5 Small Changes to Live Healthier and Happier Pt. 2
***Disclaimer so nobody comes for me: I am not a doctor or medical professional. I’m just a girl sharing tips that I researched and I encourage all of you to do your own research or consult a doctor before trying anything that may affect your health and wellbeing. Now onto the blog post!
- Wear sunscreen every single day
Skin damage is real, and wearing sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to prevent it (source: The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine). Here’s what I look for in a sunscreen: a broad spectrum sunscreen so it protects against UVA and UVB rays. I also choose a sunscreen that’s unscented and has either zinc oxide or titanium oxide because I personally think mineral (aka physical) sunscreens work better than chemical sunscreens, but any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen!
I feel like this article from NBC News does a better job explaining the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens than I can, so check it out if you’re not sure!
2) Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is incredible because it functions similar to a hormone in our bodies (Source: Mayo Clinic).
“That’s because your body can only absorb calcium, the primary component of bone, when vitamin D is present. Vitamin D also regulates many other cellular functions in your body. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties support immune health, muscle function and brain cell activity.” –Mayo Clinic
And that’s why it’s SO important to make sure you’re helping your body out by getting enough Vitamin D! Vitamin D is found in different foods like mushrooms and egg yolks, but one of the easiest ways to get this vitamin is from the sun.
3) Switch from plastic to glass Tupperware
Many plastics contain chemicals that are harmful to our bodies. They can severely disrupt our endocrine system, a.k.a. our hormone system by mimicking and interfering with our hormones, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. A common chemical you may have heard of is BPA, thanks to many water bottles now boasting “BPA free” on their labels. But BPA is just one of the many chemicals in plastic that can harm our health. A study done by the Endocrine Society in 2020 found that
“One hundred and forty four chemicals or chemical groups known to be hazardous to human health are actively used in plastics for functions varying from antimicrobial activity to colorants, flame retardants, solvents, UV-stabilizers, and plasticizers.” –Endocrine Society
Glass doesn’t contain BPA and it doesn’t leak microplastics into your food when you microwave it. And if you can’t make the switch right away from plastic to glass, try your best to not microwave your food in plastic containers.
4) Eat the rainbow
Fruits and veggies contain different phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By eating different colors at each meal, you’re getting a variety of so many health benefits!
5) Find little ways to get more steps in
Walking has a ton of benefits besides keeping a slim waist. According to Mayo Clinic, walking can help you:
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve muscle endurance
- Increase energy levels
- Improve your mood, cognition, memory and sleep
- Improve your balance and coordination
- Strengthen immune system
- Reduce stress and tension
If I didn’t know better I’d think it was a super drug! I know some people are too busy to go on daily walks, so here’s some ideas I came up with to add more walking into your day:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- If you have time, take the stairs twice. Just turn around and do it again! It might feel weird at first but after a while you won’t even think twice!
- Park further away in parking lots
- Skip the drive through and go inside
- If you get somewhere early, take a walk around instead of sitting in your car
- Spend 5 minutes of your lunch break walking around
- Take your phone calls walking instead of sitting down
- Try a standing desk or stand for a portion of each hour you’re working at a desk
- Watch your shows or read your books on the elliptical (please only do it if you’re positive it won’t make you fall down- speaking from one very embarrassing experience at the gym haha)
And there you go! Five more small steps I hope you can make for your health. I completely believe that small changes add up, and these are some tiny ones that I hope make a big difference for you. Hope to see you back here next week for part three (: Thanks for reading along friends, hope you’re all having a happy and healthy week!