I partnered with the Arizona Department of Health Services to share easy ways that I am improving my health right now. None of my ideas are complicated or revolutionary but are gentle reminders of what everyone can do to improve their own health. Plus I’m sharing examples on how I’m making it happen for me!
1. TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN
Peter is so diligent about taking a multivitamin each day and it’s rubbed off on me. I know that taking a multivitamin with folic acid is a great way for me to get the vitamins and minerals that I might be falling short of in my diet. A lot of made-for-women multivitamins include folic acid because it helps prevent birth defects before you even know you’re pregnant. Personally, we are done having kids but technically pregnancy is still possible, so the folic acid still makes sense to me. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard about “surprise” babies. Plus folic acid makes your hair shine, nails grow, and skin glow! Hello Beautiful! Head over to the Arizona Department of Health Services Power Me A2Z website to learn more about why women should take a multivitamin and if you’re local, request a free PowerPack that has a 3-month supply of multivitamins and great health information (Arizona women ages 18-45 are eligible).
2. GET MORE SLEEP
Everyone knows getting enough sleep is essential to staying healthy, but often, knowing and doing are two totally different things. It’s even harder for parents who have little ones to wrangle to bed each night. It’s hard to keep our needs prioritized. What I’m trying to do is go to bed just 10 minutes earlier than usual. It’s a small enough number that I don’t seem to notice it much but my plan is to slowly move up my bedtime until I can get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night.
3. EAT HEALTHY FOODS
I’m not giving up cupcakes anytime soon but that doesn’t mean I can’t get more healthy foods in my belly! Eating an apple every day, usually as a morning snack, is an easy way for me to eat less junk food. The thought process here is if I’m eating an apple, I’m not hunting in the cupboard for junk food. I’d like to kick that healthy snack habit up a notch and have a go-to veggie snack every day as well. I find carrots easy to eat with a fat-free sour cream ranch dip; however, I’d love to find a great veggie that I can eat raw without dip.
4. DRINK ENOUGH WATER
I know I don’t drink enough water but I am working on that. The general recommendation for women is 2.7 liters of water each day. My trick is to drink a full glass of water before each meal. It helps keep me hydrated and fills me up a bit so I don’t overeat. I also try to follow diet soda with a glass of water. By the way, if you dislike the taste of plain water, try fruit infused water instead.
5. MOVE MORE
How much exercise you need really varies by your personal health status, your end goal and, of course, your health care provider’s recommendation. However, I think it’s safe to say everyone can benefit by moving more, whether it’s 25 minutes a day or 60 minutes three times a week, just move more. I know I definitely need to move more on a daily basis. I think the best way to find time to move more is to schedule 15-minute chunks of time into your day to take a brisk walk. I also like to park further away from the front of the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator and use my treadmill desk while surfing the internet.
6. UNPLUG MORE
Unplugging is so hard to do but is really important to reducing stress and improving sleep at night. This is the area that I need the most help with because I tend to work in the evenings after the kids go to bed. Scheduling a time to unplug each night is one way to make this happen, but I also love the idea of unplugging for a whole weekend too.
7. REDUCE STRESS
Because it can be so hard to unplug from electronics, my favorite relaxation method is taking a hot bath. Like every night. I have a friend that swears the scent of lavender helps her decompress. A couple more ideas are massages (which I do not splurge on enough) and, of course, yoga classes!