Effortless Health Hacks
Living your healthiest life can be a lot of work. There is a good amount of planning and effort that goes into the classic healthy living advice: hours of exercise, meal planning, going to yoga, cooking, meditating. It’s a lifestyle! One that many of us choose because health is important to us, but it’s not effortless.
Here are three health hacks to add to your routine that you can sit (or nap!) through to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle with almost no effort.
Lie down for a power nap.
Not getting enough sleep can have a negative trickle down effect on the rest of your day. Taking a quick power nap can work magic on your energy levels. Ten minutes of shut eye or even just focusing on yoga breathing for a few minutes will leave you rejuvenated. (Of course, getting enough sleep at night is the best way to achieve optimal rest.)
I have my lowest point of the day energy wise around 4pm. I don’t always get to rest then because the kids are home, but sometimes I proactively lie down right before I have to go pick them up from school. The quiet keeps me grounded before the chaos!
Take a probiotic with water.
You simply take a pill and those billions of good bacteria do all the heavy lifting for you in your gut to support your healthiest digestive tract and immune system. The health benefits of probiotics have been studied extensively. From mental health to heart health and of course the health of your you-know-what in the toilet, probiotics keep the bacteria in your gut on the happy side of balance.
Better yet, take your probiotic with lots of water! Having a water bottle within reach on the day to day will help you reach the glasses of water needed for optimal nutrition. A few sips every 20 minutes and you’ll effortlessly reach your goal! Add some mint or lemon to brighten up the flavor.
This is my favorite water bottle. It’s stainless, thermal, and the perfect size for a car cup holder in the 24 ounce size. I also have the 40 ounce for big soccer games! (But warning, it’s huge). A straw lid gets me gulping water all day long.
Laughter is the best medicine! Laughing helps you destress, triggers the release of endorphins, and can even help you live longer. The boys and I giggle all day long, especially when we play “see how long you can stand it” before bed!
Have a few good jokes to tell friends. Watch funny videos on YouTube. Watch @Grillguy on Instagram (or don’t – he’s soooo hilarious you’ll lose an hour of your productive day!!) HAHA! Did I make you laugh there?
Let’s zoom in a bit on probiotics. You have heard me talk about them before because I am a big fan. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that live in your GI tract and create the ideal conditions for digestion, helping to absorb nutrients. There are literally trillions of good bacteria that are living inside of you right now! Your GI tract also acts as a defense barrier between the outside world (aka germs) and your bloodstream. The more good bacteria it has, the harder it is for germs to get inside. If your microbiome is off-kilter, you might have symptoms ranging from minor gas and bloating to more chronic stress and mood swings. Your microbiome can even affect your skin and dental health!
Good bacteria are naturally found in fermented foods like yogurt with active cultures, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. Ideally, you’d eat these every day and have a flourishing GI gut. Yogurt is the most popular of the probiotic foods, but many of us don’t eat the rest of them enough. Therefore, taking a probiotic supplement is a simple and convenient way to help your GI tract thrive, just like a multivitamin can fill the gaps in your diet.
We take probiotic supplements and (knock on wood) no one got sick this winter with more than a sniffle. When you add an optimized gut to the other pillars of good health (sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress relief), then you’re using every defense you can against getting sick. This is even more important if you’re going through a stressful time like a move or a job change or if you’re traveling somewhere that might have different bacteria in the food than you’re used to. When one pillar of health is compromised, the rest must pick up the slack, so keep them all as strong as you can when you’re well!
I need to laugh today – tell me your best joke!!
This is Mazen’s favorite joke:
Orange ya glad I didn’t say banana?!?!?!