In our fast-paced society, it can be tough to keep up with healthy habits. You might not have enough time to go to the gym or sign up for Pilates classes. Perhaps you have a tendency to reach for sweet or salty snacks when you’re feeling stressed. Maybe your active social life and family commitments get in the way of planning home-cooked meals or getting enough sleep.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be a dedicated fitness guru to get in better shape and improve your overall health. A few simple lifestyle changes can boost your energy levels and help you take control of your well-being. Here are a few healthy habits that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine — no green smoothies or weightlifting required.
Choose the Right Insurance Plan
Don’t wait until you’re feeling under the weather to go over the details of your health insurance plan and make sure that you have the coverage you need. It’s best to ensure that you’ve selected the right plan for your lifestyle before you have to see a doctor!
Depending on your age, income, and location, you may qualify for a wide range of plans. If you’re eligible, consider swapping your Original Medicare plan for a Medicare Advantage plan during open enrollment. For example, insurance companies like Aetna offer Medicare Advantage plans that include coverage for wellness programs, which encourage people to adopt basic, healthy habits. Plus, these Advantage plans include additional coverage for prescription medication, dental care, vision, and hearing.
After sipping your morning coffee, reach for water throughout the day. Water is necessary fuel for every cell in your body. According to Self, you don’t have to drink eight glasses of water each day, but if you’re only drinking water when you’re thirsty, you may already be dehydrated.
Fruit juice, energy drinks, and soda may be tasty, but they are often packed with added sugars, dyes, and preservatives. By switching out these beverages for water, you can reduce your sugar intake without making any major dietary changes. Need a little extra flavor? Add a few slices of lemon or lime. Make it a point to bring a reusable water bottle with you when you head to work or leave to run errands. After a couple of weeks, it will become second nature.
Meditation isn’t just for monks or committed yogis. Anyone can meditate and experience the benefits for themselves. Meditation can reduce your stress levels, make for a more restful night’s sleep, help you stay calm and stoic in trying situations, and teach you to be more present and focused. If you’ve never meditated before, start by sitting in silence for just five to ten minutes each day. You can also play relaxing music while you meditate, or use a meditation app and listen to a teacher guide you through the process. Over time, you’ll learn how to concentrate on your breath and become a nonjudgmental observer of your thoughts.
Take the Stairs
According to Very Well Fit, sitting for hours each day can raise the risk of diabetes and heart disease. If you know that you need to move your body more often, but you don’t want to purchase a gym membership, let the phrase “Take the stairs” become your new mantra. For example, are you usually tempted to use an elevator or escalator to go up a few floors? Take the stairs instead and get a mini-workout. Need to go to the post office, the pharmacy, or the grocery store? If your destination is only a few blocks away, lace up your sneakers and walk instead of driving. For distances too long to walk, try riding a bike — you can enjoy the fresh air, get your blood pumping, and save a few dollars on gas.
Making smart choices for your health on a daily basis adds up. Overall, focusing on sustainable routines and thinking long-term is the key to a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to your health, small changes can make a huge difference.