Millennials are usually up to date when it comes to the latest trends. But when it comes to health, they may be at a bit of a disadvantage as compared to their older generations. Studies report that today’s 25-year-olds ought to exercise more and eat less than their 1971 counterparts. Another interesting finding of the study was that an individual in 2008 is heavier than he would’ve been in 1971.1 And according to the researchers, this goes way beyond just exercise and diets. It appears that a lot of it is actually beyond our control, with factors like stress, environmental pollutants, and genetics often being the main offenders.
But with so much on our plates already, how do we manage to stay healthy without further stressing ourselves out? Luckily, there’s no need to panic; here are 6 simple hacks that require practically little to no effort, yet will make staying fit and healthy seem like a breeze!
1. Start Your Day With Water And Lemon
Reach out for a glass of water and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. There are two benefits of making this an essential part of your morning routine. One, it will get your organs going after that long night of rest and will help you shake off the drowsiness. Two – lemon juice, with all its anti-fungal, detoxification, and immune-boosting properties is one of Nature’s best tools for fighting off bacteria, cleansing your system, and keeping your digestion regular. Enough said!
2. Draw On Your Water Bottle/Jug
There are no two ways about this; if you want to be on top of the health game, you have to get your regular 8 glasses or 2 liters of water. Marking up a water bottle or a jug with one-hour intervals and intake amount is a sure shot way to help you stick to your daily water intake each day, even when you’re flooded with work. This also means one thing less off your mental list of reminders.
- Use a marker to draw lines at intervals of 200 ml (a glass of water is about 250 ml).
- Next, write the time besides the marked level. If you’ve made a mistake, spray on a little deodorant and rub it off.
If your water bottle is 1 liter, mark another one in the same way. Keep these bottles where you find yourself spending most of your time, for instance – at your office desk.
Follow this system each day and your body will easily get its much-needed 2 liters by dinner time!
3. Eat Before You Dine Out
Eating at a party, a buffet, or a big dinner can ruin your diet. Fill yourself on one or two cups of raw vegetables before you head out. This will fill your stomach up partially, thus preventing you from completely pigging it out on all that fatty, oily food.
4. Fill Half Your Plate With Non-Starchy Veggies
It can be hard to eat enough vegetables every day. But if you adopt a habit of loading up half of your plate with veggies for every meal, you are pretty much in the clear. This will also keep you from over-eating, as vegetables are very filling.
However, remember that vegetables can be fattening too. For instance, potatoes, navy beans, and corn can be high in carb content and give you way more calories than you may really need. Instead, opt for non-starchy veggies like spinach, carrots, and broccoli. These are not only low in calories but super high in essential nutrients and water!
5. Portion Out Your Snacks And Treats
Few of us manage to stop ourselves from wolfing down an entire bag of snacks. So portion out your snacks in ziplock bags beforehand. Allow yourself to have no more than one bag when you’re in need of a snack. Don’t forget to stash one of these ziplock baggies in your office desk drawer to fight off those occasional mid-day cravings!
6. Try Some Deskercise!
Staying confined to one spot without much movement can ruin your posture and have a damaging impact on your health. This is why you need to find ways to sneak in simple exercises you can do while you’re at your desk. Here’s one to get you started – a simple 3-step exercise to relieve aching leg muscles and strengthen your abs.
- Start by placing your feet flat on the floor. Keep your upper body straight and tall, and hold your ab muscles tight.
- Extend one leg and hold it out straight below your desk until it is in level with your hip.
- Hold for 10 seconds before slowly lowering your leg.
- Repeat 15 times before switching legs.
7. Make Working Out Fun!
Choosing your favorite upbeat songs can help keep your mood strong and your blood pumping for longer while you exercise. Make up a playlist that’s about as long as your workout routine; this way you can have something to look forward to while you work those muscles. Another bonus? You don’t have to keep glancing your way through your workout; you stop when the playlist ends!
If you’re looking for extra fitness motivation, take your dog out for a run! Exercise is essential for the health of your pooch too!
8. Bedtime? Put Away The Electronics!
Computers, laptops, tablets, Kindles, smartphones, and televisions have become a large part of our activities throughout the day. Unfortunately, these are one of the things that are keeping you from getting a night of restful sleep. The blue light emitted by them could wreck the quality of your sleep. This kind of light stops your pineal gland from releasing melatonin, the essential sleep hormone that is released a few hours before bedtime to make you sleepy when you hit the sack.2 3 This is why spending hours watching Netflix right before bedtime is an awfully bad idea and no amount of counting sheep is going to help you sleep when you finally get to the pillow.
Instead, set a rule for yourself, where you ditch all your electronic devices and gadgets at least an hour before you head to bed. If you can’t sleep, try reading a book. Instagram and Facebook can wait until the morning.
|↑1||Brown, Ruth E., Arya M. Sharma, Chris I. Ardern, Pedi Mirdamadi, Paul Mirdamadi, and Jennifer L. Kuk. “Secular differences in the association between caloric intake, macronutrient intake, and physical activity with obesity.” Obesity research & clinical practice 10, no. 3 (2016): 243-255.|
|↑2||Figueiro, Mariana G., Brittany Wood, Barbara Plitnick, and Mark S. Rea. “The impact of light from computer monitors on the melatonin levels in college students.” Biog Amines 25 (2011): 106-116.|
|↑3||Gooley, Joshua J., Kyle Chamberlain, Kurt A. Smith, Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Shantha MW Rajaratnam, Eliza Van Reen, Jamie M. Zeitzer, Charles A. Czeisler, and Steven W. Lockley. “Exposure to room light before bedtime suppresses melatonin onset and shortens melatonin duration in humans.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 96, no. 3 (2010): E463-E472.|