7 Quick and Simple Ways to Get Healthier ...

Maybe it is that New Year's is right around the corner, but December is always a time when I start to think on ways to get healthier. Sure, this time of year does come with copious amounts of sugar in the form of cookies, hot cocoa, candy canes, and pretty much any other sweet treat imaginable, but that does not mean we can't do things for health as well. There are some simple ways to get healthier where we can have our cake and eat it and not feel guilty too! Here are some quick and simple tips to keeping our health in check this season and the whole year long.

1. Walk

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Doctors recommend walking between 10,000 and 12,000 steps per day. This is one of the simplest ways to get healthier considering that most of us are walking some amount already. If you are needing to add some extra steps to your schedule, try walking around your office a few times per day (my cousin told me this trick!), parking farther out in the parking lot, or taking your pet on a walk or two extra a day. For those that are super serious about it, I would recommend getting a pedometer like the Fitbit or Jawbone Up - these will keep track of steps, stairs climbed and calories used.

2. Pet Your Pet

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Did you know that having a pet increases your life expectancy? It does! Pets have a natural ability to relieve our stress, therefore reducing the risks of stress related issues such as heart attacks. By giving your pet a little extra love each day you will be benefiting it and yourself more than you know. Don't have a pet? Plants also help reduce stress and are a touch less maintenance for those on the go.

3. Water

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It is no great surprise that our bodies need water. Unfortunately, most of us are not getting the required amount per day. For the next three to four weeks, try drinking ten glasses of water per day. This will decrease bloating, the amount of toxins in the body, and increase energy levels. Habits are formed after constant application for 21-days; by the end of the three weeks, drinking that much water every day will be second nature!

4. Vitamins

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Let's face it, no matter how healthy and organic we are eating, our food is not enough on a nutritional level. Increase your energy, health, happy disposition, skin clarity, and immunity by taking a daily vitamin. I would highly recommend finding one that is 100% organic that is transparent about where there products come from. Finding a great multivitamin can be the difference between wasting your money and embittering your health.

5. Reduce Red Meat

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This one may upset a few people out there, my meat and potatoes loving grandmother included. But, it is important. Red meat is directly related to coronary heart failure, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. To reduce your health risks, limit the red meat you eat to 11 oz or less per week. Sure, this means that red meat will not be a dinner regular, but 11 oz will get you a pretty big steak one time a week!

6. Limit to-Go Meals

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Our household did this a few weeks ago and the change after only a week was incredible. I felt more energetic, got hungry less, and lost weight! When we eat out we tend to eat less healthy than even some of the least healthy meals we make at home. Restaurants add tons of fats, salts, and sugars to most foods - especially those that do counter service, drive thru, or to-go. If eating in is not an option, try to find the nutritional facts before ordering.

7. Be Happy

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This can be easier said than done at times, but those with a happy disposition tend to live longer, healthier lives. Thinking positive in negative situations can also help us problem solve better and stress less. When we stress, we release adrenaline into our system. Adrenaline is great and all for near death situations, but it stops the metabolic process. This means that the more we stress the more our bodies will store those unneeded calories away.

There are plenty of simple ways to live a healthier life without an extreme daily effort. These are some of my favorite tips for living healthier since they are all quite simple and very enjoyable! What are some of your tips for living healthier?

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