No matter what age you are.
You don't always need to make drastic changes or overhaul your routine to live your healthiest life. Sometimes the littlest habits have the greatest impact on your wellbeing for years to come. Try these expert-approved tips, and you'll start reaping the benefits in no time.
Score the health benefits of running without signing up for a marathon. that walking not only improves heart health in the same way running does, it also helps reduce the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. "Aim to walk two to five hours a week," suggests Michelle Cady, integrative nutrition health coach of .
Rethink the kind of salt you use in your kitchen. Instead of table salt, look for sea salt, Himalayan pink salt or rock salt. Sure, we need this key mineral to help balance fluids in our bodies. Just make sure you stay under the , which you can easily do by avoiding processed foods and reading nutrition labels carefully.
If you stare at a computer screen all day, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes. When you're outside, wear sunglasses with UV protection. And make sure you're eating enough foods with lutein and zeaxanthin, two of the most vital nutrients for eye health found in veggies like dark leafy greens. Taking a — available in a gummy, multivitamin, and a 50+ formula — can help.*
When it comes to making lifestyle changes, "long-term goals are terrific, but smaller, short-term goals can be even more powerful because they reinforce success every step of the way," says the Today show's nutrition and health expert . Start with a weekly goal: "One week, commit to trying a new fitness class or experiment with two unfamiliar fruits or vegetables. The next week commit to brown bagging your lunch to work each day. Another week, prepare two new recipes for dinner. "The best part? Celebrating your mini-achievements with a massage or a new piece of workout gear. It fuels your motivation and keeps your head in the game so you maintain a health regimen," says Bauer.
It's true—keeping up a social life has major health benefits! Studies have shown that having strong relationships is . So put down the Instagram and make sure you're nurturing your female friendships face-to-face.
Walking, running, getting squeezed into high heels — our feet endure it all while taking on pressure from the tension stored all over the body. "Avoid future injuries that can inhibit movement with self-massage or rolling your feet out over a golf ball," Cady suggests. If you're on your feet often, invest in supportive walking shoes.
Think of your period as a vital sign of health: An irregular cycle can indicate stress, or a digestion or thyroid issue. "If something is off with your inner systems, your period can be a clue for further investigation," Cady says. Keeping tabs on your cycle with an app can help you make those observations.
Having powerful legs doesn't just feel great in your favorite pair of jeans — it also does wonders for healthy cognitive aging. A study showed that leg power was on brain-power tests over a 10-year-period. To build up your lower body muscles, Cady recommends incorporating squats, lunges, and stair climbing into your weekly workout routine.
If you feel like you're a ball of stress 24/7, find a way to unwind and do it often. "Delegate what you can and get in the practice of taking something off your calendar every day for instant stress-relief," advises Cady. Lowering your stress levels will reprogram your brain chemistry and can down the road, like cancer, heart disease, and lung ailments.
One study observed that time spent enjoying life and doing what you love is . "Your happiness can come from painting, volunteering, working with kids, hitting up Zumba class, or jumping on a trampoline," Cady says. "Introduce elements of spontaneity into your life to boost your happiness levels and achieve that feeling of lightness and ease you may be looking for."
The experts quoted and the studies referenced in this piece are not affiliated with Bausch + Lomb.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.