5 Simple Ways to Get Healthier in 2011

It’s a resolution that rings in the minds and hearts of so many on New Year’s Day: Get healthy. This resolution makes its appearance year after year, in a variety of forms, from banishing sweets to eating more vegetables.

Not everyone has to overhaul their life to find a healthier lifestyle. Anyone can find their way to a healthier self just by making a few simple changes in their daily routines.

Drink More Water

You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true. Drinking more water really works wonders. From flushing out toxins to hydrating the skin, water benefits practically every area and function of the human body. For what it’s worth, I think I have even heard Oprah say that when she has a headache, she drinks a glass of water and it often alleviates the discomfort. If water is too boring for you, add a slice or two of fresh citrus fruit.

Bypass Fast Food

We’ve all heard the warnings about fast food. Everything from the oil that’s used to cook the food being unhealthy to the fact that many items contain monosodium glutamate (MSG). The bottom line is, fast food isn’t healthy – that isn’t news to anyone. The only surefire way to really know what you are eating and how it is prepared is to cook your meals at home. Instead of reaching for a hamburger combo with fries and a drink, consider throwing together a turkey, lettuce and tomato sandwich wrap with a piece of fruit and string cheese. Preparing meals does not have to be complicated and can make a huge impact on your health.

Move More

Elevators certainly have their place in the world and are a blessing when you have your hands full and are faced with flights of stairs. However, on a regular day when you aren’t juggling any groceries or paperwork, why not take the stairs? Climbing the stairs will get your blood flowing and burn a few extra calories. Another way to incorporate some movement into your day is to walk. Instead of nabbing the closest parking spot, purposely park at the rear of the lot so you are forced to take some extra steps. During lunch breaks, take a walk around your workplace or neighborhood. A little physical activity goes a long way.

Try Home Remedies

It’s tempting to rush right to the doctor when we have a sore throat, congestion or a runny nose.. No one enjoys being sick. Some familiar symptoms often point to the common cold that will usually dissipate on its own, over time. It is important not to overload on the antibiotics or take them unnecessarily. Research has shown that when antibiotics are overused, many humans begin to develop a resistance and then the antibiotics no longer work as they should. Instead of running for a prescription, give some simple homeopathic remedies a try.

For example, if you have a frequent cough and/or congestion, add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of honey to a cup of warm water. Stir it up and drink it down. This concoction may not taste like a million bucks, but it is soothing and can open up congestion so you can at least try to feel like a million bucks.

Find Peace

Physical health is not the only component to overall well-being. Mental health is a vital part of wellness. Work, child-rearing and other responsibilities can be demanding and it’s important to devote time to activities that promote relaxation and tranquility. For some, daily exercise or jogging provides them with a time to clear their minds. Others may invest time in a hobby or a simple nap. Downtime is important. It’s a chance to collect our thoughts and recharge our batteries. Find peace in whatever makes you happy and you will be one step closer to a healthier you.

Let the year ahead carry you into your healthiest lifestyle, yet. Just a few simple changes can make the most incredible difference.

Heather is a freelance writer and the resident blogger for collegescholarships.org, an informational website offering tips about college grants for women.

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