We’ve all done it at some point: resolved to achieve better health. Maybe it was New Year’s, or the morning after a late night out. Maybe it was an athletic goal or a goal meant to make you feel better in your clothes.
Still, those resolutions are hard to keep, and many of us find ourselves disappointed later. What’s more, losing weight doesn't always mean being healthy.
If you ask me, the reason so many people struggle to improve their health is that it seems complex. Instead of breaking it down into simple steps, most of us think we have to eat the whole elephant at once.
The result is overwhelm and, eventually, defeat.
In this post, we’re going to take a different approach. We’ll break down a few simple habits you can use to achieve better health and improve your quality of life.
Let’s dive in.
5 Easy, Achievable Steps to Better Health
No matter what your health and fitness goals may be, these steps can help you look and feel better each day:
1. Reduce your sugar intake
Today, the average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar each year. That breaks down to about 3 pounds of sugar each week.
And while we all enjoy a sweet treat on occasion, eating too much sugar can lead to a variety of dangerous health effects, including inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
To combat this, focus on decreasing your sugar intake. Cut out sugary snacks and drinks and dress up your daily must-haves (like that morning cup of coffee) with health-friendly, sugar-free alternatives. 5 Sparrow’s complete lineup of Stevia-sweetened coffee creamers and drink mixes offers something for everyone and is a great way to cut sugar from your daily diet, without sacrificing taste.
2. Prioritize nutrition
Think of a car‘s engine: it’s a mechanical system that needs certain fuels (oil, gas, etc.) to run. Your body is similar. Each day we need calories and water to power our daily activities.
How you get those calories, though, impacts how good you feel, and not all calories are created equal. Instead of reaching for junk foods packed full of additives and preservatives, opt for whole foods that help support your body’s daily activities.
Fruits, vegetables, and grains will give you energy and help you feel great without crashing all day long. When it comes to choosing foods to put in your body, focus on fuel rather than calories.
3. Move more
If you want better health, moving more is one of the best things you can do. If you’ve never been into daily exercise, don't fear.
Moving more doesn’t mean you have to join a CrossFit gym or become an ultra-marathoner.
Instead, it could just mean walking the two blocks to the store instead of driving, choosing to take the stairs, or adding an extra yoga class with friends to your weekly schedule.
Right now, a growing body of research shows that extended periods of sitting can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems and heart disease, as well as obesity.
To combat this, focus on moving more. Find an option you enjoy (like walking to work instead of driving, or taking a stroll around the park during your lunch break) and incorporate it into your daily routine. Combined with lifestyle changes, this is a great way to achieve better health.
4. Drink more water
Drinking more water has a massive impact on your health. The human body is about 60% water, and drinking enough fluids each day keeps your body running like a well-oiled machine. Experts recommend consuming 64 to 100 oz a day for optimal health.
Here are a few ways to boost your daily water intake:
- Get a cute water bottle that helps you measure your daily water intake.
- Flavor your water with slices of lemon or cucumber, or muddled raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries.
- Get into the habit of drinking a glass of water before you sit down to eat.
- Drink a glass of water before you go to sleep each night, and immediately upon waking.
- Consume high-hydration foods like watermelon, peaches, cantaloupe, oranges, cucumber, and lettuce.
Remember that not all drinks are created equal. While fruit juice will hydrate you, coffee is a diuretic that will dehydrate you. This doesn't mean you have to ditch your daily cup of Joe, only that you should balance coffee intake with high-hydration foods and drinks.
Finally, if you want to add an extra kick to your hydration, give it a boost with electrolytes. We love using Hammer Nutrition products, a local company with an extensive lineup.
5. Celebrate the small wins
Better health is both mental and physical. As you improve your health, make sure to take a moment to celebrate your wins.
Went for a long walk today? Sit in the sun for a second and be grateful for a body that moves. Went a week without sugar?
Celebrate with a delicious sugar-free smoothie or frappe. While everyone does these things a bit differently, keeping yourself motivated to keep striving is essential, and critical to helping you stay on track.
If you struggle to stay accountable, consider investing in a journal or tracking app. This will help you keep tabs on the progress you’re making, see how far you’ve come, and motivate you to keep achieving each day. Alternatively, telling a friend about your health goals is an excellent choice, and can help better health feel like more fun.
Better Health is Just Around the Corner
Achieving better health doesn’t have to feel impossible. While the goal is lofty, the steps to get there are simple: reduce sugar intake, eat whole (rather than processed) foods, move your body more frequently, drink more water, and take time to celebrate your small wins.
When you weave all these things together, you’ll start to notice changes in your body, mind, and spirit.
No matter where you are on the journey to achieve better health, 5 Sparrows is here for you. Our lineup of delicious, sugar-free coffee creamers, drink mixes, and smoothie bases is an excellent way to treat yourself to a tasty treat without smashing your health goals or spiking your blood sugar.
Ready to learn more? Shop our selection today.