When it comes to your health, there are many factors that play a role in you feeling your best: exercise, diet, relationships, career, and so on. While all of those are important, sometimes the simplest practices have the biggest impact on your physical and mental wellness throughout the day. Here are four things you should make time for every day – you may be surprised by how effective they really are!
1. Start your day with a cup of hot lemon water. This departure from your morning coffee promotes good digestion by alkalizing and cleansing the digestive system, which reduces inflammation and discomfort. Plus, the fresh lemon juice is a great way to get an initial boost of vitamin C after you wake up. The warmth from this simple cup of water can also help relax your body, making your muscles willing and able to get you through the rest of your day.
2. Take a few moments to focus on your breathing. We often neglect how we breathe, but being more mindful about something we do every moment of the day can be quite beneficial. Take five minutes each day to lie down. Place your palms on your lower abdomen over your navel. Inhale to inflate your belly and exhale, drawing your navel towards your spine, letting your stomach rise and fall, rise and fall. This practice allows your breath to come more deeply from your diaphragm, stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system, which quiets the nerves and counters the body’s response to daily stress.
3. Be more mindful about how you eat. Of course being aware of the types of food you choose to consume plays a big role in how you feel, but just like with your breathing, being more present in the act of eating makes a difference too. That means slowing down to really appreciate each bite. Take your time and chew fully before you swallow. Eat with the intention of nourishing yourself and you’ll find that you’ll overeat less and digest your meal more comfortably.
4. Stretch! While exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight and building strength, stretching is extremely beneficial to the connective tissue in your body, as well as your joints and larger muscle groups. Daily life activities, such as sitting in front of a computer all day or driving a car, can lead to tight, stressed muscles. Perform both dynamic (moving) and static (still) stretches, holding each for at least 30 seconds to release tension and increase flexibility.
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Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.