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by Mary Mulroney –  Source 

I think everyone in one way or another wants to improve their health. Sometimes, making the changes needed to be healthier can be overwhelming, but there are some really basic changes you can make every day to improve your health. Try not to get caught up in the huge, lifestyle changes that require a lot of work to change your health. Sometimes small and simple can make the most impact. Here are 5 really easy changes that you can start making today to make a healthier you.

1. Drink More Water

This one is pretty obvious, right? This is a recommendation you probably see on EVERY list about being healthier, and for good reason. Water is so essential to our health! It’s something you do not want to skip out on. Not only is water essential for our body to function, but you might find that by drinking more water, you’ll eat less too, because you’ll be more full. Sometimes, when we feel hungry, our body is actually dehydrated and we misinterpret those signals to mean that we need to eat something instead of hydrate. There are many recommendations about how much water you should drink every day, but a good starting point is drinking half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water every day.

2. Eat More Protein

Did you know that most people don’t eat enough protein every day? Sneaking more protein into your diet is so much easier than you think. Years ago when I would grab a snack I would reach for carbs like crackers, chips, granola bars, etc. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t giving my body enough protein. Now, I pack protein in every time I eat a meal and snack. I find other foods besides meat and chicken that have protein in them such as string cheese, turkey pepperoni, greek yogurt, rice cakes with peanut butter on top, protein bars, protein shakes, etc. You’ll find that by eating more protein you’ll stay more full throughout the day and your body will be more properly fueled to not only have energy, but to build muscle, as well.

3. Ditch the Soda

Cutting soda out of your life can be hard, especially if you’re cutting it out cold turkey. But now a days there are so many great alternatives to those sugary sodas. Sparkling water drinks such as La Croix, AHA, and Olipop are just a few examples that can actually be quite delicious if you find the right flavor you love. There are even healthy soda substitutes like Zevia sodas that actually taste very similar to Cola drinks. Having these drinks gives you the feeling that you’re drinking soda without putting all the harmful ingredients in your body. If the sparkling sodas don’t fit your fancy, try putting some flavor enhancers in them to give them more flavor and taste better. Lime, lemon, Crystal Light, Mio flavor drops, are all good options.

4. Get Proper Sleep

It’s no secret that getting enough sleep makes a big difference in your health and happiness. When you don’t get enough sleep at night, you’re more likely to be cranky and have less self control throughout the day when it comes to other choices you make in regards to your health. You might have less self control and less motivation to make yourself a healthy meal or snack. It’s definitely easier to grab a bag of chips to snack on instead of cutting up an apple and serving yourself some cottage cheese on the side. When you’re tired, you’re also less likely to make it to the gym because you would rather lay down and relax than exert energy.

5. Move Your Body

Moving your body does not mean you have to do extremely difficult workouts. It can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking around your neighborhood while enjoying the sunset, or leisurely riding your bike. You could also try taking up a new hobby that interests you and requires you to move your body such as surfing, karate, Tai Chi, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, etc. Odds are you’re more likely to move your body if it’s something that you really love and enjoy, so whatever you decide, make sure you have fun while doing it. 

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