with tips, tricks, pillow recommendations, headphones, candles, and everything else you could ever need to meditate. You can go as big or as cheap as you want with this tip! Oh, and if you contemplate outside somewhere, like in a garden, you can knock off your daily hour of sunshine, too!
Eating Healthy for Mind and Body
Eating healthy is the cornerstone of fitness. If you aren’t fueling yourself properly, you run the risk of getting sick, feeling burnt out at work, or putting on weight. Eating healthy isn’t just calorie-counting, though– it’s eating a diverse variety of foods: foods from different food groups, foods that you cook yourself, and foods that are low in sugars and carbs. Practically, though, this looks like something different for everyone.
If you’re an athlete, consider breaking up your three-square meals into a series of six protein-rich snacks. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, lay off the spicy foods and make sure you’re eating foods high in healthy fats and proteins. If you’re cooking for kids, be extra careful about making sure they are getting the protein they need and make sure to sneak in some produce once in a while. Eating healthy, especially eating healthy from a young age, is one of the best things that you can do for your overall health.