If you could make your life healthier by doing one small thing in the next 5 minutes or the next hour, why wouldn't you? You don't have time to exercise, watching what you eat is a pain in the tush and your kids prevent you from getting 7 hours of quality sleep a night. Does that sound like you? While all of those answers fall under the 'lamest excuses in the book' category, I'm going to give you a few, fast tips on how to make your life healthier RIGHT now…and because it's 2014 and I'm part of the millennial generation, I've included hastags for your amusement.
1. Wash your linens. Dust mites are a major allergy trigger and they love to hang out in your bed. Zap 'em by laundering sheets and pillowcases every week in hot water. We'd all do well to follow through on this one. I'm as guilty as the next college kid of only washing my sheets when absolutely necessary, but how much better would it feel to drool on fresh linens at night? #nothingfeelsbetterthancleansheets
2. Fly right. For those of you who travel, I'm sure you've heard that airplanes are one of the germiest places. Just for a second, think about how many people cough, sneeze, barf (sorry, but true) and use that teeny tiny little bathroom in the confined space of a plane. Now imagine your face smooshed up against the seat that hundreds of thousands of other people have sat on as you try to catch a few zzz's before landing. yeahhhh. Next time you fly, turn on your air vent and angle it so it blows filtered air down in front of your face— it will create a little bit of a barrier to keep the germs going around the cabin from getting into your nose and mouth. #passmeafacemaskplease
3. Do 25 jumping jacks. Right now. No joke. Moving your body acts as a huge stress reliever and helps put you in a more positive mood. The worst that can happen is you do 25 jacks and still feel like crap. Either way, you'll be better off for it, but I'd be willing to bed you feel a little bit better and brighter. #moveitorloseit
4. Power down. How many times have you been in that stage of almost-but-not-quite-asleep when your phone vibrates or dings with an incoming text message? I know I am guilty as charged, and while sometimes the person on the other end of the telephone line might be worth a few minutes of sleeplessness, usually it's something that can wait until morning. Power your phone off or at the very least silence it during bedtime hours so as not to disturb your precious REM sleep cycles. #sweetdreams
5. Go commando. yup. I seriously just said that. Going without underpants, even if just at night reduces bacteria growth that could otherwise cause infection. This is particularly important if you're prone to UTI's. #ditchyourpanties
6. Plan to be prepared. Keep a card with all essential medical information (allergies, medications, etc.) in your wallet at all times. This is one of those things that seems superfluous until you actually need it. Better to be over prepared then underprepared in the case of an emergency. #savealife
7. Ditch the dish sponge. Sponges are the dirtiest thing in your house. THE dirtiest. As in, nothing is grosser and yet you wipe down your kitchen counters and eat food off of them after using that germ-invested thing. ew. Once a week throw your sponge into the dishwasher or microwave on high for 30 seconds to kill off any potential illness-causing bugs. #papertowelsalldayeveryday #donthate #Irecycle
8. Do a skin check. This particular topic is near and dear to my heart. Early detection saved my life. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer among women and the key to treatment is early detection. Check yourself out! Are there any changing or unusual spots? Asymmetrical freckles or moles? If so, or if you have a family history of skin cancer, it's a good idea to get checked out by a dermatologist on a yearly basis. #cancersucks
9. Say yes to puppy videos. Pets are a proven stress buster, but I'm sure you knew that. Go cuddle your pup or at the very least give yourself permission to watch a few funny cat videos. #mansbestfriend
10. Go coocoo for cocoa. No, I'm not talking about those little chocolatey balls of corn oil and sugar. The real, cocoa from the bean stuff. Research shows that even a little bit of chocolate can improve mood. Try adding a teaspoon of cocoa to your oatmeal or budget for a square of dark chocolate after dinner each night. #happinesshappensinmoderation
11. Get outside! Fresh air is full of feel-good negative ions, which boosts oxygen flow to the brain. If you can combine being outdoors with exercise (even just a brisk walk) that's even better as activity boosts endorphins and energy. Just make sure you're staying coated in SPF and hydrated with H2O. #getupandgetout
Eat well. Live well. Be well.