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  • Writer's pictureHappiness in Handfulls

A HandFULL of Health

Originally Published: Aug 20, 2014

Counting calories? Watching your salts/fats/carbs? Exercising like crazy/not enough? Worried about your figure? Skipping meals? Afraid to go to the doctor?

Do you have a health phobia, or are you a health nut?

I am conscious of my health and try to take the best actions for me, but I am not a health nut, nor am I scared of it. I definitely enjoy the feeling of eating a french fry and I am definitely a fan of apple pie. But... being healthy is not ALL about these things we are constantly reminded of. There are things you can change without changing just your diet or your exercise. These things don't have to take up much time either, because they can be achieved in what spare time you do have. Imagine you 1 week from now, implementing some healthy habits. Imagine how good you will feel. I can see it now, healthy you is happy.

8 Ways to Be a Healthier You

1. Keep a daily journal or planner. This journal will end up being ears that don't talk back and paper that you don't need to be embarrassed by. You can tell whatever you would like to the pages and they will always be there for you to flip the page to write some more. My peers often tell me I am very put together and strong. Well, this has to do with my journal. Once I write about a frustration or a worry, it is lessened, and eventually overcome. Once I write about a success or feeling of accomplishment, it can be future referenced in times of need.

2. Get some good sleep. They say that a phone screen can decrease your quality of sleep dramatically. This is due to the brightness of the light which doesn't allow your brain to realize that it is dark outside. In turn, it takes longer to fall asleep because your body is delayed in producing those hormones that make you sleepy. I have had trouble with this one. Recently being out of college, college students sleep weird hours and are always on their phones. I have learned to go to my room 30 minutes before I would want to go to sleep, put my phone on the charger and then go do the remainder of my activities I still want to accomplish. Whether it is completely mental or actually proven, I have felt more awake and ready to start the morning when I put my phone down early.

3. Look out the window. There are so many beautiful things outside that you could miss. Take a look at the trees, at the animals, even at the passing cars. This time of reflection and relaxation will help your stress levels and will motivate you to be your best.

4. Eat vegetables. I KNOW. I said you didn't have to change your diet, but I promise if you have at least 2 types of vegetables a day you will feel more clean and you will feel as if your body gets rid of toxins quicker. I usually eat 2 vegetables at dinner to knock them both out at the same time, but you can vary them however you would like. Replacing a carbohydrate meal with a veggie meal will drastically lower calorie count and will make you feel like you have more energy.

5. Find a friend to "get healthy" with. Whether it is a family member, friend, or co-worker, you will have someone to bounce ideas off of and someone who keeps you motivated. You never know, this could be life changing for them. You never know who just wants to change with help. You could be their inspiration!

6. Pick a 15 minute exercise routine. Come on, everyone has 15 minutes right? If you have a smartphone you can download Nike Training Club, which has a variety of 15 minute-45 minute exercises that you can customize to your level and intensity. Otherwise, you can never go wrong with good ole' push-ups and sit-ups. My college soccer coach did these for his daily exercise.

7. Drink water. So... there is this thing called the 4 Week Water Challenge... I did it, just to try it. And wow, the results were unbelievable! The challenge requires that you drink 2 liters of water a day, for 4 weeks. At the beginning I was having to use the restroom quite a bit, but after a few days, my body adjusted.  After 2 weeks, I started to notice dramatic changes in my appearance. My eyes were less puffy, my skin was clearer, and my posture was stronger. After four weeks, my food cravings had lessened, I was able to digest foods easier, and I was almost never bloated. So, the four week challenge turned into the 8 week challenge and the results are still present. Who knew water could do so much...? (note: soda reverses this process)

8. Listen to music. If you know me, you may have caught me jamming out to my favorite song, or dancing with my ear phones in. I love music. The beat and the lyrics, they are so motivating. Whether you have time to listen to music in the car, or on your way to class, or even in the shower, it is worth every beat. Make a playlist, listen to one song over and over again, and have fun.

I have learned that there is no way to go back in time, at least as of now. There is no way to change your family history or adjust problems or an intolerance you may have. But time, there is time to change how you will live today and how you will thrive tomorrow. Knowledge is key, and then implementation is second. If you have read this far, I know you want to be better. You want to be better for all the things in your life you have worked so hard for. Those things, those people, they want you to be a better you, also.

KNOW the healthy way. GO the healthy way. SHOW the healthy way.

A healthy you is a better you. Better you is a happy you.

It is never a question of can you, it is WILL YOU?

-Happiness in Handfulls

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