5 Simple Habits That Will Improve Your Health... Starting Now!

When you vow to improve your health you don't have to instantly become a gym-addict or stop eating everything you love. It really comes down to incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine. Here are five habits that'll set you off on a new healthy path.

1) Drink More Water

Drinking water will improve your health for so many reasons! For one, if you're trying to lose weight then it's a lot easier if you drink water: (a) because it'll stop you drinking sugary, calorie-laden drinks and (b) because we often mistake dehydration for hunger, causing us to overeat.

Experts recommend that you should be drinking eight glasses of water a day. This may sound difficult, but it really isn't. Start by getting into the habit of drinking a full glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning. It'll help you feel more awake and more hydrated after the long night's sleep. And it'll get you off on the right foot for drinking enough water throughout the day.

2) Get Enough Sleep

These days, very few of us actually get the sleep we need. When you don't get enough sleep, you're more prone to stress, unhealthy snacking, and turning to caffeine to keep you alert! This really isn't good for your health.

We're all different when it comes to how many hours of sleep we need each night. Adults need less and less sleep the older they get. The magic number for you probably lies somewhere in between seven and ten hours a night. Experts also agree that having a routine is crucial when it comes to getting enough sleep. Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Then, if it only happens every now and again, you won't feel so many negative effects of a late night.

3) Walk More

If you really want to improve your health then start walking every day. A walk doesn't just help you get more exercise, it's also good for the soul! When you walk you're getting fresh air and spending time away from the usual stresses of everyday life. Walking gives you time to think, and time to clear your head of anything that's bothering you.

There are a few ways to get more walks into your daily routine. One idea is to go for a 30 minute walk on your lunch break each day. Or you could start walking short distances (under 2 miles) where you'd normally drive. You could even start taking stairs instead of elevators. Anything that boosts the physical activity you're doing each day will help!

4) Stretch

Try starting each day with a real stretching session. Stretching feels good, and is an excellent way to wake yourself up in the morning by getting your blood flowing. The Mayo Clinic states that stretching can also help to improve your athletic ability and reduce the risk of injury when you exercise. You could take this one step further and incorporate yoga stretches into your routine. You'll find that your posture improves, you feel more healthy, and focusing becomes easier.

5) Relax

No matter how much you exercise or watch your diet, you won't truly improve your health until you learn how to relax! Getting stressed, anxious and angry about things only lowers your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to a whole range of health complications (both physical and mental). Learn to take some time for you. Try getting regular massages, attending a yoga class, learning how to meditate, or unwinding with regular relaxing baths!

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