“The first wealth is health,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. It’s true that we are at our most rich when our bodies feel strong and well taken care of.
Why, then, do so many of us choose to neglect our physical wellbeing?
Some of us are intimidated by the idea of getting healthy.
We equate doing so with chalky shakes, unpleasant workouts, and a cruel sense of bodily deprivation. We think we don’t have the time or the willpower to make a real impact – so why even bother? We resign ourselves to living in bodies that we don’t truly use or enjoy.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Becoming healthy can be spiritually vibrant, mentally and emotionally enriching, and sometimes even fun.
Here are 18 simple ways you can start to work toward a healthier future today:
1. Begin and end each day with five minutes of meditation.
2. Spend time in nature for a total of at least three hours every week. Read your favorite book by the lake. Take your kids to the park. Nurture a garden. Go camping. Mix it up with different ideas. Find a way to connect with nature that speaks to you personally.
3. When you’re watching TV, alternate push-ups, crunches, and jumping jacks during commercial breaks.
4. Listen to classical music. It has been proven to reduce stress and improve cognitive function.
5. Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks like berries, nuts, yogurt, and hummus. Put these items in clear containers at eye level. Keep unhealthy foods in opaque boxes hidden out of sight.
6. Commit to getting eight hours of sleep every night. Invest in your sleep health by instituting a relaxing nighttime routine, sticking to a strict bedtime, and making your bed as comfortable as possible.
7. Spend one week eating exclusively whole and natural foods – no artificial hormones, preservatives, added sugars, or unnecessary processing.
8. If you can’t find the time for a workout, choose another way to sweat out your toxins. Relaxing at a sauna, taking a hot shower, or spending time outside in the heat are all good options.
9. Make your food from scratch whenever possible. This will save you money and limit your exposure to unnecessary additives.
10. When you have downtime at work between meetings, do a quick sun salutation or stretching routine.
11. Keep a food diary for a day. Add up the amount of sugar you consume, and cut it in half. Stick to this diet for a month – the first couple of weeks will be brutal, but then you will feel so much better.
12. Set aside a special time each week to something active with your kids, partner, or best friend. Play a game of soccer as a family. Go for a hike. Jump rope together. This will strengthen your bodies and your bond.
13. Eat outside whenever possible. Spending time outdoors is good for the mind, body, and soul. It will also enhance your eating experience and possibly even encourage healthy choices.
14. Opt for fresh fruit or a side salad instead of fries.
15. Trade in your blended coffee for a cup of green tea.
16. Detox from your digital devices for thirty minutes each day. The more difficult this is, the more you need it! Once thirty minutes seems easy, increase to an hour.
17. Try out some green smoothie recipes. Once you find one you like, make it a daily treat.
“If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with,” wrote Deepak Chopra. Choose one of the strategies above – or two or three – and start creating a healthier body today. I promise you’re worth it.