Living a healthy life doesn’t come naturally for everyone, especially in a world driven by technology. But there are some steps you can take each day to make your life healthier and happier. You may even find technology serving as an aid.
By forming the correct habits, you may quickly find yourself feeling less tired, more active and just generally on the path to long-term wellness. To begin with, you should follow the advice of Hippocrates, and let food be your medicine.
Buy Food Fresh and Local
Not just any food, mind you. Eating well involves first finding fresh food, with one of the best ways being by shopping for local produce. Local food is considerably more likely to be fresh than food harvested outside of your general area. It also aids the environment by reducing transport costs and helps support local business.
There are a number of apps to help you find local farm stands and markets as well. Farmstand, for instance, aids you in finding local produce growers and sellers. Locavore is another handy app you can use to figure out what’s in season and where to get it.
Note that depending on where you live, it may be necessary to purchase some frozen produce as well. While less environmentally friendly, frozen produce has been proven to contain high levels of vital nutrients (on par with fresh), including Vitamin C. Just be sure to check the source.
Cook Your Own Meals
Armed with fresh ingredients, you should endeavor to cook your own food whenever possible. Not only does it foster a more intimate relationship with your meals, but it allows you to control the ingredients you consume and the methods by which they are prepared.
Additionally, you can access any number of recipes online. I like to keep recipe sites on my phone or tablet to make things easier. If you find yourself struggling to find web pages with recipes, it may be due to restricted internet access, which is something you may need to circumvent. Utilizing a VPN is probably the easiest way to handle the issue.
Otherwise, cooking at home gives you the option to cook at lower temperatures, preserving more vitamins (which can be destroyed at high temperatures) and allowing you to tailor recipes to your taste. With enough experience, you may find yourself writing the recipes!
Set Activity Goals
Beyond food, keeping up with daily activity is essential to living a healthy life. Busy lifestyles make that difficult, particularly if you do most of your travel by car, but there are some tools available to help you stay on track.
Activity trackers, such as smart watches, are a good way to monitor your levels of exercise to remind you whether you need to do more or if you’ve reached your goals. Setting up an app such as Android Wear (for Android users) and Activity (for iOS users) can help make that a reality.
Use Natural Cleaners
In a society that values cleanliness and hygiene, we use quite a few different cleaning products to keep our houses free from infection and filth. Many of these cleansers are harsh chemicals that—far from being safe—are literally poisons.
Ironically, that’s exactly why they work so well. Poisons that kill 99.9 percent of bacteria are effective cleaners, but they can prove toxic to us as well. They also promote the growth of the dangerous bacteria – the .1 percent that survives.
Switching to more traditional cleaners, including vinegar and soap can reduce a number of contaminants in your house and contribute to cleaner air quality. Plus, you can avoid the various chemicals (particularly VOCs) that have been associated with increased cancer risk, skin irritation, and even respiratory disruption.
Monitor Water Intake
One final proven habit worth taking into your daily routine is monitoring your water intake. Despite efforts to make water more available, most of us simply don’t drink enough water every day. This is particularly true of those living in southern climates (especially those that move from cool northern climates) where water requirements are higher.
This can be done in several different ways. A lower tech way to handle the task is just by keeping track of how many cups of water you drink. Popular media would suggest eight glasses of water a day is enough, but some research suggests drinking upwards of four liters a day for an adult male and close to three liters for an adult female.
Don’t forget that food also contains water in it, so you don’t necessarily need to down two full gallon jugs of water each day. If you’re more on the gadget end of things, you might consider a nifty Chinese invention known as the Gyenno cup, which is a smart cup that keeps track of how much water you’ve consumed and how much more you need to drink in the day (and it serves as a neat little clock and weather tracker as well).
Environmentally conscious drinkers may want to avoid bottled water, considering the plastic fallout. If you have questions or suggestions for improving your daily health habits, please leave us a comment below.
About the Author: Diamond is a technology and health conscious blogger. When not writing about health or cyber security, she finds herself looking for new ways to improve her life. If you’d like to read more about Diamond, follow her on Twitter.