Featured Wellness

Easy does it! Small ways to boost your health

Intimate middle-aged couple
Monica Matys
Written by Monica Matys

Looking to tweak your lifestyle and habits a bit towards the better? Not everything has to take a herculean amount of time, money or willpower. Here are some easy ideas that you can try right now to boost the healthy meter in your life.

Socialize (in person)

Just because we can stay electronically connected doesn’t always mean we get the benefits of connecting with others in person. Each day offers opportunities to engage and interact with others, like sharing a meal with a co-worker, popping over to a neighbor’s house for a quick hello or engaging in simple conversation with a person in the grocery store line. We tend to put forward more positivity around strangers – a mood that can linger — so even short interactions can reap longer benefits.

Try something new

Commit to saying ‘yes’ to something outside your normal routine. That simple act may open your life up to new possibilities or experiences you hadn’t considered before. Even if it’s as simple as taking a new route home, it’s beneficial to turn off your autopilot and make room for a different view.

Fill your glass

Considering more than half your body is composed of water, adding another glass of water to your routine can have many health benefits. In addition to replenishing many body organs and systems, it can help you feel fuller, more energized and will promote regularity.

Play some tunes

Music can boost not only how you feel, but also how you perform and make decisions about daily activities. Researchers recommend sticking to familiar tunes if you are facing a new or complicated task. And if you have some physical work to do, like a workout, music can give the perception that you aren’t working as hard as you actually are. Music affects areas of the brain responsible for planning, emotion and rewards, releasing the feel-good chemical dopamine. And while there’s no clear answer why some people prefer certain musical genres to others, researchers do suggest tuning in to the style you love to reap the greatest rewards.

Chew

Even if you’re not changing what you eat, slow down the pace of how quickly you eat. It will help your brain catch up to your body to know when it’s actually full, helping prevent overeating. This approach will also help you be more mindful and appreciative about each meal and snack.

Plan something fun

Whether it’s to a warm weather destination or just an hour to yourself, schedule some regular you-time into your calendar every month. That will ensure you always have something to look forward to.

Eat a rainbow

Adding colour to your plate through a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables is an easy way to boost the beauty and nutritional value of each meal. There are some components in food, such as phytochemicals, that help the body function more efficiently and effectively. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring compounds found in plants, and are part of a large group of chemical compounds responsible for the colour, flavour and odour of many foods. Just take a stroll down the produce aisle of our your grocery store for endless choices.

Rest

Short naps can reward you with a healthier heart, decreased stress hormones, improved mood and successful body weight maintenance. And if your day is too busy to fit one in, try to add a bit more quality sleep time to your nightly routine.

Get some fresh air

Stepping outside can boost your energy, concentration and overall mood. Even a quick walk can do wonders, so take a 10-minute break away from your routine. Best of all, it costs nothing and is always there!

About the author

Monica Matys

Monica Matys

Monica Matys is a Communications Advisor at Sunnybrook.

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