Everyone knows that finding the motivation to always eat clean and regularly hit the gym is hard work. And when it’s time to get healthy, most people think they need BIG CHANGE and try to revamp everything.
But the most effective strategy is actually doing the opposite. Lasting change comes from making lots of little shifts—some so simple they’re barely noticed.
While no one likes to advocate always taking the easy route, there are times when health-related life hacks do come in handy.
Here are 31 easy ways to tweak your day and become healthier instantly – you will feel better and more balanced.
1. Portion out your not-good-for-you-unhealthy treats.
If you always find yourself furiously craving snacks like chips, pretzels, gummi bears, or M&Ms, portion servings out into baggies so you don’t devour the whole package when those inevitable sweet cravings arise. And keep one baggie in your desk drawer at work to combat the occasional 4 p.m. craving.
2. Add weights to your wrist while blow drying.
A life hack every girl can try: Add wrist weights to your arms before you start blow drying your hair, or using other hot tools. Depending on your hair length and thickness, it could take over 20 minutes to completely dry. By adding weight on your arms, you’ll be challenging your muscles as you style with your (probably heavy) dryer and a hairbrush.
5. Make your playlists as long as each workout.
Do this, and you won’t be glancing at the time the whole way through. You stop when the music stops.
6. Take your dog with you!
If you’re looking for extra workout motivation, bring your dog with you for an outdoor walk or run. Pups need exercise too.
7. Tums for gums.
Putting a Tums pill on a mouth ulcer or canker sore will make it to go away in a matter of hours.
8. Shrink A Pimple With Vodka
Hot date tonight and a dreadful pimple preventing you to have a good time? You can shrink a pimple in minutes by putting a dab of Vodka on it. The alcohol will dry it up and cause it to fade. Any alcohol based drinks will work – including mouthwash Listerine.
9. Add coconut oil to your morning coffee.
Adding just one tablespoon of coconut oil to your morning coffee helps stabilize blood sugar levels all day.This means fewer highs and lows.
10. Increase your probiotics intake.
These microorganisms don’t just aid digestion; they also boost immunity. College students who ingested probiotics daily reported fewer cold symptoms and faster recoveries, according to a 2012 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Look for Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium animalis lactis BB12 either in supplements or yogurt.
11. Drink more coffee.
Women who have less than 150 mg of caffeine daily (typically found in 12 ounces of coffee) are 15% more likely to develop tinnitus (ringing in the ears) than those who ingest at least 450 mg (36 ounces), according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study.
12. Drink a glass of lukewarm water with lemon and cayenne pepper first thing every morning.
This morning drink gets your organs going, and fresh lemon juice and cayenne pepper both have major anti-fungal, immune boosting, and detoxification properties. Plus, lemon juice is nature’s best tool for aiding in digestion and regularity, destroying bacteria and cleansing the system. Basically, this is the zero-sugar version of the spicy lemon drinks you can buy from various cleanse brands.
13. Practice the 2/30 rule.
While we love vegging out in front of the tube as much as the next girl, it could cause of serious problems. A large-scale study of over 9000 people found that those who watched more than two hours of TV a day ate more, while downing more sugary sodas and high-fat, high-cal, processed snack foods than those who watched less. Try following the 2/30 rule: limit TV to two hours a day, and be sure to get in 30 minutes of exercise.
14. And the 20/20/20 rule.
If you stare at a computer all day with no breaks, try the 20/20/20 rule, which doctors say reduces eye strain and redness: Take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
15. Worked out too hard? Chow down on ginger.
If you pushed yourself too much at the gym, try eating ginger, which can be added to stir-fries, juices, smoothies, or tea. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that consuming 2 grams of raw or heat-treated ginger per day can reduce post-workout muscle soreness by 25 percent. Why? Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds and oils called gingerols that have shown painkilling and sedative effects in animal studies.
16. Top your salads with Salmon.
Eating omega-3-rich fatty fish at least twice weekly lowers the risk of hearing loss in women by 20% and bolsters the cardiovascular system.
17. Sit-up straight.
It’s not just better for your back and neck, it also boosts mood. When you move from poor posture to good posture you increase levels of ‘go-go-go’ hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, and decrease the stress hormone cortisol,” says spinal surgeon Jim Lykos, MD.
18. Stand up and hop 10 times.
In a Brigham Young University study, women age 25 to 50 who jumped at least 10 times twice daily significantly increased their hip bone mineral density after 16 weeks.
19. Eat before you eat.
If you know you’re going to a party, a buffet, or a big dinner and don’t want to totally bust your diet, eat one to two cups of raw veggies beforehand to give your stomach a bit of a head start.
20. Bag and freeze smoothie ingredients before you want the smoothie.
This way, when you’re craving something sweet, you can toss the ingredients in the blender and drink up—no pre-chopping required.
21. Sleep in a cold room to boost metabolism.
Who knew sleeping in a cool bedroom may to increase your percentages of brown fat — a type of fat that acts more like muscle, helping to burn other fat and increasing metabolic rate — according to a 2014 study conducted by the National Institutes of Health.
22. Book classes in advance.
Booking pilates, yoga, spin, or other one-off classes in advance will always force you to go—otherwise, you get charged, since most require a credit card.
23. Massage your own head.
A 30-second self-massage can relieve a tension headache. Simply find the tender spots on your forehead or scalp and rub in a circular motion with your thumb and knuckles.
24. Blow some bubble gum.
Doing so with a stick or two of gum appears to improve focus and memory, according to one UK study. Additional research shows it also has a calming effect, perhaps due to the minty fresh feeling it creates or the fact that chewing boosts oxygen to the brain.
25. Smell an orange.
Several studies have found that the scent of oranges can reduce stress, improve mood, and make you feel way more awake. Try eating a fresh orange for breakfast every morning (and inhaling its scent), or dab some orange oil on your wrists a few times a week.
26. Use YouTube.
Never use your gym membership? You’re wasting money! Cancel it immediately and get into the healthy habit of working out at home using the many free fitness (and highly effective) tutorials available on YouTube. Seriously, you can find instructional videos on everything from ab workouts to Zumba.
27. Shop on a full stomach.
Never go grocery shopping when you’re super-hungry. Why? Because everything looks good, so you’ll undoubtedly start throwing in items you normally might not buy (read: junk food.)
28. Use your commute to relax
Commuting doesn’t have to be stressful: If you take public transportation, download a meditation track or app, close your eyes, and focus on breathing.
29. Plan ahead.
Lay out every single thing you want to wear to the gym in the morning the night before where you can see it, from socks to sports bra—this will cut time in the morning, and give you a little extra motivation.
30. Pay yourself every time you exercise.
Leave $1 in a jar each time you workout and you’ll end up looking and feeling great—and having money to splurge on something fun.
31. Make your phone or computer background a motivational quote.
That way, every time you check your phone, you’ll be motivated to get moving.