Finals are creeping up on us, and so is summer! This means lots of time spent in the library wishing we could lay outside and enjoy the warm weather and longer daytime. Summer is often associated with minimal stress and a lot of leisure time. But the contrast between summer and the school year shouldn’t be so drastic – we should be healthy, happy, and relaxed all year round. For starters, these 10 steps may reduce your stress, improve your health, and keep you healthy all the time, not just during summer.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It gives your brain the fuel to power through the rest of the day. Breakfast foods like oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, and eggs are filling and full of protein and nutrients that will keep you from overeating the rest of the day. There’s no excuse – wake up 5 minutes earlier if you have to!
Drink More Water
We all know we wouldn’t survive without H20. Water flushes toxins out of body and keeps us healthy. The recommended intake is 8-9 cups a day. If you think you’re hungry, try drinking a bottle of water and see if it satisfies you . You may just be thirsty and the water will quench your thirst.
Making exercise routine is a struggle for many people, and excuses are easy to find. Make fitness a priority, and turn it into a hobby. No one loves running on the treadmill, so sign up for a yoga class, join a soccer team, or go on walks with your friends. There are plenty of different and inexpensive ways to exercise, the key is to find the one that works for you, not make excuses for the ones that don’t.
Load Up On Fruits and Veggies
Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet. The problem that many people encounter is not consuming the right amount everyday. The recommended intake is three servings of vegetables daily and two servings of fruit. The easiest way to ensure you’re getting this amount is to suppress your snack cravings with fruits and veggies. Combining an apple with peanut butter or celery with ranch makes for a tasty and healthy snack!
Stay Away From Processed Foods
Rule of thumb: if you read the ingredients on a label and there is something you don’t recognize, something that sounds similar to jibberish, put it back on the shelf. It has a lot of chemicals and is definitely process and unhealthy. The more natural foods you eat, the better you’ll feel. Processed foods may taste good, but they’re not sustaining your body with necessary nutrients and in turn are making you hungrier.
Don’t Eat Before Bed
The old rule of not eating after 8 p.m. actually isn’t a bad idea. Your body metabolizes food quicker in the morning than it does at night, so eating more later in the day will only lead to more of that food turning into fact. In addition, eating close to bedtime will discourage breakfast in the morning. Don’t go to bed starving, instead have a cup of non-caffeinated hot tea or a few spoonfuls of yogurt.
Take a Multivitamin
There are many benefits in taking a multivitamin, if you are consistent. Multivitamins improve your physical and mental functioning. They can also reduce stress, increase your energy level and in the long run, reduce the risk for certain diseases. If you’re looking for the right kind for you, ask friends or a doctor for recommendations. Taking more vitamins is never a bad idea, but if it’s hard for you to keep track, start with just one multivitamin a day.
Kiss Smoking Goodbye
If you don’t smoke – good job and disregard this. And if you do, throw the pack away! Smoking does absolutely nothing but harm, and there are so many alternatives. If you think you need help quitting, reach out to a friend, family member, or online advice.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep!
Shockingly, sleep should indeed be a priority in your life. Get plenty of it, not just the bare minimum 6-8 hours. You will look your best, perform your best, and feel your best after a good night’s sleep. Your body and metabolism will also react in a positive way because when you sleep your body returns to equilibrium. Take the extra 20 minutes in the morning you use to stop at Starbucks and sleep during that time, it will pay off.
Make Time For The Things You Love
Save the best for last. In the midst of school, work, extracurriculars, etc. etc. it’s easy to forget that we love to dance or play the piano. Set aside time every week for something you genuinely love to do, something that relaxes you and makes you happy. It’s just as important to have “me time” as it is to get your paper in on time. Learn to balance your responsibilities with leisure and you’ll be happier, healthier, and feel better. And most importantly, surround yourself with others like you who are positive influences in your life.
Being healthy sets you up for success. A healthy lifestyle gives you the energy to perform best at whatever you do and gives you a positive outlook on life. You will not regret taking steps to developing a healthier lifestyle. Not only will your body benefit from the steps you choose to take, but also your personal well-being and others will notice it. Whether you take one step at a time or dive into all 10, you will feel energized, confident and most likely be a happier woman. So, take the initiative to improve your health and live a better life.
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