12 Mind Blowing Health Tips to Teach Your Body

| Women's Health

It's a given that exercise and nutritious eating are two primary keys to wellness. Taking these into consideration, we asked health experts from all over to contribute their mind-blowing health tips. Outside of simply exercising and eating well, read on to learn how to take your health to the next level and think outside the box when it comes to total body wellness.

woman sleeping in her bed

1. Sleep = Skinny! We all know sleep is good for memory, emotional tolerance, and learning. But did you know that getting good sleep can control whether you can manage your weight more easily? After a good night's sleep, our body's "hunger hormone", ghrelin, is at a low for the following 24 hour period, and the "satiety hormone", leptin, is high. But a bad night's sleep does the reverse, making us overeat the next day to keep our energy up. A lifetime of bad sleep habits or sleep apnea can lead to a lifetime of gradual weight gain. Now who wants to take a nap? ( Dr. Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH Founder, Art of Dermatology LLC)

woman eating healthy lunch at work

2. Eat More Food More Often. Eat more but stick to lean proteins, vegetables, healthy fats, and carbs with low glycemic indexes, like steel cut oats and yams. Aim for 5-6 meals a day, consisting of 9-12 servings of vegetables and a gram of protein for every pound of body weight. A 25 gram serving of protein is about the size of your fist. Eating more protein will help keep you full, stabilize your blood sugar and help build muscle. (Bob Holper, NASM NASM Certified Personal Trainer , Nutritional Regional Lead for Life Time, ISSN Sports Nutrition Specialists, IFPA Pro Bodybuilder)

woman relaxing in the bathtub

3. Practice the 2 to 1 breath. This means exhaling twice and long (inhale for 7-21 complete breaths). A few breaths relieve anxiety, stress, muscle tension, low energy, calms the nerves, relaxes the skin around your eyes and forehead, and lowers stress hormone levels. (Nancy Gerstein, yoga teacher and author of Guiding Yoga's Light: Lessons for Yoga Teachers.)

yoga-handstand

4. Do a Headstand. Whether you're a beginner or advanced, you can do modified headstands using a chair or a wall for support. The reason why headstands have amazing health benefits is that they not only improve your balance and strength, but also help improve circulation and reduce the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. So a headstand a day can keep the doctor away! (Dr. Dr. Rob Berberian, D.O., Integrative Medicine Specialist, Founder of Whole Health & Soul)

woman relaxing in the bathtub

5. Laugh! Studies show that increasing laughter can decrease blood pressure, improve mood (thereby lower depression) as well as increase endorphins (the chemical associated with 'runner's high'). Laughter Yoga is increasing in popularity and is offered at many local recreation centers and yoga studios. Find a 'Comedy' Radio Station and listen to it in your car while you commute! (Paula Stephens, M.A.)

woman-meditating-at-home

6. Meditate. 3x3 meditation consists of 3 minutes, 3 times a day. These focus breaks enable us to literally rewire the way we think to program success from the inside out. From de-stressing to losing weight, the right mindset must come first and can be effectively developed in short focused breaks several times a day rather than in one longer once-daily session. (Dina Proctor, Author, Madly Chasing Peace)

7. Look At Your Poop. Yes, that’s right. Go ahead and admire your work. Why? It can tell you a lot about your overall health. Poop should be smooth and S-shaped liked your colon. If it comes out lumpy or like marbles, then you likely need more water and fiber. (Dr. Oz, The Doctor Oz Show)

preserve-storage

8. Ditch the Clear Storage Bowls. Switch from clear bowls and containers for food storage in your refrigerator or counters to opaque ones. Being able to see food makes you want to eat it. Just the simple switch could easily cut hundreds of calories from your day. (Jodi Greebel , Registered Dietitian and President of Citrition, LLC, a nutrition counseling practice in New York City.)

woman getting organized and writing in her planner

9. Get Organized. Write down your specific meal planning and menu goals for the week. Write down when you will specifically exercise, meditate, cook, etc. Set up a "launching pad" in your house. A specific place where you leave your gym bag and brief case. Pack it (along with your lunches, which can be pre-made and left in the refrigerator) the night before. That way you wont be as rushed in the morning, and you'll finally be able to start your day the healthy way. (Susan Weiner, MS,RDN, CDE, CDN)

white sugar, sugar cubes and brown sugar

10. Ditch the Artificial Sweeteners. Researchers think artificial sweeteners trick your body into thinking it is consuming real sugar, which causes your body to release insulin and store belly fat (read Melt Tummy Fat with These 5 Cleansing Foods). Artificial sweeteners may also contribute to carbohydrate cravings. Giving up artificial sweeteners helps reset your palate so it's back to normal, able to appreciate the natural tastes of whole foods rather than always demanding hyper-sweet, sugar laden foods. A teaspoon of real sugar only has 16 calories. (Dr. Travis Stork, MD, Host of The Doctors TV Show)

woman reading cookbook in her kitchen

11. Invest in Education: Invest more on information and education rather than items such as apparel and accessories. Information changes the seasons of your life. Flood your mind with new information in the directions of your dreams and your whole life will shift. Reading taps you into a reservoir of new ideas and solutions for life’s problems. Books are often roadmaps to the next phase in your life. (Stacia Pierce, Life Coach, CEO of Ultimate Lifestyle Enterprises)

scared woman holding her scale

12. Toss your Scale. Nearly half of Americans polled by Life Time Fitness cite "seeing results" as their weight loss motivation. Since your bathroom scale may not budge when you're building muscle mass and it may not account for transforming the look of your body, you should measure body fat composition instead. Your trainer or doctor can perform a simple test using a skin fold caliper or specialized scale. (Bob Halper, Life Time Fitness and NASM Certified Personal Trainer)