Healthy Habits

8 tiny practices with a big impact on your body

There are no quick fixes when it comes to getting fit. To avoid dieting and exercising, there aren't any tricks.

There are no quick fixes when it comes to getting fit. To avoid dieting and exercising, there aren’t any tricks. However, there are a few things you can do that will have uneven effects. Each of the following habits is simple to implement and will have a big positive impact on your overall health, body composition, and level of energy. They aren’t miracle cures, but they do provide a significant return on your investment.

Drink enough water

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Overeating, mood swings, tiredness, and brain fog are all symptoms of dehydration, and most people are somewhat dehydrated during the day. Drink a glass of water when you first wake up, every 2 hours during the day, and before each meal to avoid this.

Get moving after meals

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Your blood sugar rises as a result of eating. When your blood sugar levels rise, your body responds by producing insulin, which lowers them by driving the sugar into your tissues. Unfortunately, some of that sugar is stored as fat in your body, and insulin has a depressive impact, reducing your energy.

Fortunately, moving around after meals reduces the post-meal insulin spike significantly, allowing your muscle tissue to absorb part of the sugar before the insulin reaction kicks in fully. Do two minutes of air squats and pushups after each meal, or walk for ten minutes after each meal.

Maintain a clean kitchen.

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Cooking meals at home is one of the most crucial habits you can establish for staying trim and healthy. However, because this is sometimes easier said than done psychologically, it is beneficial to remove all barriers that hinder you from cooking at home. One of the most significant barriers to cooking is having a dirty kitchen, as it is quite difficult to encourage oneself to cook when the kitchen is unclean or congested.

Make cleaning the kitchen a part of your evening routine: every night after dinner, do the dishes if any are still on the counter, clear up any clutter in the kitchen, and scrub anything that appears to be dirty. Give the entire kitchen a more thorough cleaning once a week.

Every day, meditate for two minutes.

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Meditation has a wide range of physical and emotional advantages, including stress reduction, improved sleep, and immune and cardiovascular health improvements. However, where people go wrong is when they push themselves too hard to the point of frustration. Meditation, unlike physical activity, ceases to be beneficial if it becomes unpleasant.

Rather than forcing yourself to meditate for twenty minutes at a time, focus on meditating consistently—for only two minutes every day. If you want to go longer, that’s OK, but you’re not obligated to. To meditate, choose a quiet, comfortable place to sit, close your eyes, and mentally repeat a short mantra—a word or phrase that has a relaxing impact on you. Even two minutes of meditation each day can have a significant stress-reduction benefit.

Take a picture of everything you eat.

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Take a quick photo of the food with your smartphone before each meal. This forces you to take a moment to think about what you’re going to consume, allowing you to make healthier eating choices. You may also upload these images to Facebook for added impact, which puts social pressure on oneself to be seen eating properly.

ice yourself Every night

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Hold an ice pack to your neck, upper chest, or upper back for 20 minutes every evening. Brown adipose tissue– fatty tissue that burns energy to keep you warm– is stimulated by this. Increased brown adipose tissue helps you burn more calories and improves insulin sensitivity by diverting glucose from your white adipose tissue (the regular fatty tissue that just stores energy).

Start your day with a wake-up workout.

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Perform a short bodyweight workout every morning as soon as you get out of bed. An example of how this workout should look is as follows:

Pistol squats, 8 reps each leg

Pushups, 10 reps

Jumping jacks, 20 reps

Plank, 30 seconds

Hand walkouts, 8 reps

Pike pushups, 6 reps

Jump squats, 8 reps

Repeat this circuit three times, pausing for no more than 30 seconds between circuits and no more than 30 seconds between specific exercises. The entire process should take no more than five minutes.

This accomplishes two goals. First, it stimulates your heart and burns fat when your glycogen stores are still low after fasting all night. Second, it stimulates the neurological system, preparing your body to be active all day long.

Create a soothing evening ritual.

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photo credit: Fabiola Peñalba on Unsplash

One of the most effective ways to achieve more and better-quality sleep is to establish a regular pre-bed routine. Find out what calms you and make it a habit to do it for the last 30-60 minutes of the day before going to bed. The following are some examples of activities that many people find relaxing:

  • Yoga/meditation/stretching
  • Reading a novel
  • Relaxing music
  • Taking a bath

Things to avoid before bed include:

  • Work
  • Bright lights
  • Video games
  • Heavy meals
  • Exercise other than stretching or light yoga

How to Apply This

Choose two of these habits to work on first; don’t try to incorporate all eight at once. Spend at least a week continuously doing those two tasks every day. Pick two more to work on once you’ve gotten those behaviors down to a science. This manner, you’ll be able to apply all eight within a month or two, while keeping it simple enough that you’ll be able to stick to each one.

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