20 Amazing healthy life hacks
Living in the busy world that we do, it’s hard sometimes to find the time to stay healthy, but if you don’t make time to eat healthy food and stay fit, then it can impact on far more than your just physical well-being. Poor diet and a lack of exercise will affect your ability to think straight, stay awake and alert during the day and, it could shorten your life expectancy too. So, for all you busy people out there, here are twenty amazing healthy life hacks that will help keep you in shape and won’t take up hardly any of your time at all.
1. Laugh more
Laughter really can be the best medicine, so have a giggle more often and it will improve your health. Not only is laughter a way to keep the blues at bay and improve your mood, fifteen minutes of laughter gives you exactly the same health benefits as thirty minutes of doing sit ups would.
2. Buy some smaller plates
If you’ve been trying to cut down on your portion sizes, but to no avail, then try buying small plates for use in your home. It sounds so simple, because it is, and it works. Not only can’t you fit as much food onto a smaller plate, physiologically, you will think that you have had a full meal if your plate looks like it is piled high with food.
3. Eat at home more often
Home cooking is far better for you than restaurant food or fast food, because you can control exactly what goes into your meals and you can better control how much you eat. Statistically, you are nearly 50% more likely to live for an extra ten years, if you cook most of your own food at home, than if you dine out for most meals.
4. Prepare your lunch the night before
Here is another one of useful healthy life hacks: if you want to take a healthy lunch with you to work, then prepare it the night before. Lunchtime burgers and other fast food are just as bad for you, as they are in the evening. Pack up your salad and fruit lunch before you go to bed and then, however late you are getting up, you will have no excuse not to take your healthy lunch with you in the morning.
5. Carry a water bottle with you
Hydration is a vital part of staying healthy and it’s good for your mind as well as your body. Especially now that that weather is warmer and you will be losing more moisture through sweating, so carry a water bottle with you and keep it topped up, and then you will never get caught out feeling thirsty and have nothing to drink.
6. Get a workout buddy
Working out on your own can get boring and you will have no one to give you the encouragement you need when you feel like quitting. Get a workout buddy and it will make keeping fit more fun and a bit of friendly competition will give you some added incentive to work out harder.
7. Enter yourself for a race
Another way to increase your incentive to work out is to enter for a marathon, or half marathon, or even better, enter as a member of a team. If you have a goal to aim for, then working out will feel like it’s easier and the sense of achievement you will get from having completed the race will spur you on to the next big challenge.
8. Clear the junk out of your kitchen
Once you have decided to follow a healthy diet, then the best thing you can do is go through your kitchen and throw out any foods that you know will tempt you to break your resolve. Fill your refrigerator with healthy fruit and vegetables, and prepare some healthy snacks in advance. If there is always something healthy to snack on in your kitchen, it’s unlikely that you will be tempted to take a quick trip to the store to buy something unhealthy to eat.
9. Park the car on the other side of the car park
There are lots of ways that you can increase the amount of exercise you are getting without really trying. When you drive your car somewhere, park it as far away from the entrance to the building as you can. That little bit of extra walking will do you more good than you think.
10. Take the stairs
Another way to easily increase your exercise is to make a promise to yourself that you will always take the stairs when you can, instead of the elevator. Two minutes of walking up a flight of stars will burn around fifteen calories. Think how many calories that would be in a month if you keep to your promise. It’s not just the calories, either; it will also give your heart and your lungs a workout too.
11. Make shopping lists
To help you plan your meals, make up a shopping list every time you go food shopping. Follow that list and you will be less tempted to pick up unhealthy snacks or pre-packed meals and drop them into your grocery cart. If you know exactly what you want, then you probably won’t even stray into the isles that are filled with tempting chocolate and candy treats.
12. Stock up your freezer
One of the difficulties of trying to eat healthily when you are super-busy is finding the time to shop regularly for fresh food. You can make it easier for yourself if you stock up frozen fruits, berries, vegetables, fish and chicken. You will then have all the ingredients on hand to cook up a healthy meal whenever you want one.
13. Prepare meals in advance
Pick a day of the week when you are not quite so busy and prepare meals in advance for the evenings that you know you’ll be late home. Even just preparing some vegetables will save you time and you will be glad you put the effort in on those nights that you do get home late.
14. Don’t drink calories
Another one of great healthy life hacks is avoid drinking your calories. Don’t be fooled into thinking that any type of drink will be good for your hydration, because those flavoured drinks could be doing you more harm than good. Soda, both diet and regular sodas contain all sorts of colourings and additives that your body really doesn’t need and both kinds of soda can make you gain weight. Studies have shown that one of the easiest ways to improve on nutrition is to cut out soda altogether and drink more healthy drinks, like freshly made fruit or vegetable juice, smoothes or just plain water.
15. Try cinnamon in your coffee
If you love coffee, but you find it a bit too strong without cream and sugar, then try adding cinnamon instead. Most coffee shops will have some, it tastes great, it has virtually no calories, and cinnamon has many health benefits too, including a high antioxidant content, which will boost your immune system.
16. Turn off the TV when you are eating
It has been proven, time, and time again, when you are distracted while you are eating, you will eat more. Don’t eat in front of the TV or while you are looking at a computer, or you will eat without knowing how much you have eaten and you will be much more likely to make bad food choices. Focus on your food when you eat and enjoy what you are eating, it’s much better for you.
17. Pace yourself when eating
Another important tip is to not eat too quickly. It takes about half an hour for your food to digest and for your body to send the message to your brain that you have had enough to eat. Rushing your food will give you ingestion and it will make you eat more than you really need. So slow down, take your time, and savour your food.
18. Get a good night’s sleep
Lack of sleep has been linked to everything, from heart disease to obesity, so make sure that you get a good eight hours of sleep every night. If you do find it difficult to sleep, then get into a routine of always going to bed at the same and always waking up the same time. Your body needs a regular and consistent sleep pattern to stay healthy.
19. Quit smoking and cut down on drinking alcohol
Smoking and drinking are still two of the biggest causes of serious disease, so quitting smoking and cutting down on drinking alcohol is an easy way to make you feel healthier and it will help you live longer too. You don’t need to quit drinking alcohol all together, but regular drinking to excess is the cause of many diseases and it will make you gain weight as well. An easy way to reduce the harm that alcohol can do is to drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink you have.
20. Do the things that you enjoy
You can have fun and be healthy and, in fact, having fun is an important part of maintaining a healthy mind and a healthy body. Make time for relaxation and enjoyment in your life and it will help you avoid stress and give your body a chance to unwind. Remember, all work and no play, is no fun at all and it won’t do your health any good either.
What are your favourite healthy life hacks?