Jennifer Jorgensen, Mortgage Servicing Specialist
Adapting a healthier lifestyle doesn’t necessarily require major changes that are hard to do. You may be surprised at how these simple, small tips can change you, your body and how you feel overall with almost little to no effort.
- Walk for 30 Minutes a Day
Just walking 30 minutes a day can greatly improve your health, such as reducing your risk of heart disease and helping you to shed some pounds. Make your walks more exciting by walking your dog, teaming up with a friend or join GCU on one of our 5k run/walks! https://www.guardiancu.org/about-us/events
- Drink Lots of Water!
We all know that water keeps us hydrated, but it also aids in weight loss and healthy digestion. It can even boost your energy and mood! Scared to try a “cleanse” or expensive detox? Just drink more water, as this is your safest and free way to flush out toxins in the body.
- Portion Control!
Try something as simple as eating off a smaller plate to trick your mind into thinking that you’re eating a full plate of food. You’ll feel much fuller sooner just by having your meal size put into a different perspective. Be sure to drink water before, during and after your meals to prevent over-eating.
- Think Positive Thoughts
Just taking a moment to reflect on all the good things in your life can eliminate depression and increase your lifespan. Believe it or not, it can also build up your resistance to the common cold! Let the small things roll off your shoulders and embrace the beauty in the big picture.
- Get 7-8 Hours of Sleep Each Night
Our bodies and mind go through essential cycles each night while we sleep. Skimping on sleep can cause weight gain and prevent you from losing fat during your workouts. Severe lack of sleep over an extended period of time can put you into an overwhelming spell of depression.
- Meet with Friends
Schedule a lunch or night out with a group of friends or family! Taking time out of our busy lives to relax and socialize is essential for excellent mental health and a sharp memory! Join GCU in summer for our kite-fly events or movie nights with your friends!
- An Apple a Day Does Keep the Doctor Away
Apples are packed full of antioxidants and fiber, among many other things. These antioxidants could reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease! Did you know that eating an apple can also freshen breath?
- Take the Stairs!
To add some extra steps in your day, skip the elevator or escalator to get an easy, yet affective mini workout that will burn calories and tone muscles—with little to no effort from you!
- Cook at Home
Slim your waistline and fatten your wallet by staying in and cooking at home! On average, home-cooked meals have significantly less calories and fat than the exact same dish at a restaurant.
- Eat Breakfast!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This meal fuels you with the energy you need to start your day and boost your metabolism. In fact, skipping your breakfast could actually make you gain weight, so eating any breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.
- Stretch Daily
Begin and end your day with a series of stretches suited best for your body and its needs. In addition to increasing flexibility, stretching can help relieve muscle tension, inflammation, soreness and your every-day aches and pains.
- Attend Your Annual Exams
Make a habit of scheduling visits to your primary physician, dentist, eye doctor and any other specialists on an annual or regular basis. Having a simple check-up can be much cheaper than allowing any health issues to get out of hand.
- Get a Furry Friend!
Studies have proven that owning a pet can help reduce stress and anxiety in humans. Additionally, if you own a pet, your chances of having a heart attack or stroke decrease significantly. Your pet could be a life-saver! You and your pet can join GCU in attending the annual MADACC Run, Walk, Wag 5k in July! Stop into a branch for details! https://runsignup.com/Register/?raceId=6094
- Laugh More!
Not only can laughing burn calories, but it can surely improve your mood! It may even add years to your life. Pop in your favorite comedy movie, share a funny story with your friends, or just try to find the humor in as many situations and conversations possible!
- Listen to Music
The great thing about music is that it can either pump you up for a great workout or motivate you while cleaning around the house, or it can help you to fall asleep faster and more peacefully when listening to a more soothing genre.
- Get Plenty of Fresh Air
Taking a moment to briefly step out during the day to get some fresh air can be essential to your body. It can clear your mind and give you the energy you need to return to your tasks and perform them accurately and efficiently.
- Drink Tea
Tea of all varieties is rich in antioxidants that are beneficial to our bodies. It can help strengthen your immune system, protect your bones and even aid in weight loss! Use tea as a healthy alternative to coffee, or use the non-caffeinated teas, such as Rooibos or Chamomile, to ensure a good night’s sleep!
- Eat When You’re Hungry
It’s extremely important that you never starve yourself, even while dieting. Effective diets of any kind encourage you to eat whenever you’re hungry; just make sure these snacks are healthy and wholesome so it can satisfy your hunger for a longer period of time.
- Find a Hobby
A hobby that you genuinely love to do can act as a small escape from all the hustle and bustle in your busy life. Taking the time to do something you truly enjoy will greatly reduce stress and give you the patience you need to take on your daily tasks!
- Eat Slowly
Try to slow down when eating each meal. Set your fork down between bites, eat with others, or just simply eliminate distraction to prevent eating mindlessly.
- Try a Fitness Class
If you’re finding that your workout has grown boring, try signing up for a fitness class such as Yoga or Zumba. A relaxing session of Yoga or an energetic, up-beat Zumba class may not feel like exercise, yet you’re giving your body a great workout without even realizing it!
- Cut Back on Soda
You may be shocked to see how much your body changes just by significantly cutting back on soda or giving it up all together. Exchange it for Seltzer water instead; flavored or not, it will give you the same carbonation we all seek in soda. If you’re in it more for the caffeine, try switching to plain, black coffee or tea.
- Eat by Color
A simple way to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants in your day via fruits and veggies is to just eat colorfully. The more color you have on your plate, the healthier you’re eating.
This is a very calming way to unwind and relieve stress after a long day. Meditation has a number of greater health impacts as well such as improving your concentration and slowing down the aging process.
- Stay Organized
Clean up your workspace or bedroom, and you’ll find a boost in your energy as well as an improvement in even your sleep and eating habits!
- Limit Alcohol Consumption
Try to cut down on your daily or weekly alcohol intake to a more controlled amount. Experts say alcohol in moderation does have some health benefits to it, such as reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes. The recommended amount is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
- Fix Your Posture
Focus on good posture consistently until it becomes a habit. Doing so could rid you of any back and/or neck pain. Additionally, you can burn up to 350 calories a day just by sitting upright properly!
- Pack a Lunch!
Packing and bringing your own lunch to work will help you to avoid temptations of going out to eat. Make it an extra tasty lunch so you’ll actually look forward to eating it!
- Walk Outdoors
Leave phones and other electronics at home so you can really disconnect for a while. Walking in nature and taking in the surroundings can be extremely therapeutic; both your physical and mental health will thank you.
- Organize the Fridge
Tuck all the tempting, indulgent food towards the back, and bring your fruits, veggies and lean meats forward to eye-level. You’ll be less tempted to reach back for something unhealthy—you may even forget it’s there! Out of sight, out of mind!
Adult coloring books have recently been trending in popularity due to their therapeutic qualities and mental health benefits. Spending time on coloring an intricate picture can help people cope with stress, anxiety and even PTSD.
- Practice Meal Prep
Not only will you be inclined to make some healthier choices, but you’ll no longer have the added stress of worrying about what’s for dinner. It’s already (mostly) done! Just heat and eat!
- Just Add Cinnamon
Cinnamon is very beneficial to your body and health, and it tastes great! Exchange sugar or artificial sweeteners for cinnamon instead, as this spice is naturally sweet yet sugar-free.
- Donate to Charity
Donating money, clothes, food, etc. to charity can make you feel great knowing that you’re helping someone in need. Stop into GCU in summer during our Guardian Cares Campaign to donate to a local charity!
- Grow Plants
Plants are known to serve more purpose than just being decoration; they can better our health, too! They release extra oxygen, clean the air and can even prevent colds and dry skin! Some of the most beneficial plants you can have around consist of Peace Lilies, Spider Plants, Bamboo and Aloe Vera.
Grab your favorite book, kick back and relax knowing that you’re benefiting your mental health. Reading can strengthen your creativity and writing skills and improve memory. Use reading as a way to unwind at the end of the day to put you in a stress-free state.
- Track Progress
This can literally be anything you want to work on. Track you weight, steps, water intake, food/diet habits, etc. Keep a close eye on your progress to see your success, which can be further motivation for you to keep pushing to reach your goal.
- Take Vitamins
Focus on what specific vitamins your body needs and find the appropriate ones for you. Most people lack important vitamins such as Calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin C.
- Quit Smoking
The sooner you can quit, the better. You greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer, especially lung cancer. The benefits of quitting smoking begin as quickly as twenty minutes after your last cigarette with your heart rate returning back to a normal level.
- Clean Linens Regularly
Ensuring that you’re sleeping in clean bedding at all times is essential to prevent allergies. Dust mites and other allergens build up in our beds over time. Try to make it a habit to wash and change bedding at least every two weeks.
Dancing is an easy way to get in a great workout. You’re working multiple parts of your body in one session, improving flexibility and boosting your energy.
- Practice Good Hygiene
Brush your teeth twice daily, shower regularly and get into a daily hygiene routine that works for you. Doing this will help you feel refreshed and energized for the day.
Taking time to go on a much-needed vacation helps to greatly reduce stress while you relax and have fun. Vacations allow us to recharge emotionally and mentally, which is something we may slack on in our daily lives.
- Wear Comfy Shoes
Walking in bad shoes can effect more than just your feet—it can also do damage to your ankles, hips, knees and lower back. Finding the right shoes with the proper support can change how the whole body feels overall.
- Avoid Processed Foods
It can become a challenge to stay on track when it comes to snacking, quick meals and convenient, on-the-go breakfasts. Unfortunately, these same items are considered a “processed food” which can be pumped with chemicals and potentially harmful ingredients. Instead, try to focus on fresh produce and whole-grains.
- Workout your Brain
Completing a puzzle or other problem-solving games are excellent ways to promote stronger brain activity. Rather than letting your phone or calculator do the work for you, exercise your brain by doing the math in your head.
- Apply Sunscreen
Make sure to apply it often or as needed to get optimum protection from the harmful rays of the sun. You’ll reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, facial brown spots and even wrinkles as it also slows down premature aging of the skin.
- Don’t Grocery Shop Hungry
Avoid impulse purchases and poor food choices by shopping when you’re not hungry, and make a list of only the things you absolutely need from the store. Stick to the list to ensure you’re following your budget and not buying food that could potentially go uneaten.
- Pay off Debt
Eliminating your debt and reducing bills can bring stress levels down significantly. You will no longer have the financial burden weighing you down, and you can then focus on pursuing other things that previously seemed unachievable.
- Get Out What you Put In
These words-of-wisdom can be applied to almost any aspect in your life; work, home, fitness goals, social life, etc. You will encounter more positivity when you remain positive yourself, and you will see desired results if you dedicate the necessary time and hard work to achieve them.
Switching up a few old habits for some new ones or just trying some of the above tips a few at a time can have a great impact on your health. The changes you want to see may not happen overnight, but you can definitely make them all happen by setting goals, putting your mind to it and starting right now.