The truth is, good health is incredibly complex, and there are lots of tiny tweaks you can make to your daily habits in order to help you live longer, and with more energy, focus, and happiness.
These seven simple lifestyle changes, for example, may seem small, but they can lead to big improvements to your health. Try them now to start thriving 24-7.
7 Lifestyle Changes for Good Health
1. Get fat…in your diet.
No, this is not a license to make fried food a dietary staple (please, please don’t do that). But good fats from foods like avocado, olive oil, fatty fish, and nuts are essential for immune system function, fat burning (really!), feeling full, and glowing skin. In fact, the fear of fat had a lot to do with a long era of carb and sugar diet dominance, which we now know had all kinds of negative health effects. Let’s leave that behind.
2. Get 7–9 hours of sleep every. single. night.
The drawbacks of skimping on sleep are no joke. Consider this: if you’re skipping just an hour and getting six each night, your risk of obesity goes up 23 percent. You need seven to nine every night, even if that means skipping a 6:00-a.m. workout every once in a while. If you have trouble getting to sleep, use calming essential oils, eat sleep-promoting foods, or try learning from your sleep patterns by wearing a tracking watch like the Withings Steel HR. You can also work on creating a better environment for sleep via products like Withings’ Aura, which wakes you up with energizing light and customized music.
3. Drink water like it’s going out of style.
It’s impossible to overstate how important staying hydrated is. Drinking enough water (ideally 64 ounces, or eight eight-ounce glasses per day) will lead to more energy, better skin, and maybe even weight loss.
4. Get up, and get moving.
Yes, vigorous exercise is essential, but heavy lifting for an hour can’t undo the negative effects of sitting for the entire rest of the day. In fact, a recent study found some of exercise’s benefits were negated by prolonged periods of sitting. Invest in a tool that tracks your steps, like the Withings Go to encourage you to move enough throughout the day. Try taking the stairs or taking short walks around your office at the top of every hour.
5. Take a probiotic.
Which supplements you need and don’t need can be super confusing, but science is increasingly pointing to the vast health benefits of a healthy gut, from a better mood to a strong immune system. One easy way to start working on your microbiome is to pop a high-quality probiotic daily.
6. Make time to make love.
Do you really need reasons to jump on this one? Orgasms, it turns out, are good for your brain, immune system, sleep, and more. Friendly reminder: a partner is great, but you don’t need one to reap the health benefits of sexual satisfaction.
7. Read your beauty labels like you read your food labels.
Many women obsess over organic ingredients in their crackers and then slather on creams filled with chemicals linked to increased risk of cancer. Look for natural and organic brands that use simple ingredients that sound like food (coconut oil! lavender!) and watch for these big offending ingredients: phthalates, fragrance, parabens, formaldehyde, and coal tar.