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16 Simple Ways to Day-by-Day Quickly Improve Your Health

Updated on June 23, 2019
Deb Vesco Roberts profile image

As an RN, runner and health enthusiast, I love sharing the methods I use to keep my mental and physical health balanced and optimal.

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Use a Simple Daily Log to Track Your Daily and Monthly Goals

In a fast-paced world, with high daily demands, it's harder than ever to monitor our personal health and wellness and give self-care time and attention. With obesity, diabetes, depression, and autoimmune diseases at an all-time high, the time to start paying attention to our body and mind is now.

I know what you're thinking. "Another health and wellness article telling me how I should eat, exercise, and organize my life". While this is true, I want to make this a fun task, not a chore. I not only provide a daily checklist but also daily choices that are a breeze to follow.

Everyone is busy, and time is minimal. The kids keep you on the move, jobs are demanding, and relationships erratic. If there's one thing I've learned in my 52 years as a mother of four, nurse, runner, and queen of late blooming, it's if you don't take time to care for your own mental and physical well-being, your life will continue on a chaotic path to poor health, which can lead to disaster in your later years. Your to-do list gets longer, while your bucket list grows shorter and we spend most of our waking hours chasing our tails, feeling overwhelmed, sick, and tired. These are the facts of how most Americans live today.

Americans are overworked, unrested, generally overweight, and eat terrible. When I started traveling abroad back in 2016, my eyes opened to how terrible we treat our bodies compared to other parts of the world. My husband and I spent three weeks in Eastern Europe, touring seven different countries. There are five things we noticed they all had in common:

  1. Very little obesity
  2. Movement; both on foot and on bicycles
  3. Less fast food sources, more fresh produce and meats, and smaller portions when dining
  4. Social climate; gathering to eat and listen to music with friends is commonplace
  5. Wine, coffee, and still or sparkling waters are consumed over soda with meals.

Print This Weekly Checklist and Mark Off Your Daily Accomplishments

If you would prefer a digital copy to use on your computer, please message me and I will be happy to send you the download.
If you would prefer a digital copy to use on your computer, please message me and I will be happy to send you the download. | Source
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Drink a Daily Java or Tea Without Refined Sugars or Artificial Sweeteners

It's a no-brainer starting your day with a sugar bolus sets you up for a mid-morning crash. Not only will your pancreas thank you, but you'll learn to enjoy the actual flavor of coffee that is missed when masking it with sugary calories or fake sweeteners. The healthiest way to drink coffee is black, but most folks do not enjoy the bitterness and turn to sugar and sugar-infused creamers. I personally prefer a splash of half and half, a touch of butter, and sprinkled cinnamon in my morning latte. Ditch the sugar bowl, artificial sweeteners, and those five pumps of your favorite syrup at Starbucks, for these simple and healthy substitutes instead:

  • Butter (grass-fed)
  • Almond or Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
  • Cinnamon Powder
  • Stevia
  • Monk Fruit
  • Vanilla Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Raw Honey
  • Organic Half & Half

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Raised bed garden from AmazonFirst season yieldFirst season yieldFirst season yieldFirst season yield
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Raised bed garden from Amazon
Raised bed garden from Amazon | Source
First season yield
First season yield | Source
First season yield
First season yield | Source
First season yield
First season yield | Source
First season yield
First season yield | Source

Eat Organic Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy and Meat Whenever Possible and Cook With Healthy Fats

Organic means free of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, cruelty-free, and humanely raised. My favorite motto is "you are what the animal or plant you just ate, ate". Do you really want that stuff inside your body? I hope not!

Eating healthy and organic is not always easy when traveling or eating out. You can pack your own organic snacks and meals when possible, on road trips or when flying, and be as selective as you can. It's nearly impossible to do anything at 100%, but your best efforts can make all the difference in how you look and feel in your body. Your skin and internal organs will thank you for the strong efforts and so will your wallet with less medical bills!

Visit farmer's markets. The small farmer works hard to bring you the best and most wholesome produce and meats. Cut out the middle man and buy direct from them whenever possible. Grow your own food when the season permits. Most of us don't have the luxury of land and growing space. You can improvise by building raised bed gardens or using multiple large containers with organic soil. This is the 4x8 foot raised garden I have. It's also easy to build (just be sure NOT to use pressure-treated lumber due to the toxic chemicals infused into it. Cedar, cypress, or redwood work best for longevity, but expect to replace the boards every five years or so). I bought my organic garden soil in bags from Home Depot. I plant tomatoes, peppers, green beans, lettuce, eggplant, onions, carrots, radishes, celery, and an herb garden. I always have plenty to share and freeze what I can't use right away. I even got a free rain barrel from my city, so watering my garden is always easy and inexpensive.

Research suggests that organic foods may have higher nutritional value. This is due to the absence of pesticides and fertilizers that allow the plant to produce more vitamins and antioxidants. Some studies have linked pesticides in food to everything from headaches, cancer, and birth defects. Even low-level pesticide exposure can be significantly more toxic for fetuses and children (due to their less-developed immune systems) and for pregnant women.

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Say NO To Sugary, Processed, Artificial, and Salty Snacks

I have one word for this, poison. I can list 100 reasons why sugar is the devil in disguise, but I will spare the lecture and touch on the big ones.


  1. Sugar affects your body's ability to regulate insulin. This is very taxing on your body and can lead to Type 2 Diabetes, which is chronic, life-altering, and even life-threatening.
  2. Sugar causes fat storage, which leads to obesity, which can lead to diabetes and other diseases, not to mention fatigue and depression. The recommended maximum daily intake of sugar, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), is 6 teaspoons/100 calories for women and 9 teaspoons/150 calories for men.
  3. Artificial sweeteners can mimic the action of sugar when metabolized by the body. They contain non-natural ingredients research shows to be harmful to our health.

Names for added sugars on labels include:

  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Malt sugar
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
  • Syrup

Salt is another demon that contributes to increased blood pressure, thirst, water retention, and bloating. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends no more than 2300 mg of sodium intake per day.

Salt is in just about everything, including canned and bottled vegetables and sauces. Be sure to read labels carefully, even if you don't think an item contains salt, go easy on the shaker. Taste your food first before adding salt.

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My favorite way to get my daily water.
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My favorite way to get my daily water.
My favorite way to get my daily water. | Source

Drink 7-8 Glasses of Water

This is my number one healthy choice I make every day and have my whole life. I attribute my life-long hefty water consumption to why I have healthy skin, hair, nails, and overall general good health. I don't look my age and have healthy, clear, wrinkle-free skin. I have been an avid water drinker since childhood, to the point I annoy family and friends with my water rants! In addition to the benefits I mentioned, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states these reasons why water is important:

Water helps your body:

  • Keep your temperature normal
  • Lubricate and cushion joints
  • Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
  • Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements

If you can't stomach drinking 64+ ounces of water throughout the day, try flavoring it with fruits such as lemons, limes, strawberries, or oranges. I personally make a two-gallon mason-type jar of water every few days and keep it in the refrigerator. There are a plethora of fruit-infused water recipes on Pinterest to keep water from being boring. My faithful 30 oz Yeti tumbler is always full of water and at hand, day and night. I recommend the Yeti for it's ability to keep water, with or without ice, cool for over 24 hours.

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Prepare Your Lunch For The Next Day

The biggest reason for daily bad food choices is lack of preparation and planning. This leads to frequent trips for fast food or unhealthy cafeteria choices. I make something on Sundays that can get my husband and me through the first few work days. Our favorite healthy, wholesome lunch to pre-make is my and packed with flavor. I also make extra food when cooking dinner so we have leftovers to take for lunches.

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Consider Drinking 5 oz. of Red Wine Several Evenings Per Week

According to the CDC, Red wine, in moderation, is heart healthy. The alcohol, resveratrol, and antioxidants in red wine, may help prevent coronary artery disease, a link that is not completely understood. However, part of the benefit may be antioxidants research suggests increase high-density lipoproteins (HDL) aka good cholesterol that protects against bad cholesterol buildup.

I do discourage red wine consumption to those with a personal or family history of alcohol abuse, as too much alcohol can have many harmful effects instead of helpful.

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Exercise at Least 30 Minutes Each Day and Avoid Sitting For More Than 50

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity over the course of a week.

Reducing sitting time is important to decrease your risk of metabolic issues and blood clots. Many folks have sedentary jobs, so set a reminder on your phone to get up and move and stretch every hour, or take a stroll around the building.

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Spend Time Outdoors

Spending time outdoors has numerous benefits to overall health, the first being Vitamin D exposure. There’s nothing like the feeling of sunlight hitting your skin, which activates Vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones and to fight off cancer, osteoporosis, depression, and heart attacks. Be careful about getting too much of a good thing and wear sunscreen. I also recommend using natural products sunscreen. After visiting Aruba, I discovered this aloe-based sunscreen from Aruba Aloe. I highly recommend this as it is sans all the ingredients your skin can do without.

Fresh air is good for the mind and alleviates stress, symptoms of depression, brain fog, and the staleness of being indoors. A hike or walk in the woods can be a reminder of how incredible our planet truly is. It also makes us more environmentally aware, so even if it's cold, bundle up and get outside!

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Take Some Time Out to Treat and Pamper Yourself

Each day, do one thing to take care of your outer layer. Our skin is our largest organ and most days, we totally ignore it. If we pay attention to one part of our skin each day, imagine how beautiful and glowing we would look and feel. This does not only apply to women. Soft skin and self-indulgence are for everyone!

In addition to the monthly indulgences of haircuts, manicures, facials, or massages, I recommend the following pampering treatments, which include some of my favorite, inexpensive products. You needn't spend a ton of money to indulge in daily delights:

  • Give yourself a facial weekly to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize.
  • Exfoliate your entire body in the shower with a sugar or salt scrub (it's also quite easy to make your own body scrub)
  • Exfoliate and moisturize your feet with a foot mask that peels away dead skin (the reviews don't lie, this product really works!)
  • Deep condition your hair (you can get 3-4 treatments per packet and is the best value for your money, and will leave your hair silky and smooth the fly-aways)
  • Mini self-massage. (I love the Fascia Blaster for my legs and back and the mini one for arms, neck, and feet)
  • Take an Epson Salt and Lavender bath. While not scientifically proven, the use of Epsom salts does seem to have many claimed benefits. It's my go-to remedy after a hard workout or post-marathon).

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Step Away From Your Computer, Phone, Or Other Devices For Two Hours

Take a two-hour "digital detox" each day and connect with your family and friends or partake in the other activities mentioned above. This is the perfect time to prepare a healthy dinner, interact with your spouse and children, take a walk, a long bath, or exercise. The act of receiving a notification, even if you don’t reply to it, is enough to severely distract you from doing something productive.

A U.S. survey found that more than 73% of young adults (under 30) suffer from symptoms of digital eye strain from screen overuse, including dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, neck and back pain, and headaches.

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Meditate or Relax Quietly For 15 Minutes

Mediation has a large place in my daily regimen and I cannot stress how much it has helped me cope with life's dysfunctions, just by closing my eyes and becoming mindful. I love Body Scan Meditation for achieving total relaxation and often find myself able to disconnect and fall asleep much easier and faster, especially when I've been stimulated by a computer screen or even watching a movie prior to bedtime. There are many wonderful body scan meditations on Youtube, and these are my two favorite videos/practitioners:

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Keep a Daily Journal

Personally, I use Facebook as my journal. I don't post every day, but I do always try to post useful and relevant statuses. I have been having customized books printed of my Facebook entries in five-year intervals using a company called My
Social Book
. Whether it be a digital journal or a handwritten one, writing your thoughts, musings, and daily experiences is therapeutic and validating. It's also a nice memoir to leave so your children and grandchildren can know and feel close to you.

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Get 7-9 Nightly Sleep Hours and Hide the Blue Lights

Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. We spend roughly one-third of our lives asleep. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) completed a two-year study to determine how much sleep people need by age category.

The NSF recommends the following to help you get a full night's sleep, which I also learned when I enrolled in a Cognitive Behavioral Program for combatting my insomnia several years ago:

  • Stick to a sleep/wake schedule, even on weekends.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine.
  • Turn off electronics before bed.

95% of adults in a US study admitted to using some type of screen in the hour leading up to bed. (Artificial blue light increases alertness and suppresses the hormone melatonin by up to 22% which negatively impacts sleep). That is yet another reason to unplug from those devices, especially as bedtime approaches.

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Additional Wellness Goals to Complete Monthly

In addition to tending to your diet, exercise, and mental well-being, here are some things you can do throughout the month for yourself and others, as well as to organize and declutter your life and further add to a lifestyle of overall wellness and happiness.

  • Take a “free-day” to indulge in a few of your favorites
  • Reach out to a friend or family member and make plans with them
  • Do a random act of kindness
  • Plan a date night with your partner
  • Plan a road trip or a weekend getaway that is within your budget
  • Make a monthly budget and debt reduction plan
  • Plant a garden
  • Purge, toss, and clean one room in your house
  • Organize your digital photos
  • Make a digital scrapbook of a special event or collection of favorite photos

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Debra Roberts

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    • profile image

      pbj Happy Dogs 

      3 months ago

      Thank you for the motavation to take care of my self.

    • profile image

      Michael 

      3 months ago

      Can i just say how committed you are. Wow! A printed checklist.. Hopefully I can have this too sooner or later! Accomplishments and goals are so important to know the progress.

    • profile image

      Jordan 

      3 months ago

      Thanks for the tips! It's always nice to remind ourselves of even some of the small things we all know like drink more water! And I have always found I almost double my productivity in a week by starting it with a list with work items, home items, excercise goals, and I always try to give myself a few easy tasks so I feel accomplished and motivated to keep crossing off items on the list!

    • profile image

      Holly Bird 

      3 months ago

      What an inspiring post! Everything you need to get your health and wellness on track!!

    • Deb Vesco Roberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Debra Roberts 

      3 months ago from Ohio

      Yes! Anything that makes drinking wine ok!

    • profile image

      Thuy 

      3 months ago

      I can totally get behind the wine tip ;p I love reading wellness tips, life is all about balance and happiness!

    • profile image

      Lyosha Varezhkina 

      3 months ago

      it is a complete and absolutely proper list of things to do. I can say I do everything but I have to admit I love honey and eat it from time to time

    • profile image

      Kaitlyn Morris 

      4 months ago

      Great suggestions. Sugar is my weakness for sure.

    • profile image

      Erica (The Prepping Wife) 

      4 months ago

      Sleep and water consumption have been my biggest goals this week and staying consistent with both of them. I do pretty decent when it comes to eating healthy. But I need to start exercising more.

    • profile image

      Ashlee 

      4 months ago

      It's so true! I have been drinking more water, at least 1.5 litres a day- huge for me lol, and have been moving away from siting for so long at my computer. I love the part about wine and veggies!

    • profile image

      Lyosha 

      4 months ago

      I agree: to be healthy and happy you do need to work on it daily. work until becomes your nature.

    • profile image

      Live Learn better 

      4 months ago

      Great tips here. Sleep schedule and no gadgets time off are my most precious things.

    • profile image

      Ashley 

      4 months ago

      Great tips! I've been slowly but surely edging towards becoming plant-based as, according to research I've done, dairy and meat products are not good for us either and also contribute to preventable diseases.

    • profile image

      clio 

      4 months ago

      Oh, so true! As an European, when I first came to the US I was actually surprised to notice the bigger portions at restaurants, the big glasses of drinks, and how little people in my neighborhood used to walk or ride their bikes in their daily lives. Yet, as you said, there are so many more ways in which we can adapt our routines to live healthier! Love all your suggestions :)

    • profile image

      nominal nomad 

      4 months ago

      these are great tips!! i´ll print the checklist to help me with all that!

      I personally noticed that drinking more water helped me in many ways!

    • profile image

      Kippi 

      4 months ago

      I am motivated to drink more water, get up from this chair every hour and get my vitamin D after reading all this wonderful info. I am pinning this one so I can share it. Happy Spring, Kippi #kippiathome

    • profile image

      jerry godinho 

      4 months ago

      excellent piece and you have made it clear that diabetes, heart issues, depression and autoimmune is due to our hectic lifestyle and processed food we are eating. thanks for this article and very impressed and will use your calendar.

      jerry godinho

      fourcolumnsofabalancedlife.com

    • profile image

      The Sunny Side Lifestyle Co. 

      4 months ago

      Thank you for the wonderful reminders. I was thankful to see that I'm already doing many of your suggestions but will be consciously implementing the 2 hours of tech-free time.

    • profile image

      Depsite Pain 

      4 months ago

      These are all really sensible, and fairly achievable suggestions. I do the water rants too lol. People think I'm crazy when I say water is my favourite drink.

    • profile image

      Snehal 

      4 months ago

      One of my 2019 new year resolutions was healthy living. I think am doing quite well after going through your post.

    • profile image

      Mayuri Patel 

      4 months ago

      Great tips, I need to avoid salty snacks, but trying for healthier options like roasted fox nut and puffed rice. I've yet to set a routine that I will keep. I've jotted a few many times and barely made to 2 weeks.

    • profile image

      Subhashish Roy 

      4 months ago

      Your article gives the complete perspective of what wellness actually is. Is it just health or more? Great reading and some wonderful reminders for all readers like me.

    • profile image

      twoguyswhoblog 

      4 months ago

      Well based on your article I'm doing pretty good. I need to ditch the screen and the TV before bed and watch my oreo intake and coffee (i already knew this) Luckily the only other thing I drink is water (and beer but a beer is mostly water so that's kind of a win right?) These are great ideas but I'll admit I'm scared to print out this spreadsheet but I know it's necessary.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      There are loads of useful ideas in this article. I love the illustrations. I struggle with water. I definitely need to make more effort to drink it.

    • profile image

      Nero Nguyen 

      4 months ago

      Great tips! I personally drink green tea every morning to get a mild caffeine boost and antioxidants. Health is very important!

    • profile image

      Darin 

      4 months ago

      Great information!!!

    • Hacicu Bogdan profile image

      Hacicu Bogdan 

      4 months ago from Cluj-Napoca, Romania

      This article is so beautifully written and you've given some extremely practical tips. I really love that checklist you've given at the beggining. It is really helpful. Also like the fact that you've mentioned about sleep, since I've just written an article about it and I agree with everything you said there. Well done!

    • Giselle Oliveira profile image

      Giselle Oliveira 

      4 months ago from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

      This is so good! Jam-packed with good information! I'm a huge fan of Meditation and Journaling and I'm a strong believer that self-care is a necessity in today's world, not a luxury. Awesome post!

    • Melody Dunithan profile image

      Melody Dunithan 

      4 months ago from Indiana

      Phenomenal information! I'm soooo bad at much of this. I really need to get myself on a healthy schedule and regime. This will help me make some changes.

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