We all want to be a little bit healthier, but packed schedules can make it difficult to achieve. Who has time to cook a well-balanced meal at home when you're always busy? Being healthy requires so much more than drinking Diet Coke instead of regular or going for a light jog once a week; it has to be a complete change in lifestyle. While that may sound daunting, it's actually not so bad, but it requires self discipline, perseverance, and knowledge. These easy health hacks are convenient ways to stay healthier and happier.
Take a look. From skin regimes to exercising tips, we've put together a slew of ways to make living a healthy lifestyle just a little bit easier. Vote up which tips are the most helpful, and start transforming yourself into a healthier person.
Smell Your Coffee Before Sipping
Coffee is the most widely consumed beverage worldwide. Scientists have conducted studies investigating coffee's beneficial and adverse health effects, such as its powerful antioxidants, lowered risk of Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's, and the possible side effects of too much caffeine. Now, researchers are studying coffee's aroma.
Published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, research suggests that the scent of coffee has a placebo effect, providing a cognitive boost for analytical tasks and an expectation for better performance. So, take a moment to get a whiff of your cuppa joe to reduce stress and gain a cognitive boost.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: “Olfaction is one of our most powerful senses. It's not just that the coffee-like scent helped people perform better on analytical tasks, which was already interesting. But they also thought they would do better, and we demonstrated that this expectation was at least partly responsible for their improved performance," says study author Adriana Madzharov from New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology School of Business.Is this good advice?
Park Far Away From Your Destination
Walking daily can have a positive impact on health. Regular brisk walking has been shown to help people maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage heart disease and high blood pressure, strengthen bones and muscles, affect mood, and improve balance and coordination. So, instead of finding a parking spot in the front row at the grocery store, drive to a spot farther away. It'll give you a small boost of exercise as you make the effort to squeeze a few extra steps into your day. The payoff: The practice will help burn calories and boost energy.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: "Any activity is better than no activity," says Michelle Barth, weight management expert and registered dietitian.Is this good advice?
Order Half-Portions At Restaurants
Eating too much food can cause weight gain, increased blood pressure, and diabetes. Restaurants are known for serving exceptionally large portions. In fact, on average, restaurant serving sizes are about 2.5 times larger than standard serving sizes. If eating out is your weekly routine, try asking for a half portion or share a dish. It'll save you unwanted calories and help prevent overeating.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: “I recommend all of my clients ask for half-portions of their food. It’s instant portion control. A lot of restaurants think that people want to get their money’s worth, so they give them big portions of food. If you ask for half of a portion, you can clean your plate without feeling like you ate too much," says dietitian Amy Shapiro.Is this good advice?
Wash Your Pillowcases Frequently
After a long day of work, there's nothing more appealing than hitting the sack for some shuteye. However, experts say the dirt, oil, and bacteria from your skin and hair collect in pillowcases, giving you a higher chance of breaking out in the morning. Wash them once a week, and use pillowcases made from natural fibers, such as cotton.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: “Change the case at least once a week and wash the actual pillow every three months,” says Candida Lawson, an aesthetician and skin therapist. Lawson adds that pillowcases made with hypoallergenic materials are “more gentle on the skin and can prevent inflammation and skin reactions.”Is this good advice?