Being healthy isn’t easy—but it’s about to get a lot easier. There are so many little things you can do in your day-to-day that add up over time, not only helping you feel great in the moment but also ensuring you still feel top-notch down the road. From adding a little turmeric to your meals or taking the stairs over the elevator, here are 100 ways you can be a much healthier woman with minimal effort. And for ways to help any man in your life improve himself, don’t miss the 100 Easy Ways to Be a (Much) Healthier Man.
Cut Down on Sodium
Later, salt shaker. It might make everything taste better, but having too much in your diet isn’t going to do your healthy any good. According to the Cleveland Clinic, excess sodium—the recommended daily amount is only 2,300 mg or 1 teaspoon, by the way—can make your heart work harder, increasing your blood pressure. But cutting back will help keep your body working properly and help you stay at a healthy weight. You might have to cut down on other things too: Here are the 20 Ways America’s Favorite Recreational Drug Affects Your Health.
Get Your Laugh On
There’s a very healthy, scientific reason to laugh more: According to the Mayo Clinic, getting your giggle on can actually help prevent premature aging due to its ability to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and help you get rid of all that extra pent-up tension in your body. So turn on a movie, go to a comedy show, or hang out with friends—whatever you need to add a little more laughter into your life.
Keep a Positive Attitude
There’s no reason to look at life any other way than with a glass-half-full mentality. According to a 2016 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, that positive attitude will not only help you age at a slower pace, but it will also make sure you live your life feeling happy and stress-free in the process. Love is in the air—and in your brain too: Check out Why Marriage is Great for Your Brain.
Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
You’re a busy lady—and that means you’re probably always on the go. For those times you’re left hangry hours before dinner, keep some healthy snacks on hand. Instead of running to the vending machine for something that will make you feel like crap five minutes after eating, you’ll be nourishing your body and keeping your energy levels up until your next meal.
Get Massages Regularly
As if you needed an excuse to hit up the spa, right? Since stress has so many negative effects on the body—from anxiety and depression to strokes and heart attacks—you have to take every opportunity you can to lower your levels, and getting a massage is a great way to do it. Relieving that tension is great for both your mental and physical health, keeping you feeling strong as you age. Remember: Regular spa trips is one of the 40 Life-Changing Habits To Adopt After 40.
Don’t Skip Doctor Appointments
It’s easy to avoid the doctor until you absolutely have to go, but be sure you’re getting in your check-ups on the regular. Even if you feel fine, there could be something you’re missing—and if that’s the case, your doc can help you get back on track and stay healthier, longer.
Get a Gym Membership
You’ve been telling yourself you need to get a gym membership for years—so what are you waiting for? When you put your money down on something, you’re more likely to use it. And, heading to the gym every day is great for your health, both mental and physical. It won’t take long to notice a difference in how you feel, even after a few days. And if you need an extra push to get there, check out the 11 Ways Smart People Motivate Themselves to Go to The Gym.
Stop Eating So Much Sugar
Let’s be honest—it’s not easy avoiding sugar. It’s in everything from your “healthy” instant oatmeal packs to pasta sauce, and definitely adds up over time. Not only does sugar overload lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes, but it can also give you wrinkles, fine lines, and under-eye sagging, says Dr. Nigma Talib, in her book Younger Skin Starts in the Gut. To avoid all those issues, try to avoid processed foods, stop sweetening your coffee, and eat as wholesome as you can when it comes to your diet.
Even if you think you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need through your diet, it’s tricky—and even the healthiest individuals sometimes still need a little extra help. To give your health a boost, find a multivitamin that works for you: According to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s an easy way to protect your body against an imperfect diet. Because who’s perfect anyway?
Take Workout Classes
Some people aren’t gym people, and that’s OK—but before you give up on the whole exercise thing, try workout classes instead. There are plenty of different options with different intensity levels and vibes, and you can keep checking them off your list until you find something you love.
Eat Some Beets
Beets are definitely a love-hate vegetable, but try and convince yourself to love them—it’s worth it for the health benefits. A 2011 study published in the journal Nitric Oxide found the veggie contains nitrates that actually help increase your mental performance. Thanks to some extra blood flow to your noggin, you’ll be thinking much clearer.
Drink Tons of Water
Drinking water day in and day out can get a little boring, but it’s super important for your body. A 2013 study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found being dehydrated can seriously impact your brain’s performance—and on top of that, it can also make you feel tired, give you headaches, make you dizzy, and give you dry skin. So drink up—even if that means adding some fruit in to make it a little more fun.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy diet sounds much easier than it is, but putting your foot down and making yourself eat all those fruit and vegetables pays off. There are an endless amount of health benefits that come from fueling your body properly: You’ll have more energy, your skin will be clearer, your immune system will be top-notch, and you’ll stay strong as you age.
Take a Walk
There are so many benefits to walking it’s almost hard to count. Moving around is so much better for your health compared to being stuck at a desk all day, and even a 10-minute stroll has been shown to give you a great energy boost for up to two hours afterward. (Best work break ever!)
Wear Sunscreen Every Day
Sunscreen doesn’t get enough credit. Many people only slather it on at the beach, but it’s crucial all day, every day: UV rays can damage your skin even on cloudy days, so making it part of your morning routine will prevent dark spots, wrinkles, and even skin cancer down the line, says the American Academy of Dermatology. And, you’ll be looking 30 when you’re 60 because of it.
Become BFFs with Turmeric
There are many spices that offer some really impressive benefits, and turmeric is one of them. It’s been around for thousands of years and you can do just about everything with it, whether you’re making a golden milk latte or seasoning your rice. And when it comes to your health, adding the flavor into your meals pays off: A 2008 study published in the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology found the yellow spice can help reduce inflammation, as well as ease Alzheimer’s symptoms. Pretty impressive stuff, huh? Also, here’s how brushing your teeth with turmeric is an instant way to get a whiter smile.
Drink Some Wine
Cheers to that! Unlike some types of alcohol, wine is actually a great way to stay healthy—as long as you don’t down the whole bottle. Multiple studies have shown it can do everything from fight off depression to give your libido a boost. And, it also has some anti-aging powers. So pour yourself a glass and enjoy. And for more reasons to indulge, here are 80 Amazing Benefits of Wine.
Eat More Kale
You should be eating plenty of greens in general, but kale is an extra great addition to your plate. Not only did a 2017 study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience find that kale can help slow age-related cognitive decline, but the stuff is also full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, can help ward off inflammation, and will keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein doesn’t get enough credit. Because it digests slowly, it keeps you feeling full for longer periods of time—plus, it helps keep your muscles strong, says the Cleveland Clinic. And the best part? It’s really easy to get the proper intake of 46 grams per day. Instead of just focusing on animal proteins, add other options into your diet, like tofu, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Have Sex Often
Who’s going to argue with having sex for health purposes? Studies have shown couples who have sex on a regular basis tend to look and feel younger than those who didn’t. Plus, due to the release of endorphins while doing the deed, it’s also a great way to reduce stress, boost your immunity, and keep your heart pumping strong. If you’re looking for ways to really spice up your sex life, consider investing in one of The 30 Best Sex Toys Of All Time.
Meditate On the Daily
There are plenty of stereotypes surrounding meditation, but it works wonders—and that’s probably why some of the world’s healthiest and most successful people do it religiously. All you need is 10 to 20 minutes a day for meditation to work its wonders, which range from decreasing stress and anxiety to giving you better sleep and preventing premature aging, says the Mayo Clinic.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Sure, have some wine—but don’t go crazy. While a glass will give you a nice boost of antioxidants, going overboard on alcohol of any kind can interfere with your health, making you age prematurely and even leading to certain cancers, liver disease, and other issues, says the Mayo Clinic. So drink smart and you’ll stay healthy down the line.
Eat Fermented Foods
Some people are super into fermented foods and others can hardly stand them. Either way, their powers of keeping your gut healthy and happy are well-known: In fact, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found the probiotics in foods like kimchi and kombucha can do everything from promote brain health to fight off anxiety and depression.
Sit Up Straight
Posture doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it actually affects your health more than you might think. Not only does sitting up straight or standing with confidence make you feel really good, but according to the Mayo Clinic, proper body alignment can also help prevent strain on your spine, muscles, and joints. And that could help prevent any injuries from happening in the future.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Experts say you should aim for seven to nine servings of fruits and veggies a day. And yeah, that seems like a lot. But if you’re filling up on mostly plants, there’s no room (literally!) for any junk to sneak its way into your diet. When you’re eating, the Cleveland Clinic recommends focusing on taking in a rainbow of colors, from orange carrots to red strawberries and green lettuce.
Get a Proper Amount of Sleep
Sleep is something you should never skimp on when it comes to your health. A lack of sleep can make you feel drowsy, irritable, mess with your memory, and even change your personality—yeah, it’s powerful stuff. Set a bedtime every night and stick to it to ensure you’re your healthiest self. And if you need a little help falling asleep, rub some lavender essential oil into your hands and breath in for an instant calming effect.
Invest in Natural Skincare
Natural skincare is blowing up right now for good reason. Studies have found many products on store shelves aren’t all they’re chocked up to be—whether they contain allergens or toxins—so going with options that will make you glow naturally is an investment worth making. Years down the line, when your skin is still looking better than ever, you’ll thank yourself for giving it a little extra TLC.
Book Some Sessions With a Personal Trainer
As your body changes, it’s hard to know what’s best in terms of workouts and exercises—but that’s where a personal trainer can come in. Book some sessions with someone at your gym and let them help you reach your fitness goals. Maybe you want to stick with them long-term, or maybe you just want to learn everything you can from them and continue on your own—either way, it’s a health investment worth making.
Give Yoga a Try
Yoga has been around for centuries, and the popularity isn’t showing any signs of dipping. The mind-body practice is exactly that: An exercise that not only helps you get into great shape with movements that help you become stronger and more flexible, but the breathing techniques involved are also very soothing. By the end of class, you’ll be sweaty—and your stress will be gone.
Make Time For Friends
As you get older, it can be harder and harder to make time for friends. Between work, the kids, and keeping your in-laws happy, even a relaxing dinner with your girls is nearly impossible. But making that time is important: A 2015 study published in PNAS found having strong friendships can serious impact your health for the better, not only helping you live longer but also feel more youthful.
Eat Plenty of Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Nothing good comes from inflammation. If it persists too long, it can damage your body, even causing chronic diseases—and one way to help your body fight it off is through your diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, adding plenty of fruit and veggies, healthy fats from nuts and avocados, and even a little red wine will give your health a boost.
Never Skip Breakfast
All meals are important, but is the one that sets your entire day up for success. If you skip, you’re left feeling hungry, tired, and might over-eat due to have serious cravings later on. But studies have shown eating a protein-packed first meal will help your body run smoothly all day long.
Say Goodbye to Your Bad Habits
Whether you’re drinking too much or smoking, it’s time to stop. Those bad habits are only setting you back in terms of your health, and the longer they go on the more detrimental they are to your well-being. Luckily, it’s never too late to quit—and you’ll feel great once you do. And if the men in your life are smokers, it may be helpful to remind him that tobacco is terrible for the part of his body he’s most protective of.
Keep Your Gut Happy
When you keep the tiny bacteria living in your gut happy, you’ll be happy too. Angry tummy bacteria has not only been linked to mental health issues like anxiety and depression, but it’s also been tied to health problems like colon cancer, says the Mayo Clinic. To keep everything in check, grab some fermented foods, become BFFs with probiotics, and exercise regularly.
When you volunteer, you aren’t just benefiting benefiting others—you’re benefiting your own health, too. Studies have shown spending time doing something good for the world can increase your psychological well-being in a big way, even helping you live longer and be less likely to die from all-cause mortality. Plus, knowing you’re making a difference is a total mood-booster.
Stretching might seem like a waste of time, but give it a chance—it could make a big difference in your well-being. According to Harvard Medical School, it keeps your body strong and flexible, increasing your range of motion. Not only does that help prevent injuries, but it also leads to healthier joints and muscles. So the next time your favorite show is on, get off the couch and stretch it out on the floor instead.
Get Facials Regularly
Sure, being healthy means taking care of your body—but you can’t forget about the fact that skin is your largest organ. Be sure to treat yourself to a facial every few weeks to not only feel refreshed, but keep your skin vibrant and glowing too. When you’re confident about your appearance, you feel better overall.
Make Some Green Tea
Making a pot of tea isn’t just a soothing way to unwind after a long day—it’s also great for your health. According to Harvard Medical School, the antioxidants in green tea in particular can help with everything from preventing diabetes to lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Eat Some Dark Chocolate
Because yes, you now have a healthy excuse to indulge in chocolate. But instead of eating milk chocolate, reach for dark varieties that contains at least 70 percent cacao. A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found the flavonoids packed in those tasty bites can actually help preserve your brain power as you age.
Don’t Drink Diet Versions of Soda
The diet versions of your favorite sodas might seem healthier, but they’re not. Research has shown they can also do your body harm, leading to weight gain and health issues like diabetes. Instead, stick to water—and leave the so-called “healthier” beverages behind.
Eat More Fat
Well, healthy fat, that is. Fat tends to get a bad rap, but it shouldn’t: Multiple studies have shown adding more avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and other omega-3s into your diet help with weight loss, better brain function, put you in a better mood, and even reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.
Go On a Hike
There’s nothing like getting your hike on in the great outdoors. Sure, working out at the gym is great—but a 2016 study published in the journal Nature found being out in nature can make you feel happier, more energized, and more youthful. So lace those boots up and find a trail you love.
Eat More Fruit
For some reason, people tend to be afraid of fruits—but that shouldn’t be the case. Sure, they’re full of sugar—but unlike other sweet treats, it’s totally natural. Plus, getting your proper daily intake can help with everything from reducing your risk of stroke and heart disease to boosting your immune system.
Eat Less Saturated and Trans Fats
While healthy fats from foods like avocados and nuts are great for your health, the other kinds… well, not so much. Saturated fats—which are typically found in animal products, like meat and dairy (yes, that includes cheese!)—should be limited to 5 to 6 percent of your total daily calories. And trans fats—which come from fried food and most fast food—should be kept as low as possible. According to the Cleveland Clinic, eating too much of either can lead straight to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity—all things you definitely don’t want to deal with.
Find a Hobby You Love
With work and bills constantly on your brain, you have to have an outlet that helps you stay sane—and finding a hobby you love is the perfect way to go about reducing all that built-up stress. Whether it’s painting, learning a new instrument, singing, or writing, having something to get excited about will always give you something to look forward to—and help keep you healthy in the process.
Start Doing Pilates
While yoga is a great exercise option, Pilates is a winner too when it comes to your health. The workout focuses on proper breathing, keeps your spine and pelvis aligned, and tones your body through smooth, flowing movements. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up and relieve some stress at the same time.
Add Açaí to Your Diet
Now that açaí is getting more popular, the tropical fruit is more easily accessible—you can even pick it up in the frozen section of your grocery store. But, it doesn’t just make for a pretty smoothie bowl: A 2013 study published in the journal Neuroscience Letters also found its high antioxidant levels can protect you against Alzheimer’s down the road.
Say Goodbye to Fast Food
Yeah, yeah—fast food is delicious. The only problem? It’s created to suck you in, and once it has you hooked, it can cause some serious health problems. Eating fast food on the regular can cause weight gain, obesity, and even diabetes—so keep driving by your favorite joint and head home to make a healthier version of your favorites instead.
East Less Junk Food
Trust me—there’s a time and a place for junk food, and it’s definitely necessary every so often. The main key in being healthy, though? Only eating it in moderation. Instead of downing a stack of Oreo’s every night, save them for your once-a-week movie night. And instead of eating a whole pint of ice cream, have a couple spoonfuls when you get a craving. That way you can have your cake and eat it too—without it affecting your wellbeing.
Eat Healthy Carbs—and Resist the Bad Stuff
Carbs aren’t bad—that’s just how they’re portrayed. In fact, eating healthy options like brown rice and body-boosting whole grains can actually give you a whole lot of energy, helping fuel you throughout the day, says the Cleveland Clinic. To stay as healthy as possible, just avoid the carbs that’ll do damage, like white bread, white rice, and baked goods: Unlike the good stuff, they’re typically stored as fat in your body.
Stop Doing Fad Diets
Every so often, a new and exciting diet comes out that claims to help women lose a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time. But guess what? The second you stop eating cabbage soup and grapefruit all day, all the lost weight will come right back, says the Mayo Clinic. Instead of focusing on what’s trendy, do what’s good for your body and eat a wholesome nutritious diet that features every food group.
Take the Stairs
Yeah, yeah—elevators were made for a reason. But one way to become a little healthier without hardly any extra effort is simply taking the stairs instead. You’ll not only reach your daily step goals, but you’ll also reap the benefits with your tooth is still looking great 20 years from now.
Get Up Earlier
There’s nothing better than pressing the snooze button seven times in a row—well, until you wake up in a panic because you’re probably going to be late for work. Instead of sleeping through your precious pre-work morning hours, get up earlier and use them to your advantage. It’s the only time during the day you really have to yourself without emails and text messages and notifications taking over your mind.
Some people might think self-care is selfish, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget to take time to focus on yourself and your mental and physical health, but it can make such a huge difference on your well-being. Spend time every day doing something for yourself—even if it’s just 20 minutes—to live a happier, less stressful life.
Use Essential Oils
Whether you apply them to your skin or put them in a diffuser, essential oils have been used for centuries—and they can help with everything from boosting your mood (hello, lemon!) to helping you sleep better (what’s up, lavender?). And the best part? For everything they do for your body, they’re fairly inexpensive.
Drink Lemon Water When You Wake Up
Before you reach for your coffee, make yourself a warm glass of lemon water. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the boost of vitamin C and potassium aids digestion and protects your body against disease, helping you stay healthy.
Eat Less Processed Food
Processed food is everywhere—and Americans tend to eat a lot of it. Unfortunately, that’s also one of the main reasons obesity in the U.S. continues to rise year after year. Instead of stocking up on boxes of pasta, chips, and cans of soup, spend your money on wholesome foods from the produce section. You’ll feel just as good as you look.
Take Baths Often
While showers are a quick and easy way to get clean, there’s nothing more relaxing than slowing down and enjoying a nice warm and soothing bath. With the help of some candles and a fizzy bath bomb, that peaceful soak will calm your nerves and help get rid of stress and anxiety.
Start Using Daily Affirmations
Instead of putting yourself down, start focusing on bringing yourself up. And a great place to start is by using daily affirmations. Before you head out the door in the morning, give yourself a pep-talk: Say “you’re beautiful,” “you’re powerful,” or “you can do this” out loud to yourself in the mirror. It might feel silly, but it will give you a boost.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
In your mind, you probably know what you’re grateful for—but writing it down can do wonders for your mental health. Spend five minutes every night jotting down things you’re thankful for in a journal as well as the things you loved most about the day. It will remind you just how great your life is—and give you a major mood boost.
Get Some Vitamin D
Obviously sunscreen is important—but getting a little vitamin D is also really good for your health. Since it’s not commonly found in food, you have to soak it up any way you can—even if that’s going on a walk and soaking up some daylight. According to the Cleveland Clinic, you’ll not only get a nice mood and energy boost, but it’s also great for your mental health overall.
Call Your Mom
If you only call your mom once every couple weeks, it’s time to make it a more regular occurrence — for your whole family, for that matter! In a 2016 study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, researchers found talking to family—and your mother in particular—has the same effect as getting a giant hug in person. You’ll get those feel-good vibes over the phone, and those will translate to better mental health.
Smile More Often
Some days the last thing you want to do is force a giant smile on your face, but it pays off—even when you don’t feel like it. According to a 2016 study published in PLoS One, grinning can act as an instant anti-ager, making you look younger—and giving you some health-boosting confidence in the process.
Don’t Sit Too Much During the Day
If you have a desk job, it’s not uncommon to plop down in your seat and stay there most of the day. But there’s a reason to make it a point to get on your feet. Stretching and walking around gets your blood flowing, and that leads to making you feel more energized. Plus, on top of that, your brain also gets a nice boost, making you more creative and be able to think more clearly.
Cook Up Some Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts—which are basically baby cabbages—can give your immune system a boost with their high amounts of vitamin C, improve your digestion, and even help keep your hormone levels in check. Plus, a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that they can also help keep your memory strong as you age.
Take a Break from Technology
Whether you’re scrolling through Instagram, “liking” all your friend’s statuses on Facebook, or texting your friends, you probably spend a good chunk of your day glued to your phone. As much fun as that is, it’s still good to take some time away. Not only does it give your eyes a break from the harmful blue light, but it also gives your brain a chance to truly relax. (And yes, that means the computer and TV, too.)
Take Deep Breaths
Let’s be realistic—not everyone wants to dedicate part of their day to meditating. (Even though you totally should!) If you just don’t see it happening anytime soon, go for some nice, deep breaths instead. According to the Cleveland Clinic, breathing from our abdomen opposed to the typical short and shallow breaths can help counteract the fight-or-flight response that can be detrimental to your well-being.
Don’t Always Skip Dessert
People think in order to be healthy they always have to pass up on dessert, but that’s not the case. You don’t have to cut something you love out of your diet as long as you can find moderation—and if that just so happens to be eating a few bites of ice cream after dinner occasionally, that’s totally fine. Instead of forbidding yourself and eventually binging, you’ll know you can have it anytime you want—and probably want it less because of that.
Go Nuts for Nuts
If you love snacking on nuts, keep up the good work. According to a 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the healthy habit is paying off: Researchers found people who eat a handful a day are actually 20 percent less likely to die from any cause. You fill up on healthy protein, and your body stays healthier than ever—it’s a win-win.
Blast the Tunes
Putting on your favorite playlist every morning can do your health some good. According to a 2013 study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, those tunes not only up your energy levels and get you excited about the day, but they also make you feel happy—and help you stay healthy in the process.
Wear Something Citrusy
Your mood has a big role in your health, and one instant way to make yourself feel a little happier and more energized is by spritzing on a citrus perfume. Plus, on top of impacting your mental health, a 2011 study published in the journal Chemical Senses also found it can make you feel and seem younger. Bonus!
Stop Doing Cleanses
Cleanses seem super healthy, but they’re actually quite the opposite. Instead of benefiting your body, you’re actually putting it at risk: According to Harvard Medical School, there’s no proof those weird celebrity-approved detoxes actually work. Plus, because they’re lacking in things your body needs to survive—like protein and fatty acids—they could cause some serious health problems.
Don’t Skip Your Yearly Ob-Gyn Appointment
Every woman knows going to the ob-gyn sucks: No one gets excited for that visit. But, it’s important: By making sure you hit up your yearly appointment, you can make sure you stay as healthy as you can thanks to the breast exams, pelvic exams, and pap smears. Sure, they’re uncomfortable—but they could be life-saving.
Drink Infused Water
Instead of drinking soda, go for some naturally-sweetened infused water. Whether it’s cucumbers for a zen spa-like experience or some berries, you’ll be hydrated, energized, and ready to take on the world. And the best part? Unlike soda, there won’t be any negative impacts to your health.
Stop Counting Calories
It’s tempting to count calories, but there’s no reason to do it. If you want to be your healthiest self, ditch the method and simply eat a wholesome, nutritious diet that’s mostly fruit and vegetables. You’ll put your mind at ease, stop thinking about food 24/7, and will feel better than ever before.
Give Meal Prepping a Try
If you find that you’re super tired every night when you get home from work and never want to spend time making dinner, try meal prepping. By making all your dinners on Sunday, you won’t have to think once you get home. You can heat it up, grab a fork, and fill up on something good for your body.
Get More Plants
Having plants in your space is not only an instant way to liven up your mood and increase your happiness levels, but they also reduce carbon dioxide levels, get rid of harmful pollutants in the air. So fill your home: You’ll breath better, have cleaner air, and feel really good all-around.
Never Stop Learning
After you finally got out of school for good, you were probably more than ready to give up the whole learning thing. But the great thing is when you’re not sitting in a classroom, you can challenge your mind any way you want—whether you’re reading about a topic that really interests you, or learning a new skill or hobby. Whatever it is, keep your brain active and working hard and it will be that much more sharp down the line.
Don’t Be Afraid to Lift Weights
Women tend to avoid lifting weights in fear of getting bulky—but bulkiness is not always the result. Instead, you can tone up, developing muscles that not only look great but also keep your body going strong—and on top of that, it’s also a great way to increase your energy levels and keep your body feeling (and looking!) young, says the Cleveland Clinic.
Stop Dieting Altogether
No fad diets, no juice cleanses, no nothing. Instead of focusing on a specific diet, work hard on changing your lifestyle. That way you’ll naturally eat healthy—and enjoy treats in moderation—because it makes you feel good. Plus, it will stick long term. Diets come and go, but your lifestyle is what keeps you in tip-top shape.
Swap Soda for Seltzer
If you have a bad soda addiction, cut it out of your diet by switching to seltzer. Drinks like La Croix are much better for your body that sugary sodas (yes, even the diet kind). The only thing to be weary of is flavored versions, which contain carbonic acid that could hurt your tooth enamel over time.
It’s so easy to make a meal and sit in front of the TV eating it. But before you know it, you’ll look down and notice you don’t even have any food left on your plate. Instead of downing food with distractions, focus on what you’re eating and enjoy
Light Some Candles
There’s something so soothing about lighting a candle. Whether it’s the soft flicker in the dark or the vibrant smell, they’re certainly relaxing. Being able to sit back and calm your nerves is great for your mental health, and if it takes some over-priced candles to set the mood, so be it.
Matcha—a powder made from ground green tea leaves—has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries. And because it’s basically green tea in a different form, you’ll reap some major health benefits: Thanks to all the antioxidants, it can help keep your heart healthy, give your mind a breather, and even help fight aging.
Always Keep Your Fridge Stocked With Healthy Food
If you have healthy food in your home, you’re way more likely to eat it opposed to grabbing something that’s not good for your body. Keep things like carrots and hummus, plenty of fruit, or some pre-made juices on hand instead of your typical
It might sound scary, but if you need an easy way to unwind, going in for an acupuncture session is a great way to do it. Not only has it been shown to help with allergies, but it’s also great for fighting off stress and fatigue, giving you more energy to use throughout your day.
Cut Back on Caffeine
If you need caffeine to kickstart your day, you’re not alone—just make sure you’re not going overboard. According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking over four cups a day can cause headaches, insomnia, and irritability—AKA, all things you don’t want to deal with.
Pack Your Lunch
How often are you left starving over your lunch break at work only to end up grabbing something unhealthy in a hurry? Instead of going to the nearest fast food joint, start packing your lunch the night before so you have a meal that will nourish you.
Cuddle with Your Significant Other
One super easy way to better your health? Do a whole lot of cuddling. Because of the release of oxytocin in your body that comes from that lovey-dovey human contact, you’ll get an instant boost of happiness, which helps out your mental health.
Skip Out on Take-Out
Sure, it’s easy ordering your food all the time—but it’s doing nothing for your well-being. When you get take-out, it’s impossible to know which sneaky ingredients are lurking in your food. For all you know, there could be 500 calories of oil alone. Instead, learn how to make your own meals and it will greatly benefit your health.
Ride Your Bike to Work
If you’re close enough to work that you can bike, do it: Getting a little exercise before you head into the office will set you up for an energized day ahead. Plus, you’ll get some fresh air and a little vitamin D, and nothing is better for your well-being
Buy Yourself Some New Workout Clothes
Yeah, yeah—they’re just going to get sweaty anyway. But when you dress to impress in your real life and at the gym, you’ll actually want to go work out. Plus, it’s hard to beat the confidence boost you get from a pair of perfectly-fitted leggings.
Don’t Shop Hungry
You’ve probably heard this a billion times, but it still rings true: When you go the supermarket starving, you’re going to leave with a bunch of items you don’t need—particularly very unhealthy ones. The next time you go shopping, make sure you’re satiated and you’ll wind up with things that actually deserve a spot in your fridge.
Exercise While Traveling
It’s hard to get a sweat session in while you’re on the road traveling, but making time for it will keep your stress levels in check, get rid of any anxiety you have, and make you feel happy. Even if that means just doing some push-ups and squats in your hotel room to get your heart rate up.
Don’t Use Your Phone as an Alarm Clock
This one’s tricky, right? Even though you haven’t had one in years, actual alarm clocks do still exist—and getting one could actually help you get a better sleep. Since the blue light from cell phones can disrupt your sleep cycle, it’s best to keep it far away from your bed. In fact, leave it in another room. Then once you wake up after a peaceful night of shut-eye, you can get up and grab it.
Take Some Melatonin
Speaking of sleep, if you tend to have issues passing out, melatonin could help. According to the Cleveland Clinic, taking some supplements before bed could help get your circadian rhythms back on track. That way you won’t be up counting sheep all night long—you’ll be drifted off into dreamland before you know it.
Eating fermented foods is a great way to keep your gut bacteria happy, but sometimes you need a little extra help and that’s where probiotics come in. According to the Kresser Institute, they’ll help keep your body running smoothly, not only keeping your hormones in check, but also strengthening your immune system.
Eat Dinner Earlier
Life is busy: Eating dinner late happens. But a 2011 study from Northwestern Medicine found making it a regular occurrence can mess with your metabolism, increasing your risk of obesity, as well as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and cerebrovascular disorders.
Join a Book Club
Growing up, you had to read all the time. (It was part of the curriculum, after all!) And now that you’re out of school, you can keep up the habit but do it on your own terms. By joining a book club, you’ll get to read books that actually interest you—and keep your brain engaged while you’re at it.
Sleep with the Temperature Down
Before you go to sleep, turn the temperature down: According to the National Sleep Foundation, it’s actually best catching zzzs when the room is between 67 to 70 degrees. The colder temperature not only makes it easier to have high-quality REM sleep, but it also makes it easier to fall asleep in the first place. And don’t worry: Your covers will still keep you nice and cozy.
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