Happy Summer: 5 Little Ways to Improve Your Health Now

[summertime and the livin’s easy…]

June 20th officially marks the first day of summer, which at temperatures hitting the mid-90s today makes perfect sense. I don’t know about you but it seems as though life is moving at 1,000 mph, and that in the blink of an eye we went from fireside cuddling and cocoa to lemonade stands, summer ales and BBQs.

As I mentioned in my June Newsletter for Zesty Living (feel free to subscribe to receive my FREE newsletter each month if you haven’t already), for me summer is the perfect time to check in with myself and the life I am living. When you think about it, we are already half-way through 2012, so it makes sense to look back, reflect and re-access those goals you set for yourselves.

If you know me well, you know I’m not a huge fan of quick fixes, New Year’s resolutions or rigorous D-I-E-T-S, but rather making little everyday changes that lead to big results. After all, I know just as much as anyone that if you TELL someone to change their ways or beliefs, they’re most likely going to rebel by doing that something even more. That’s why diets don’t work longtime, and why little kids go for the cookie & candy jar even if it’s “off limits.”

Rather, we must take baby steps in order to create changes, incorporating new things one step at a time. As one of the IIN speaker’s Howard Lyman said during our lecture this morning, “You don’t have to do it all; you just have to do what you can.” These are words we can take with us in all aspects of life, be it starting your own business or straightening up your diet.

Here are 5 Little things you can do right now that’ll lead to a BIG impact on your overall health:

1. Cut out all forms of artificial sweeteners for one week, and see how you feel. That means no Splenda in your coffee, diet sodas, sugarfree candies and desserts. Be sure to READ THE LABELS as these, sometimes detrimental, chemical sweeteners can sneak their way into anything and everything these days. If you can do one week, try two, three, a month and so on. Take note on how this makes you feel, both internally and externally, mentally and physically.

2. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water, and actually do it not just say you’ll do it. If you think water is boring and can’t stand the taste, spruce is up with fresh mint leaves, grapefruit, lemon or lime wedges. Note how this effects your energy, your bloat, your digestion and your mood. If you’re craving sugar, drink a glass of water first. Before you go for that second Coke, fill yourself up with some good ol’ fashioned H2O and then see if you still want it afterward. 9 times out of 10, you will not.

3. Visit a local farmer’s market and purchase a full meal for you and your family/sweetie/self. While there, interact with the vendors and find out where your food is coming from, how it was grown, why they got into this business, and different ways you can prepare the food for yourself at home. It’s fascinating how much you can learn from taking to the farmers, and finding out how your food got from the source to your plate.

Step 2: Next time you are at the supermarket, read the label on every single item you put into your cart. If you can’t pronounce it or see a list that’s longer than your grocery bill, question where it came from. Ask yourself, is this worth it? Do I really want to put this into my body?

4. Get Outside as much as you can, even if that means going for a 20 minute walk on your lunch break at work, or going for that far-too-long-delayed jog while the sun is going down. Better yet, pack up your stuff, buy a tent, and go camping for the weekend. You’ll be able to get some fresh air, unplug for a few days, and simply be at one with nature.

5.  Set aside five minutes every day to breathe and simply be alone with yourself and your thoughts. If you have more time, try practicing yoga or guided meditations. But even for those who say “I don’t have time,” anyone and I mean ANYONE has time to give up five minutes of their day to just be. Close your eyes, be thankful for what you have and what you’ve done, and let all those worries float away. It’s amazing how much five minutes can actually do.

4 Responses to “Happy Summer: 5 Little Ways to Improve Your Health Now”

  1. Jess Says:

    Such simple, doable, REAL advice – I love it. I am SO SO SO with you on avoiding “diets” and instead instilling healthy habits into your everyday life, not just a point-in-time approach which is what dieting is really about. A once-and-done kind of thing vs. a forever kind of thing. Great reminders here!

  2. Rachel @Healthy_Chicks Says:

    @Jess Thanks Jess, love how our beliefs are so similar to each other. It’s true that it’s a forever kind of thing, and those kind of things take time, patience and work. Big changes come at a gradual pace!

  3. jobo Says:

    Check, check and CHECK! Diets, no diets. Worst idea ever. Not sustainable. At all. Love your approach, just as Jess said (again – hehe).

  4. Rachel @Healthy_Chicks Says:

    @Jobo Thanks for stopping by, glad we all have the same beliefs when it comes to dieting and healthy eating 🙂

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 at 1:56 pm and is filed under Happiness, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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