This was originally a guest post on a fabulous personal finance blog: www.beingfrugal.net. Check it out! (I”m MIA because I’m taking my own advice, tip #8 that is!)
1. Take a walk, even for five minutes. Five to ten minutes of walking will help your health. (from the BBC)
2. Skip the sugar at the coffee shop, in your iced tea at lunch, etc. If you can’t go cold turkey, just get one sugar instead of two and slowly step down that way. Too much sugar is bad, so in the instances you can control how much sugar you are getting, regulate it. You can also try alternative sweetners.
3. When you’re feeling a little low, try some Emergence-C. Mixed in with some cool water, Emergence-C not only gives you a little boost of vitamins but at 30 cents a pack it’s cheaper and better for you then nutrient-infused bottled water. Oh and did I mention I haven’t had a major cold in over a year? The statements on the package may not have been evaluated by the FDA but it’s sure working for me!
4. Meditate. I’m trying to get back into this but when I used to meditate with a group in college (which involved me missing my afternoon naptime before one of my lab periods). I always came out of that place feeling like a million bucks. It’s good for you (thanks for backing me up, Psychology Today!) and while it takes some practice, meditating is actually kind of fun. And you don’t have to same Ommm or anything. Really.
5. Make every other beverage water. If you love Diet Coke or coffee or some other liquid vice let yourself have it… but make your next beverage water. A lot of times, when your body feels it needs something like food or caffeine, it’s really just thirsty.
6. Set a timer. Whether it’s something you are avoiding doing (like yoga) or something you do too much of (watching Will and Grace on DVD), set a time limit. Give yourself ten, twenty or thirty minutes. When the timer goes off, you’re done. A lot of times, it’s easy to commit to short spurts of time rather than long ones and the beep that signifies the end holds you accountable.
7. Ask your friends. I was recently reading an article at Xconomy about a social networking site for healthcare. The story in the article is about a guy who has something really wrong with him and goes to doctor after doctor. After asking around, his friend suggests he may have Lyme Disease, and sure enough… Our friends are not only powerful in that stress-relieving, increase-your-lifespan kind of way but can also help you diagnose medical problems. Sure you can go online but asking your friends, who know the area you live in as well as some of your history, may be more helpful for your health than you think.
8. Take your vacation, or at least your break. Yes, it’s tempting to work through the day, eating at your desk and getting up only to get that page off the printer. Not good, folks. Not healthy either. While in the US by law you aren’t entitled to a break, no doubt your job offers them. Take it! Go for a walk, sit and read a magazine, do something else for 5-15 minutes. And taking a vacation is even healthier.
9. Set a health fitness goal. Whether you want to be able to do 100 pushups (the Money Life nework is doing the pushup challenge) or go vegetarian by September, a goal keeps you honest and gives you a reason to get off the couch. My goal is two inches from around my waist by the end of the summer. Think measurable and attainable.
Small steps, yes but whether you have no health insurance or the best plan available, these actions give some power and accountability back to you. Because if your health isn’t worth a dollar and a little effort, I’m not sure what is. To your health!