Are you looking to improve your physical and mental health? You don’t have to work from a treadmill and subsist on green smoothies. You can put more spring in your step by adopting positive and pleasurable daily habits. Here are nine things that are really good for you — add more of them to life and reap the nearly effortless benefits.
1. Time Off Work
If you want to get ahead, you have to grind hard every day — right? In reality, if you’re going to supercharge your productivity, take a break.
When you work long hours, your brain, like any other muscle, becomes fatigued. You wouldn’t try to do nonstop biceps curls, so don’t punish yourself by remaining in your seat when you get stuck. Instead, get up and take a walk or do some other physical activity. This interruption lets your mind wander and allows the “aha” moment to strike.
Mark Twain once wrote that travel is the death of prejudice. You always learn something new, even if you only drive to the next town.
If you always wanted to swim with the dolphins or dine with a loved one in Paris, why are you still waiting? You can find bargains right now — take advantage of lower fares to cross off bucket list items.
When was the last time that you danced like no one was watching? You can burn calories and improve your brain health at the same time.
Researchers studied dancing compared to several other activities in preventing Alzheimer’s disease risk. Getting your groove on protects your brain the most, so dock that iPhone and boogie down.
Do you turn your ride into an auditorium during rush hour? If not, what’s stopping you? Singing lowers your blood pressure far more effectively than shouting at cars to move it when they have nowhere to go.
5. Herbal Tea
Do you want to lower your heart disease risk? Trade one of your morning cups of joe for herbal tea.
Research indicates that women who drink herbal tea long term enjoy a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke. They’re also 22% less likely to die if they do have one of these ailments.
6. Brushing Your Teeth
Do you polish your pearlies at least twice daily? Doing so can reduce your risk of disease. Plaque and bacteria can enter through bleeding gums and cause anything from clogged arteries to brain inflammation.
7. Kicking Off Your Shoes
Do you wear your shoes in the house? If so, nasty germs and fecal bacteria track all over the rugs where your 2-year-old plays. Put a rack by your door and doff your dog covers when you enter.
Doing good for others ultimately benefits you. The act of helping increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your brain. These neurotransmitters boost feelings of well-being and blast away depression.
While COVID-19 lingers, you might hesitate to hug folks — but safely doing so can benefit your health. Cuddling triggers the release of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter associated with easing stress and inspiring cozy feelings. If you have anxiety, you aren’t melodramatic for wanting someone to hold you — it’s potent medicine.
Get More of These 9 Good-for-You Things in Your Life
You don’t have to train for a marathon or live on kale to get more good-for-you things in your life. The nine tips above will improve your health without making you break a sweat.