Want to live healthier without working up a sweat? No sweat. According to scientific research, the next eight tips can help you feel more energetic and benefit your body. While it’s important to note that exercise is a key part of overall wellness—staving off heart disease, diabetes, and many other health concerns—there are many changes you can make to your daily life to do your mind and body some good.
1. Grow Your Own Organic Food
Growing your own organic food is one of the healthiest things you can do. Organic food doesn’t contain any of the dangerous chemicals, pesticides, and antibiotics found in conventional and factory-farmed foods, and it’s loaded with double the nutrients. In fact, kids who eat organic foods have six times less pesticides in their bodies—something that has been linked to cancer and other serious health concerns. Plus, growing your own food is cheaper than buying conventional and organic products at the store and it helps the environment. Add on the fact that being out in nature improves your short term memory, lowers stress levels, benefits mental health, reduces inflammation, boosts creativity, strengthens your immune system, and helps you live longer and it’s clear to see the upsides of starting a garden. And if that’s not enough, working with livestock and a garden sneaks exercise into your life that you won’t even realize is happening!
2. Get Some Zzz’s
Sleeping may seem lazy, but it’s essential for your health. While your body sleeps and rests, it restores neurons and your entire immune system. It’s been shown people who get the required amount of sleep have lower levels of mental illnesses like depression and stronger immune systems. In one study, it was found that people who sleep less than six hours per night are four times more likely to get a common cold than people who sleep seven or more hours. Sleep also helps prevent heart disease, stroke, and many scary illnesses, so get some!
3. Check Your Beauty Products
Your skin is your largest organ, breathing and absorbing everything it comes into contact with. That means the products you use every day have a huge impact on your health. Always use products within their expiration dates. After that, they may spoil or mutate—potentially harming your body and causing allergic reactions. Also, avoid products that have been linked to cancer like parabens, BHA and BHT, artificial colors and fragrances, Dibutyl phthalate, and the rest of the “dirty dozen.” When you can, choose organic beauty products like those from the Honest Company, Burt’s Bees, Goddess Garden, and other natural lines.
4. Choose Household Cleaners Wisely
What lurks in your household cleaners and products? Formaldehyde, ammonia, chlorine, sodium hydroxide, phthalates, and more. That is, if you buy brand name, conventional cleaning products. While the counters and floors will be clean, you’ll be introducing a ton of chemicals into your home, potentially harming you, your family, and your pets. Instead of harsh chemicals, opt for DIY cleaning solutions that work every time, including vinegar, lemon juice, Borax, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. You’ll be able to maintain a beautiful, clean home and a healthy environment.
5. Beware of Candles and Air Fresheners
Although they may smell amazing, certain candles and air fresheners are dangerous. One study found that paraffin candles emit alkanes, alkenes, and toluene which may harm people and pets. Other studies have shown that citrus candles in general can emit formaldehyde which causes cancer. It’s always better to air on the safe side and use flameless or unscented candles made from 100 percent beeswax. Better yet, bake one tablespoon of vanilla extract (or another essential oil) for an hour at 300 degrees to make your house smell divine and remain chemical-free.
6. Print Wisely
A printer may look like an unsuspecting polluter, but some laser printers with nano particles have been shown to give off as much air pollution as a major highway—in your home! If you can, keep your printer stored in an airtight container when not in use, and print it in a well ventilated room when you need to. If possible, the healthiest option is to take your printing to a commercial store to keep it out of your home.
7. Use Natural and Electric Air Purifiers
If you figure you spend every night in your home, you spend at least 56 hours per week there—if not more. That means you should ensure the air in your home is healthy and safe. You can do this in a number of ways; grow air purifying plants in your home, replace your air filters every few months, and buy an air purifier to remove chemicals, dust, allergens, and odors from your household air.
8. Dispose of Chemicals
It’s easy to accumulate products over the years, but it’s dangerous to leave paint, aerosol sprays, and other chemicals in your home—especially if you don’t need them. Rid your home of hazardous materials that could hurt your lungs and body by dropping excess materials at a HazMat disposal location. That way, you, your family, and pets won’t breathe in bad fumes and toxins.