We used to call them tips, but today they’re hacks: simple things to help make you healthy. Here are a few from WDDTY for you to consider
Generation Z isn’t interested in health advice or tips—it’s into health hacks. There are even conferences and exhibitions devoted to health hacks, which are essentially simple things you can bring into your everyday life to improve your health.
One of the first hacks was the idea of putting butter in your morning coffee. Like butter itself, the idea spread—although it’s not something WDDTY has tried.
But if that doesn’t sound quite like your cup of coffee either, there are plenty of other simple hacks you can try.
Walk: Think of walking more instead of driving or taking the bus. And when you are confronted by a flight of stairs, don’t reach for the elevator call button—walk up the stairs.
Stand on one leg: Sounds a little strange, but it strengthens your core muscles and abs.
Don’t sit after eating: Try to walk around, or at least stand up, after you’ve just eaten. This is especially important after lunch, when you can feel tired and want to nap—not great if you’re about to have a meeting with the boss.
Engage at dinnertimes: Make it a house rule that nobody at the table uses their phones. Instead, you have to talk to each other. A tough one, but give it a go.
Sleep: Make sleep a priority. Getting seven hours of sleep at night is vital to help maintain good health. Have a calming cup of herbal tea a couple of hours before retiring, turn off all mobile devices an hour before going to bed and make sure the bedroom is dark. Reading a book in bed before turning off the lights can also help make you mellow.
Appreciate things: Scientists are only starting to understand the mind-body connection and how a positive disposition does wonders for the immune system. So, start appreciating things around you, from your family and your home to nature.
Fasting: Try fasting once or twice a week. It can be done in many ways, but here are two: restrict the hours when you eat, allowing 12 to 14 hours between meals. As that includes the time you’re sleeping, it isn’t so hard to do. Alternatively, restrict the amount you eat on a fasting day to just 700 calories or so.
Drink: Make sure you’re drinking enough liquids every day. The optimum is anything from 2 to 4 L (and some studies suggest 6 L), but as that includes all liquids—such as those from vegetables and fruits—you’ll be surprised how much you’re consuming already.
Supplement: There are some vital nutrients your body needs, including vitamins C and D, magnesium, omega-3 and zinc. You need others, of course, but these are essential for maintaining health. Don’t take the RDA (recommended daily allowance); it’s hopelessly inadequate, and, as a rough rule of thumb, you should be taking 10 times the RDA every day.
Veg out: Eat the “power veg” every day, including mushrooms, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Adding lemon to drinks also helps boost your vitamin C intake.
Start the day with berries: Add blackberries and strawberries to your breakfast. They help improve mental functioning, something to take seriously as we get older.
Green tea: Drink four or five cups of green tea every day. It’s full of polyphenols and anti-inflammatory compounds that keep your immune system in good shape.
Think of your gut: Everything starts in the gut, so you need to feed it the right things. Include kefir, miso soup or fermented vegetables such as kimchi and sauerkraut in your daily diet.
Breathe: Sounds obvious, but breathing properly is important for body and mind. Find time every day for short sessions of deep breathing, when you take deep gulps of air and hold them in your lungs for a few seconds before releasing slowly.
Think cinnamon: Sprinkle a little cinnamon on your morning eggs, porridge or smoothie to help maintain energy through the day.
And a few don’ts (sorry): don’t eat anything processed; don’t snack between meals (and if you need some between-meals fuel, make them healthy snacks such as a handful of nuts); don’t stress about things you can’t change; don’t sit around all day staring at a screen; and don’t hide from the sun—you need at least 15 minutes’ exposure every day in the summer months.