10 Ways to Improve Your Health By 20%

As summer comes to a close and fall approaches – change is in the air. Are there areas of your life where you feel bogged down by bad habits? I’m here to help you turn a new leaf with 10 ways you can improve your health! When you try to overhaul your lifestyle completely, too much too soon can lead to burnout. That is why I believe a goal of 20% improvement is reasonable and attainable to start with. Gradual transformations are much more sustainable long-term!

The Pareto Principlestates that 80% of results come from just 20% of action. These tips are in that elite 20% zone – capable of changing your life significantly. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to start reaping the 80/20 health benefits. I recommend aiming to incorporate two items per week (20%!) to help you achieve balance with your new routine without getting overwhelmed.

1.  Drink more water! Add an easy extra 20oz a day by starting your morning with a big glass to rehydrate your cells. Set an alert on your phone or computer to remind you to take some big swigs every hour or so. Make your goal at least 100oz by the end of the day.
2.  Eat in! Limit meals out to up your chances of eating fresh nourishing meals. A 2016 survey showed that 20% of US consumers chose quick service restaurants at least once a week when dining out. Nowadays it’s just as easy and convenient to learn how to cook delicious meals that are good for you – with resources like my cooking classes!
3.  Less sitting, more doing! Take work breaks throughout the day to do 20 squats into your chair, wall pushups, or seated ab twists. If you wear a step tracker – try to increase your weekly step total by 20%. Less than 20% of Americans go to the gym, so break the statistic and get a weekly workout routine started!
4.  Breathe! Take 20 seconds right now, and throughout the day to take some mindful deep breaths. When you’re stressed, you often take shallow breaths, so making a conscious effort to replenish your body with fresh oxygen can really boost your energy and help you live in the moment.
5.  Get enough sleep! Make an effort to power down and go to bed 20min earlier. So many aspects of your healthy and mood will improve if you get more quality shut eye.
6.  Stay regular! Get at least 25g fiber a day, research shows that getting adequate daily fiber in the diet promotes intestinal regularity and can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Vegetables, legumes, fruits, and grains can help you attain this goal!
7.  Make gut health a priority! Adding probiotics to your supplement regimen is a must for digestive care and boosting your immune system. Take a probiotic with at least 20 billion CFU when you’re getting started with replenishing the good bacteria in your gut. 
8.  Have an attitude of gratitude! Every day try to start and end the day by expressing gratitude aloud or in your thoughts for the things you value in life. Take 20 seconds to sit in reverence and express gratitude at meals. Take time to tell your loved ones how much you care about them!
9.  Read more! Read at least 20min a day (can combo this with going to bed earlier!). This practice is not only fun and rewarding, it’s good for your brain. Reading daily helps improve your memory and recall abilities.
10.  Snack smart! Eat a handful of almonds for a snack instead of grabbing for sugary processed junk food.  A one ounce serving (about 23 almonds) contains 34% of the DV for vitamin E – a tough one to get. Vitamin E supports cognitive function, heart disease and cancer prevention, and eyesight (keep that 20/20 vision!)

It will get easier to incorporate these practices as the weeks go on, because you are going to start feeling better and noticing major shifts in your wellness. It can help to make a checklist or put post-it reminders of these goals around the home and office. You can do this – I believe in you!