Be healthier — one day at a time
March is National Nutrition Month — so let’s make it a goal to eat better and be healthier. Each day, let’s focus on one tip to lead us to a healthier life and see how we feel at the end of the month!
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has declared March National Nutrition Month. They’re focusing on the importance of making healthy food choices and developing good physical activity habits. We wanted to join them on this quest, as it’s never too late to start being healthier. Every day for the month of March, we’re providing one simple get-healthier tip that you can incorporate into your everyday life. At the end of the month, let’s see how we feel. We can only bet we’ll have more energy, feel less stressed and be happier. Cheers to being healthy!
Do a word puzzle. Let’s start this challenge by improving our minds. Word puzzles improve concentration, help you read faster and reduce stress.
Fight gum disease and cavities by eating shiitake mushrooms and wasabi — in other words, Japanese food! Treat yourself or make a Japanese meal at home.
Have a glass of cranberry juice. It helps prevent UTIs — need we say more?
Get some sun! Sunlight lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, increases oxygen flow, builds your immunity, kills bacteria and helps ward off depression.
Check out these fun-in-the-sun fitness activities >>
Count your calories. For one day only, keep track of your calories so you can see if you’re over- or undereating. Make necessary adjustments if needed.
Go for an evening walk to clear your mind. Take a friend, your spouse, your child or go alone. Whichever you choose, by getting outside you’re increasing your heart rate and releasing endorphins.
Eat fish for dinner. Seafood contains omega-3 fatty acids that help those who suffer from dry eyes and help reduce inflammation.
Check out these delicious fish recipes here >>
Dr. Raj recently shared some tips for healthier living. One was to spend less time being distracted. For Day 8, let’s spend less time on social media. Instead, get outside and run around with your kids!
For more of Dr. Raj’s health tips, click here >>
Drink more water. Water helps keep you full and flushes out your system. Aim for 10 8-ounce glasses per day. If you exercise or drink caffeine (a diuretic), aim for 12 glasses.
Cut out emotional eating. If you’re stressed, bored or sad, do something — anything — other than snack. Go for a walk, call a friend, clean your house or indulge in your favorite TV show — just don’t eat!
Go to bed earlier. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night. You’ll feel more rested and be more energized, which leads to a much more productive day.
Laugh! Laughing boosts your immunity and is good for the soul. Surround yourself with friends that make you laugh or pop in a comedy in the DVD player.
Wash your hands more often. Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer helps prevent you from getting sick. Wash for at least 12 seconds.
Have a glass of green tea — it fights cancer and heart disease while also burning fat.
Make a smoothie. Add some spinach leaves for an extra boost and to improve eyesight. Smoothies are filling, low in fat and packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
Check out these healthy smoothies to up your energy here >>
Eat low-fat yogurt for breakfast. It’s low in calories, high in protein and helps burn fat. Studies show that those who eat yogurt as part of their daily diet are more likely to lose weight than those who don’t.
Do something for yourself. Treat yourself to a pedicure, buy that new shirt you’ve been eyeing or settle into a relaxing bubble bath with your favorite book in hand. You deserve to spoil yourself every now and then.
Give someone a hug. It can be anyone — a spouse, child, friend or pet — just do it! Hugs make you and the receiver feel warm and snuggly inside.
Be adventurous. Try something you want to do but have always been too afraid — such as skydiving, getting a tattoo, going for a hot-air balloon ride or paintballing. The rush of excitement you’ll feel will give you the courage to try anything (such as asking your boss for that raise at work).
Take a bath with lavender. You’ll need to unwind after your big adventure, so relax in the tub with a few drops of lavender oil. It reduces stress and will help you sleep better.
Add avocado to your favorite sandwich for lunch. Avocadoes are rich in vitamin E and monounsaturated fat, which both give you healthy, glowing skin.
Check out this recipe for an avocado, white cheddar & tomato grilled cheese here >>
Forgive someone. Forgiveness is the act of freeing yourself. If there’s a grudge you’ve been holding onto, let it go.
Cheat day! Eat your favorite food or dessert today. We all deserve a treat — in the form of food — every now and then. We love salted turtle cookies.
Set a fitness goal and stick to it. Make the goal attainable — such as going for a walk on your break at work every day for a week or doing push-ups and crunches during the commercials of your favorite TV show.
Have a handful of pistachios (or your favorite nut). Nuts contain the good fats, which help keep your waistline slim and promote alertness.
Think only positive thoughts by focusing on the good in life. Those who think positively have stronger immune systems, handle stress better, are less likely to experience depression and live longer lives.
Add cinnamon to your coffee this morning. Cinnamon controls insulin spikes, which helps reduce your appetite.
Get a massage. It reduces back pain, releases built-up tension and helps with anxiety and stress. Massages also have beauty benefits!
Cook with garlic. When making dinner, throw in some garlic to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, strengthen your immune system and detoxify your body.
For an extra garlic kick, check out this 50-clove garlic soup recipe here >>
Don’t drink any calories today. Opt for water, black coffee or green tea instead of juice, milk or lattes. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Americans consume 400 calories per day in drinks alone!
Do something kind for someone else. Doing things for others actually decreases our own stress levels and improves our health. Buy lunch for a coworker, pay for the person’s drink behind you in the Starbucks drive-through or simply make your husband’s favorite dinner. Random, simple acts of kindness go a long way.
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and the author alone. They do not reflect the opinions of SheKnows, LLC or any of its affiliates and they have not been reviewed by an expert in a related field or any member of the SheKnows editorial staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on the Site are not a substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on SheKnows. SheKnows does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.