When it comes to healthy living, it's all about finding that right balance between body and mind. These will make you feel fit, relaxed, strong, and enthusiastic about whatever joy life can bring.
When you're low in energy and happiness, it can put your wellness at risk, and it just makes the day-to-day grind a whole lot harder, too. Luckily, there are a few hacks to feeling happier and more connected to the world and its pleasures. Here are 6 habits to practice for more balance in your life and surroundings.
Reduce Sugar Intake
"Sugar is the #1 cause of health issues, including poor mental health. It leads to poor gut health, systemic inflammation, fatigue, brain fog, and chronic disease," says Bri Pruitt, RN and certified health coach. And, it's found in everything, from natural sources like fresh fruit to processed and baked goods.
While eating natural sugar is still OK, it should be eaten in moderation to avoid spikes in glucose and to keep inflammation at bay. Plus, if you are eating something sweet, pair it with protein and healthy fats to avoid the surge and squash cravings for more.
Limit Fragrance in Beauty Products
"When 'fragrance' is listed on a product, it typically means that product contains hundreds of chemicals. These chemicals contribute to hormone imbalance, weight gain, and cancer just to name a few," she says. Yikes.
Instead, save perfume for actual perfume and opt for unscented products. This will keep your body balanced and well.
Supplement When Necessary
Even if you eat nothing but organic vegetables all day, you could be missing nutrients, especially protein, omega-3 fats and other healthy fats, vitamin B12, and iron, which are often found in animal protein.
Plus, consider who it's made. "This is due to the farming techniques that leave soil void of essential vitamins and minerals," she says.
Be picky with your supplements because the majority of supplements on the market today are created in a lab using chemical isolates, so be sure to check labels first and consult with a doctor before popping any pills. Your supplements should have organic food listed on the ingredients, she recommends.
Get Your Heart Rate Up
Your workout doesn't have to be hard or an hour long. Even a quick 10-minute workout that increases your heart rate will do the trick and benefit your muscles, heart, and mind. "Exercise promotes a good mood, helps our body detoxify, and helps us sleep better," she says, so be sure to fit it in your calendar. You can also try a few stretches and low impact exercises to create balance and blood flow throughout the body.
It's beneficial to take note of the beautiful things in life that bring so much happiness, both personal and to others. "Notice little things throughout your day that make you happy. Use an app or a journal to jot a couple of those things down every day," she says.
And, make it a habit. It's easy to incorporate and takes only a few moments. "Practicing gratitude can decrease stress, keep us mindful and increase the joy in our life," she says.
Get Enough Sleep
"Researchers have connected poor sleep with elevated blood pressure, an increased risk of obesity, and a higher risk of heart disease. In particular, studies have shown that short sleep - 6 hours or less - represents a nearly 50% increased risk of developing heart disease," says Chris Brantner, Certified Sleep Science Coach.
It's also worth noting that studies have also shown that long sleep, over 9 hours, increases the risk of heart disease, as well, he says, so look for the happy medium. That's why the traditional 7-8 hours of sleep a night is still solid advice. And, here are a few tips for getting a good night's rest.