Thinking of this year’s New Year’s pledge to to improve your health and change your life? Then let yourself be inspired by these tips on how to easily create new healthy habits in your life, which don’t not take more than ten minutes of your time.
Experts believe that the most effective way to change one’s life is through doing small things on continuous basis. Here we therefore list easy things that can make your life a little better, inspired by the Prevention magazine.
1. Meditate in the morning
Follow the popular yoga instructor Tiffany Cruikshank and start the day with a simple meditation exercise to clear your head and prepare for today’s challenges. Once you have settled into a relaxed and harmonious state, both physically and mentally, you are ready to take on the day in the best possible way.
2. Sardines every week
This fish is packed with nutrients, like protein and omega-3, so try to eat sardines about twice a week. The sardines fit well with most meals, and can be eaten in many different ways. It can be as a snack together with a salad, at breakfast or sardines in tomato sauce, bean paste or a good sourdough bread.
3. Make your own salad dressing
Making your own salad dressing is easy and quick, so try to avoid the ready-mixed varieties. You can easily make it in a much more healthy way, without unnecessary additives, on your own. A classic vinegar dish, for example, mixes vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can then choose other seasoning according to what you like; unsweetened French mustard, garlic and thyme or parsley are some suggestions.
4. Reduce blood pressure with spices
Is it time for cooking? Then try to use healthy herbs and spices that help keep your blood pressure at a good level. Some examples of flavorings that help lower blood pressure are cinnamon, oregano, basil and ginger.
5. Keep track of the sugar
Many of us eat far too much sugar, and we are not always aware of it. If there is a candy bag in front of us, it is more obvious, but often that sugar is hidden in the food. So, try to get in the habit of looking at the ingredients, and cut down the amount of prepared and processed food.
6. Keep yogurt handy
Unsweetened yogurt is a healthy food that is good to always have in the fridge. It is simple and useful to eat for breakfast when you do not have time for something bigger. And you can use the yogurt for much more than that, for example as a creamy addition for salty foods, marinades, dips, soups and sauces.
7. Take it easy with the email
Try to resist the impulse to check the email the first thing you do when you wake up. The same goes for turning to the news on radio or television. Let your head rest for a while. Have a cup of coffee or tea and let your mind wander freely while you have it quiet and still around you. At least ten minutes of silence are not a big deal.
8. Stay away from mobile phone
We are constantly connected, but you can actively help yourself to rest sometimes. Try to resist the impulse to always pick up the phone every few minutes. Spend some of such few minutes to take some deep breaths and relax instead. There may be a slight flush of anxiety over you the first times you resist, but you will get used to it – and probably appreciate the freedom feeling you feel within.
9. Start the day with sun greeting
A good way to welcome a new day is to do the solar greeting, where you can stretch your body properly. This yoga exercise is tranquil and therefore suitable for doing in the morning. You adapt the movements to your breathing, which may require a lot of concentration in the beginning but will soon come more naturally. When you’re done, you’ll feel energized and ready to face the day.
10. Listen to quiet music
The inner rhythm of the body is happy to follow the external rhythm of the music we listen to. When you are at the sea, the soothing wave energy can make you breathe more slowly and your heart rate goes down to match the rhythm of the sea. According to Dr. Frank Lipman, music has the same effect, especially reggae.
11. Take a deep breath
According to Sharon Salzberg, who has written the book “Real Happiness – The Power of Meditation”, you can help yourself find the focus faster. Sit in a comfortable place, breathe calmly – and focus on breathing. With each inhale and exhale, repeat the words “in” and “out” in your head. Don’t give up if your thoughts start to wander, just try to find the focus again.
12. Drink a cup of afternoon tea
Make yourself a cup of tea in the afternoon. This routine gives you a natural break during the workday when you can unwind for a while. Choose green tea that contains both useful antioxidants, and caffeine that releases fatty acids and increases fat burning.
13. Don’t forget the eggs
Make sure you always have eggs in the fridge. During those stressful weekdays, eggs become useful, tasty and easy to eat for a protein-rich dinner. For example, you can make omelette, salad or a tasty sandwich. Eggs are also a healthy and filling breakfast that can keep hunger away from you until lunch.
14. Massage your scalp
Keep your hair nice and healthy by increasing circulation in the hair follicles. An easy way to do this is to massage your scalp for 3-5 minutes while shampooing your hair. Use light fingertips and create a steady pressure on your scalp.
15. Help the face to relax
Tensions are everywhere in the body, even in the face. To help your face relax and the blood to pump, you can press one point and hold for a while. Press lightly against both jaws for 30 seconds. When you release, you will hopefully notice that tensions have been released. Repeat the exercise a few times.
16. Remember what you want
It’s easy to get so distracted by stress that we never stop and listen to what our body and soul are trying to tell us. Therefore, take the time to put yourself at ease, breathe calmly, close your eyes and repeat the words “I am” to yourself for five minutes. The next step is to ask yourself what you want, but you do not immediately need any answers. Let your thoughts calm down and see what comes up.
17. Dry brush the entire body
Want better blood circulation and healthy skin? Dry brush your entire body before the next shower. Start with your feet and work your way up over your body. Take long brush strokes over the body each part to take about two seconds. Skip the most sensitive skin, such as the neck and face.
18. Drink good coffee
Enjoy your coffee with good conscience. People who drink at least four cups of coffee a day reduce the risk of depression by 20 percent and dementia by 65 percent. Feel free to add some extra energy in the form of coconut oil in the coffee as it helps you stop craving for food.
19. Store frozen vegetables
Make sure you always have plenty of vegetables at home, and feel free to freeze them. It’s good you always have vegetables in the freezer, since in stressful everyday life we can forget to buy anything green for dinner. In addition, they contain no less nutrition, on the contrary, they can be more useful than fresh vegetables that have been around for a long time.
20. Get probiotics-rich diet
Try to take probiotics on a daily basis, that is live bacterial culture. Diet containing probiotics helps strengthen immune system and intestinal flora. Research has shown that people who regularly receive probiotics are less frequently caught with cold and recover faster. Many dairy products are enriched with probiotics, which are also available in supplements.
21. Cook your cabbage
When you get the urge to eat cabbage, it is wise to first boil it and pour the water away. The cabbage contains oxalic acid which can contribute to kidney stones in large quantities, so it is good if at least part of it disappears.
22. Go to toilet on time
Avoid keeping yourself more than necessary. You feel much better about going to toilet as soon as it presses, even if it means you are a few minutes late. If the stool remains in the large intestine for too long, it becomes dry and hard. You also run the risk of being in a bad mood, which can hurt when you have to poop.
23. Stay in touch
With family and work in focus, it’s easy to forget your friends. Completely understandable – but think again before you undermine your friendships. Earlier this year, a Harvard study showed that the quality of our relationships is crucial to our physical and mental health. The significance of these relationships was even more important than genes or the choice of lifestyle. So, lift the handset and make sure you have time for your old friends – they will greatly improve your quality of life.
24. Keep your body in good posture at work
It is so easy to collapse in the office chair after a few hours at work. But make an effort to maintain a good posture. It will make your back good and according to doctor Kenneth Hansraj this will raise your levels of feeling good hormone serotonin while lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
25. Take a look at your urine
Make sure to drink enough water. A good way to keep track of fluid balance is to take a look at your urine. The color should be light yellow or clear, if not, it is time to refill with water. Researchers at the University of Connecticut have shown that fluid deficiency lowers both energy levels and the ability to concentrate.
26. Jump ten times
With age, the risk of osteoporosis increases. But you can reduce it by avoiding risk factors, such as lack of exercise and smoking. A study from Brigham Young University showed that women aged 25-50 who jumped ten times in the same place, twice a day, had increased bone density in their hips after 16 weeks.
27. Smile even if you don’t feel it
Sometimes it may be worthwhile to go against what you feel at the moment. So, the next time you have a bad day, try to still fire a dazzling smile at your colleague, even if you don’t feel it at all. According to a University of Kansas study, a smile, even if it is fake, can decrease your heart rate when you feel stressed.
28. Daydream about useful food
Our psyche largely influences how healthy we live. So, it is important to set the mindset in the right way. For example, according to the book “20 Pounds Younger” by Michele Promaulayko, people who think about healthy food instead of junk food tend to eat healthier.
29. Release headaches in no time
Did you know that there is a way to get rid of headaches in just 30 seconds? Get rid of tension and your headache by finding tender points on the forehead and head. Then rub them in a circular motion using thumbs and knuckles.
30. Release the yawn
Resist the impulse to stifle that large yawn that tends to show up in the afternoon. It helps to cool your brain. The result of this is that we are becoming more alert and performing, according to research from the University of Vienna in Austria.
31. Get into yoga
Defeat the afternoon dip with a yoga exercise that does not take more than 30 seconds. Stand firmly and stabilize yourself by pressing down the four corners of each foot sole to the ground. Then bend your knees and fold your body from your hips, keeping your back straight. Stand there and hang while taking 10-30 deep breaths. Then slowly rise again. This will increase the blood flow to the brain and extend your spine.
32. Take off your shoes
In a country like Sweden, it is most common that we take off our shoes when we get home, and it seems that it is a good habit. It keeps a lot of crap away. Studies where researchers have done tests on how much bacteria are hiding on the shoes show a result you hardly want in your home. They found substantial accumulations of pathogens.
33. Brush your tongue
Most of us have probably realized that we should brush our teeth morning and evening to maintain good oral health. But what fewer have adopted as part of the daily hygiene routine is also to brush the tongue. This part of the mouth should not be forgotten, as there are a lot of bacteria hiding there and risk spreading to the teeth.
34. Keep the bedroom cool
Sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. To make it as good as possible, there are some classic tips to stick to. One of them is to have it dark in the bedroom. Another to keep it cool in the bedroom to get an undisturbed and good sleep. A temperature of about 18 degrees is recommended.
35. Prepare smoothies on Sundays
Prepare yourself for the stressful work week by going to the store and shopping for smoothies over the weekend. One tip is to fill up with ingredients on Sunday so you can easily toss together the daily smoothies of the week. Buy what you need, such as vegetables, fresh or frozen fruit, nuts and seeds.
36. Say good-bye to your loved ones
Saying good-bye to our loved ones is beneficial in many ways. To get you off to a good start to the day, it is good to have some regular morning routines that will make you feel good. A healthy habit is to always say goodbye in a loving way to your family and any pets. A kiss and hug will make both your own and their day start a little better.
37. Take a bath
Ending the day with a bath will do well for your well-being. Take the shower and feel the tension leaving your body. You literally leave today’s crap behind you, get a moment to yourself and probably leave the bathroom in a more relaxed state. For extra ambiance, a tip is to light candles, use foam or bath salts and play some quiet music.
38. Don’t forget the avocado
Do not underestimate the positive effects of avocado. By eating one or two a day, you will provide your body with exceptional nutritional value. This fruit is rich in antioxidants and the healthy fats counteract, among other things, inflammation in the body.
39. Focus on breathing
A good way to stop and land in the present is to focus on your breathing for a moment. Try to breathe consciously for two minutes the next time you feel overwhelmed or troubled. Breathe in slowly while saying “I am” to yourself in the head and then out to the words “Fine”. Repeat the exercise at least four times.
40. Touch the right place
Help the nervous system to relax. Our bodies have several points where nerves, blood vessels, tendons and sensitive points in muscles meet. Daniel Hsu, a doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine, thinks it does a lot to press some key points on his head, hands and face. For example, try pressing the area between your thumb and forefinger the next time you are stressed.
41. Dance with your partner
Keep romance alive in your life. According to physician Elaine Wyllie, research shows that romance reduces the production of stress-related hormones. And try to vary the classic restaurant dates with something even more exciting. Why not put on music that both you and your partner like, and then dance loose together? It will fill you with energy, love and joy.
42. Note what you are grateful for
We can greatly affect our mental health. A more positive attitude to life sometimes requires some conscious work. Sometimes we tend to put more emphasis on the negative things than what is actually good. So, try to sit down for a while every night and write down three things that you are grateful for.
43. Eat clean stuff
Look at your body as the engine that will keep the entire machinery running. It goes without saying that you should take good care of it. Therefore, try to supply as clean energy as possible. So, skip artificial sweeteners and refined carbohydrates. Keep track of what the food you eat contains and try to stick to the most natural foods possible.
44. Do 100 push ups
Do you feel that you would feel good about a challenge? Then try to do a hundred pushups a day. That may sound like a lot, but the doctor Jim Sears has a good trick: divide them into 20 repetitions at a time on five different occasions. If you are not used to doing push ups, you can start by doing them on your knees, or do fewer at first and then gradually increase the number.
45. Be more mindful
Don’t rush into life without stopping and gathering from time to time. You need to calm down and bring down the stress level at regular intervals. Stand firm and feel your feet against the floor. Then start walking at normal pace and be aware of your body as you do so. Feel how it feels in your legs as you lift and lower them. Make sure you shift the focus back to how it feels in your body if your thoughts start to wander.
46. Drink lemon water
Why not introduce a new healthy morning routine? It is a very easy and quick routine. Just pour a glass of cold water and squeeze some fresh lemon into it. It helps you keep the fluid balance at a good level, gives you a dose of vitamin C, boosts the immune system and has fat burning effects, says Doctor Andrew P. Ordon. When the skin is moisturized, wrinkles and fine lines are not as clear.
47. Customize the meditation
A good finish to the day is to end with meditation. When you get a chance to put today’s stress moments behind you, try to relax and prepare the conditions for a good sleep. Choose the meditation form you need for the day. One tip is to search Youtube to find a suitable one where someone can guide you to a relaxed state.
48. Peel your face every night
Have a habit of scrubbing your face clean of dead skin cells and dirt in the evening. Then add plenty of moisture to the skin. After you thoroughly cleanse your skin, you give your face the opportunity to get more moisture deep in the skin.
49. Eat like a caveman
It doesn’t have to be particularly complicated to change your diet to start eating healthier. The Paleo diet is about going back to how our ancestors ate and eating Stone Age food, such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Those who follow the diet automatically avoid, for example, semi-and whole-foods and artificial sugar.
50. Disconnect from electronics
Turn off all technical devices in good time before bedtime. Gadgets such as a computer, tablet and mobile phone give off blue light which can interfere with your sleep. It helps reduce the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and makes the body think it is daytime. Instead, lower the lighting around you.
51. Answer the email orally
Vary your email responses by taking some of them orally. We email a lot of colleagues, even though we are in the same building. It is both a nice gesture and gives you a reason to walk around a bit. Anyone who has a sedentary job should get up and walk a little at least once an hour.
52. Release your inner artist
Most people probably have a creative activity that we enjoy. It can be things like painting, writing, music, carpentry or knitting. And you don’t have to be a super talent. Research shows that creative leisure pursuits can improve your performance in the workplace. So, release your inner artist. Creating something enhances self-esteem and the belief that you can succeed – with most things.
53. Exercise really hard
You do not have to do this every day, but try periodically to invest in changing walks and calmer workouts to really hard workouts. Hard training is of course individual, but challenge yourself and try to raise goals as you get stronger. You can increase fat burning up to 72 hours after a completed workout, according to research presented in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.
54. Make a food plan for the week
When the stressful work week starts, it is sometimes difficult to think about what you should eat every day. Therefore, be sure to prevent unnecessarily unhealthy meals by planning how to eat during the coming week during the weekend. Invest in retailing and preparing the week’s meals when you are free and have more time.
It is easy to happen that we only focus on ourselves when we want to improve our health. We try to make time to cook healthy food, exercise and recover with our own time. But the fact is that it does us good to contribute to the well-being of others with our time – so stand up for others who need your help a little more often. It can cause your brain to produce more of oxytocin and progesterone hormones, relieving stress and inflammation.
56. Stretch neck
The neck is a part of the body that is easily forgotten, but there is a lot of tension that you need to be released. Place your palms around your neck and then use your neck muscles to lean your head forward. Then let go and relax. Do about 20 repetitions twice a day for best result.
57. Use chamomile tea in a different way
You can use chamomile tea in more ways than drinking it. If you feel your eyes are tired and want to give them an extra boost, here is a trick worth trying: Put two tea bags in hot water for five minutes, and then let them rest for another five. Close your eyes and have the bags over your eyes for ten minutes. The anti-inflammatory properties soothe the sensitive skin around the eyes, which tightens and brightens the skin.
58. Use more sunscreen
Remember to use sunscreen, especially on the face, when you are staying in the sun. It does not require much sun at all to increase the risk of skin cancer, more wrinkles and sun spots. Therefore, have a habit of using a face cream with a high sun protection factor – all year round.
59. Season with cinnamon
Beautify your breakfast with cinnamon. Now for Christmas, many of us like to eat rice porridge with cinnamon, but you can use cinnamon for more than that. Studies have shown that this spice can, among other things, help reduce insulin resistance and lower cholesterol levels, and therefore reduce the risk of diabetes.
60. Mix water with apple cider vinegar
Drinking apple cider vinegar may not sound so good, but if you just add a little in a glass of water, there is actually no problem. Do it for health. Namely, it has been shown that it can lower blood sugar, improve digestion – and counteract dandruff. The apple cider vinegar also makes the stomach good, as it offers a dose of healthy bacteria.
61. Laugh is as good as meditation
Have you come to the conclusion that meditation exercises are not for you? Calm down, there are other ways to strengthen your mental health. Research presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 conference in San Diego showed that a good laugh gives you the same mental boost as meditation. So, you can with good conscience exchange your meditation with something that makes you laugh, see a comedy with your favorite actresses for example.
62. Walk in green surroundings
When you go out on a walk, it is good if you choose the green areas first. A study from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom showed that a 30-minute walk in a green setting reduced the risk of depression by as much as 71 percent. So do not hesitate to go out and fill your lungs with fresh air – it will do you good.
63. Get B12
Have you felt powerless, tired and depressed lately? Then it may be a good idea to check yourself up. This may be due to B12 deficiency. We mainly get the vitamin from meat, fish and dairy products. If you eat poor food from the animal kingdom, extra supplements in the form of B12 tablets may therefore be needed.