15 Ways to Live a Healthier Life
Eat well. Exercise regularly. Take care of your body as well as your mind. These are the golden tenets to living a healthy, fulfilled life. If you're looking to make a positive change, these small practices can make a significant impact on your life for the better.
Take a Walk
For instance: Follow in the footsteps of Martha. As she mentions in her book "Living the Good Long Life," Martha loves to walk, whether it's a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood or a major hike up Mount Kilimanjaro. As an aerobic exercise, it improves circulation, strengthens muscles, and supports the health of your joints.
Clean Your Home Naturally
Many household cleaners harbor toxic chemicals that have short- and long-term health effects. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, concentrations of indoor pollutant levels can be 100 times higher inside the house than outside. For a safer alternative, make your own cleaners.
Build a Better Meal
Odds are you don't have to overhaul your diet. It's simply about rethinking your meals: swapping out fast food for more health-conscious alternatives, cooking from ingredients that will give you a boost of energy and improve your health, and giving your favorite comfort foods an inventive twist. Now repeat after us: No more takeout.
Learn a Crafty Hobby
We are avid do-it-yourselfers here at MSLO. Still, we say that knowledge isn't the only benefit to picking up a pastime like knitting, painting, or jewelry-making: Crafting boosts brainpower, builds self-esteem, and enhances dexterity and coordination.
Aside from its fresh air and lush scenery, nature is proven to be therapeutic when you're feeling tired and stressed. A little R&R in the great outdoors is proven to relieve stress, strengthen your immune system, and even prevent certain diseases.
Grow a Houseplant
And if you can't step outside: A little live-in greenery goes a long way. Houseplants have been proven to foster a calm environment that eases your stress, improves your state of mind, and purifies the air in your home.
Declutter and Organize
Your living space should be your sanctuary. It's hard to relax amidst piles of paperwork, laundry strewn on the floor, and mess everywhere. Not to mention, getting organized results in a reduced risk of injury around the home and better overall hygiene. A clear home is a clear state of mind.
Host More Parties
Yes, you, wallflower! A healthy life is in part due to a thriving social life. Not only do your friends enhance your life, they give you a sense of purpose and belonging, help you overcome crises, and even theoretically grant you a longer-lasting life. So break out those Champagne glasses.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
Sorry, night owls. But it pays to catch those z's while you can. Otherwise, being deprived of sleep can affect your focus, learning capabilities, and memory. Avoid stimulants (like that late-night coffee or movie) and slip into bed for the full eight hours recommended by the National Sleep Foundation to feel fully rested come morning.
True beauty comes from within, but sometimes a little dab of lipstick makes us feel radiant. Still, be sure to educate yourself on the ingredients that make up your makeup products. Read what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has to say about them and possibly consider a petrochemical-free alternative to the products you use daily.
Drink More Water
Bottoms up! 75 percent of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration; they all fall short of the 10 cups recommended by the Institute of Medicine. But H20 is essential to life -- it maintains the body's basic functions, including the transport of nutrients, regulation of body temperature, and digestion of food.
Get Out and Garden
Dig in! Working in the dirt is good for you and for Mother Nature. Wrestling with stubborn weeds, trimming hedges, and spreading mulch are all good ways to work up a very respectable, healthy sweat.
Maintain a Healthy Home
Your home should be just as healthy as you are! That means making smart selections when you're renovating or decorating. The floors and walls (the biggest areas) affect air quality the most, so consider installing hardwood floors instead of synthetic carpets, which use petrochemicals. When repainting, consider using paints low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and replace synthetic pillows with wool or cotton filling, and look for unbleached, untreated linens.