You don’t need back-breaking exercise equipment or an expensive gym membership to be healthy. Honestly, there are so many things you can do to improve your gut health and improve your overall health without spending any money! There are plenty of free activities to improve your health – and you can start adding them into your life today. My piece of advice would be to choose one per week and do it consistently. Create a habit of taking an evening walk every single day. Get that habit engrained into your daily life and then move on to the next things. Are you looking to specifically decrease anxiety for your children, I have a whole research-based blog post on that here!
Go On A Walk
Walking is great not only because it gets you moving, but it also gets you outdoors! Increase your time exercising and your Vitamin D intake by going on an outdoor walk. By walking, you burn calories, which in turn reduces your risk of heart disease and helps you learn how to improve gut health via moving & getting those enzymes working. I remember when I was younger, every single night after dinner, we would take a family walk. It improves digestion & metabolism.
We all know exercising is good for us physically, but what about the mental benefits of walking? Walking speeds up your metabolism, boosts your energy, and in the end increases your life span. It doesn’t seem like there are any downsides to going on a walk. Personally, taking 20 minutes to myself for a walk is one of my favorite ways to unwind. If your kids are in a bad mood? Take a walk. You’re in a funk? Take a walk. It works for the whole family!
How to Improve Gut Health by Drinking Water
Dehydration can lead to many negative symptoms like lack of focus, headaches, stomach issues and reduced metabolism. I recommend always keeping a bottle of water by your side so you never forget to stay hydrated! If you aren’t getting enough water, try creating a chart to track your H2O intake. The “one gallon a day” trend isn’t necessary, but if you significantly increase your water intake, you will certainly see health benefits.
Scientists have reported that drinking water significantly improves energy levels and brain function. Do you work out a lot? Then you need more water than the average person. In fact, consuming more water can actually increase your physical performance. Are you breastfeeding? Your hydration is mostly used up by baby because they get the nutrients/hydration first. Your body has the responsibility to keep two people alive now, so it needs not only extra calories, but extra hydration!
Practice Meditation Or Yoga
Taking just five minutes to meditate and de-stress can cause a significant impact on the rest of your day, improving focus and clarity for other activities. One part of your practice can include gratitude: it helps to shift your perspective from negative to positive. So many people have reported that simply naming things they’re thankful for has made a drastic positive change in their life! If you’re not into meditation or yoga, I get it. I used to feel like meditating was a waste of my time…until I started doing it before Grayson’s birth.
Learning that I could actually control my mind, control my thoughts, and to an extent, control my mental health was a huge breakthrough. Meditating feels like a waste of time at first, but research shows that meditation reduces anxiety and actually reduces age-related memory loss.
Sleep More to Boost Your Health
Sleep is nature’s healer. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re irritable, extra exhausted, and subject to intense junk food cravings. In fact, the amount of sleep you get can directly affect your immune strength. Sleep improves memory, mood, and heart function. Plus, who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep or sleeping in late in the morning? Skip that extra Hulu episode and get ready for bed a bit earlier tonight. You deserve to take care of yourself!
Do Bodyweight Exercises
You don’t need expensive weights to get a good workout in. Bodyweight exercises increase strength and endurance while also focusing on flexibility and balance. These types of workouts often also work the entire body, as opposed to machine workouts that isolate specific muscles. Have you ever looked at bodyweight exercise videos on Youtube? That’s a great place to start to find free and guided weight-free workouts. Better yet: workout outside! Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can increase mood. And Vitamin D from the sun is one of the easiest ways to boost your health for free.
Follow A Morning and Night Time Routine
Humans thrive on routine – we love consistency! When you start and end the day with the same activity, you think more clearly in the middle of the day. In your daily routines, include activities that you love – things that bring you joy. When you follow a morning and evening process, your stress levels and mental fatigue lower, and your confidence and self esteem rise. Plus, you won’t regret committing the time to your personalized self-care routine.
I know for me, personally, as a mom of 3 it is hard to keep that routine going. On the days when I skip things or don’t get enough sleep or I don’t get to spend time outside, I am extra frazzled. When I get to stick to my routine, I keep a cooler head with my kids, I am less stressed about my responsibilities and I wake up ready to take on the day. Do you feel like you’re a frazzled mess sometimes? Check out my blog post about time management for moms. I promise it’s a good one with new, non-cookie-cutter tips and tricks! Ready to take your wellness to another level, your next stop should be my Beginners Guide to Wellness post.