11 Simple Health Hacks
You Can Use Everyday
When it comes to health advice, opinions are a dime a dozen. There is no shortage of elaborate health routines, complex diet programs, and expensive treatment and prevention plans. If we did everything “the experts” tell us to do, our health routines would be a full-time job. As someone who's spent a great deal of my life in the health and wellness world, I've seen my share of failed attempts (my own and others) at reaching health goals. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that keeping it simple is always the best approach.
That's why we've put together this list of 11 simple health hacks you can use every day to feel your best. These don't require giant financial or time commitments, they're easy to implement and they work.
Walk Everyday (Outside)
Walk. Every. Day.
Or hike, bike, jog, paddle, swim, skip, play…whatever. Do something active outside, every single day.
This is a two bird – one stone kind of simple health hack. Actually, it's way more than two birds but you feel me right? We know exercise is important but sometimes even the word “exercise” triggers people to a place of discomfort or resistance. So, if you commit to walking (or any other outdoor activity you enjoy) it makes the process more sustainable and far more enjoyable.
The other side of this is getting outdoors, in nature, and breathing in large quantities of fresh air. There are SO many benefits to being in nature (and exercising daily) that I couldn't possibly list them all but here are a few:
- It's a natural anti-depressant & mood lifter
- Vitamin D hit (which reduces your risk of heart attack by up to 22%)
- Improved Sleep
- Lower blood pressure & resting heart rate
- Longer life (by 7 years, actually)
- Improved mental focus & clarity
- Reduced stress levels
- It's free
Getting enough sleep is one of those things that we talk ourselves out of. I use to belong to the “I'm different from everyone else and I just don't need as much sleep” club. Friends, it's just not true. There's way to much definitive data on the subject to deny that the human brain needs quality sleep to function at it's best. That range is somewhere between 7 and 9 hours per night.
Double Your Water
We all know that one of the simplest ways to improve your health is to increase the amount of water you drink. So why don't we do it? Sometimes, it just takes a little pizzaz. Here are a few ways to spruce up your water and make drinking 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces a little more palletable.
- Add lemon, elderlfower, cucumber, mint, sliced berries, ginger, lime, etc (you get the idea)
- Try a splash of sparkling water (sometimes that little bit of efervesence is enough)
- Use water as a base for smoothies
- Make ice cubes out of coconut water and berries (for some added flavor)
- Get yourself some fabulous water bottles (I'm obsessed with my S'well)
I'm not telling you to go Vegan (although we did for 15 weeks and felt awesome) but I am telling you that plants should be a staple in your diet. We're big believers of eating really healthy while we're at home and loosening the reigns on the weekends.
For us, travel make up the majority of our work, so we've been deliberate about prioritizing plans whether we're at an event, festival or restaurant. That means ordering salads, extra sides of veggies and even opting for vegan entrees sometimes.
We're not anti-meat (at all). We're pro-veggie!
Some great ways to sneak extra plants into your life:
- Incorporate smoothies into your daily routine
- Prep veggies in advance so they're always available
- Swap out pasta for zucchini or carrot noodles
- Participate in Meatless Monday and try some plant based alternatives
- Start meals with a salad or raw veggies
- Add nuts & seeds to oatmeal, smoothie bowls, salads, etc
Consider Sunday Planning Sessions
This is relatively new for us in the last 6 months or so but it's been transformative. We use a specific process (we'll share another time) but essentially it comes down to this. We dedicate 1 hour on Sunday nights to plan our week as a family.
What goes into our Sunday planning session:
- Our top 3 projects or priorities (and what tasks we're going to do to move each one forward)
- Prep for appointments, functions, and meetings
- Time-blocking for critical tasks that week
- Scheduling exercise, our morning routines, and other essential functions of our week
- Predicting obstacles and creating work-arounds for anything we forsee causing any hiccups.
We do this on a single sheet of paper, sectioned into a grid and we post it on our bullitin board. It may sound silly but this single hour makes our entire week more productive, more focused and more successful ever time. It keeps us on task and puts what's most important to us right in front of our faces all week long so that we don't get side tracked.
This can look different for everyone but for us, it's a simple 5 minute routine in the morning and the evening. We write down what we're grateful for, what we're excited for and we articulate the vison we have for our lives (on paper). That's it!
If you start and end your day with a simple gratitude practice, your brain will start to default into looking for things to be grateful for. Your mind literally starts actively tryign to find evidence to support what you've been thinking about.
Try it! You'll see!
Try a Digital Detox (Daily)
A 24-hour digital detox (no phone, no cumputer, no television) is like a magic-bullet to being instantly happier and healthier. It can squash your stress, improve your posture, fix your insomnia, boost your self-esteem and make you more focused, productive, positive and creative.
In a perfect world, we'd all take a full day every week to unplug. Contrary to the collective uprising of excuses I can hear coming from the other side of the computer, I bet we can ALL do this if we really decided it was important.
But, for those who won't (notice I didn't say can't), doing mini-digital detox's every evening can have similar effects on a smaller scale. Unplugging an hour before bed is a habit that can not only change the quality of your sleep, but also the quality of your life.
Consider Meal Prep
If you're implementing Sunday planning sesions, why not add Sunday meal prep? Fun fact – studies have shown that the average adult can save 10 hours per week (or more) by spending 4-5 hours on meal prep during one day. So, if you're someone who speaks the words “I don't have time” – this is a no-brainer.
Leverage Your Commute
Did you know that if you study for just 1 hour a day for a year, you'll be more proficient in that topic than most of the world? Wait…it gets better. If you study for 1 hour per day, you'll be at the top of that field within 3 years. Within 5 years you'll be a national authority and within 7 years you'll be the best in the world at what you do.
Want to learn a new language? Become great at personal finance? Learn to be a better communicator? Become an expert in health and fitness? You can do any of that which is what makes this one of our absolute favorite simple health hacks. It's so stealth!
Most of us spend an ungodly amount of time in the car (or watching Netflix… or scrolling through Facebook). If we allocated just one of those hours everyday towards learning something that we don't feel super competent in now, just imagine what life would be like in a year.
You can literally re-invent yourself by sitting in your car.
Start With Inspiration
The alarm goes off, you open your eyes and another day is here… what's the first thing you do? Most people say that the first thing they do is reach for thier phone and start scrolling. I know it sounds weird for someone who earns her living on social media to promote NOT going on social media but hear me out.
If you spend the first 20-60 minutes of your day without pluggin into the newsfeed you'll feel better all day long. I've already told you some of the elements that make up our morning routine but starting with inspiration is another one. The method changes, but the goal is always the same. Do or consume something that sparks inpriation and creativity.
Here are a few ideas:
- Read personal development books (just a chapter or two is fine)
- Take a walk and listen to a personal development podcast
- Journal about your ambitions, goals and dreams
- Dance it out to your favorite music (no cheating here – you have actually crank the music and dance)
Consider a Supplement Stack
Even the healthiest among us aren't 100% perfect 100% of the time. Try as we might to get everything we need from food, it's just not possible for most of us (or any of us, according to most experts). That's the whole purpose of us sharing these simple health hacks with you!
I've been taking supplements for as long as I can remember. I'm a big believer in supporting your lifestyle with little insurance policies (aka supplements) but I'm NOT a big believer in a one-size-fits-all approach. Sure, there are certain things that most of us should likely be taking like Omega-3's and probiotics but there's also a lot of value to finding the right stack. A stack that supports your unique challenges, lifestyle and goals!
Orange Naturals helped us design a custom supplement stack specific to our needs. As our lifestyle, challenges, and goals change - so does our supplement regime. It's been great having a team of professionals helping us figure out what's right for us at this time in our lives.
Custom Supplement Stacks
Brent and I have been using two different supplement stacks for the last few months and, honestly, we feel great. My stack was designed to adress my main concerns of skin (aging & some sensitivity) as well as digestive & joint issues. Brent also has skin concerns, but they're different from mine as well as joint pain.
My supplement stack consists of Collagen Skin Revive, Priobiotic, Joint Relief & Omega-3 Fish Oil. Brent's looks the same, except instead of collagen (he doesn't care about signs of aging) he's taking Magnesium.
About Orange Natural Products
Orange Natural products are professional grade (super important to us) and designed by Canadian Naturopathic Doctors. This Canadian company operates under the belief that Canadians everywhere can enjoy better health in a more natural way. They make the process super user friendly and we love the level of customer support they offer from choosing the right supplements to answering any questions that come up along the way.
Collagen Skin Revive
A collagen supplement has been on my radar for some time… well, since I started noticing some serious signs of aging in my skin! This is a pretty cool product that uses a specialized combination of peptides to stimulate collagen production in your skin. In fact, this product has been scientifically proven to give you smoother, firmer skin in 28 days! Crazy right?
- Reduces wrinkles in 28 days
- Activates skin collagen production
- Visibly delays skin ageing
- Reduces eye wrinkles
- Supports cellulite reduction
Learn more about Collagen Skin Revive here.
This is one that I personally believe most people would benefit from. Probiotics are mainstream now and have gotten a ton of medi attention over the years. Priobiotics are good bacteria that inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria and support healthy gut flora. Your gut is EVERYTHING. Study after study over the past few decades have shown links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.
So, let's take care of it shall we?
- Helps maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora
- Supports digestive health
Learn more about Probiotics here
Tumeric (Curcumin) is an amazing spice that's been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Now, studies have shows that it works on joint pain and inflammation the same way anti-inflammatory drugs do but without the side effects.
- Helps relieve inflammation and joint pain associated with osteoarthritis
- A source of antioxidant to quench free radicals
Truth: this one was only suggested for Brent but I've totally been stealing it and using it myself as well. Don't tell him. This supplement actually has Magnesium, Vitamin C and electolytes all in one fun (and fizzy) little package. It's deliscious, but that's not why we take it.
Did you know that Magnesium is used by every single cell in your body and in hundreds of enzymatic reactions? It plays a roll in protein synthesis, bone regeneration, muscle contraction (and relaxation) and a ton more.
- Great for maintaining health & metabolism
- Bone building
- Muscle function
- Tissue formation
- Prevent Magnesium and Vitamin C deficiencies
- Used in your body in over 350 different ways
Learn more about MagPop (and score a free sample) here.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
This is another one that I think we should probably all be taking. There's far too much research to deny when it comes to this little superpower supplement. From supporting a healthy cardiovascular system to controling and reducing inflammation to brain health and prevention of chronic disease, Omega-3's are worth a look.
- Source of essential omega-3 fatty acid
- Promotes heart and cognitive health
- Supports healthy mood balance
- Support brain function
Learn more about Omega-3 Fish Oil here.
Where to Buy
You can find Orange Naturals in the pharmacy section of your local Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Superstore, Fortino's and more as well as many natural health food shops. You can also buy online, here, along with a wealth of information to help you find the right fit for you and your family.
Do you have any simple health hacks that you swear by? We'd love to hear about them!
– xoxo Sara
* This post was sponsored by Orange Naturals, however, all opinions are always our own