Small Steps that Lead to a Healthier Life - Wakunaga of America
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Small Steps that Lead to a Healthier Life

One of the main reasons so many of us put our health on the back burner is that keeping up with a healthy lifestyle can simply feel overwhelming. Oftentimes, we’re just too busy trying to balance work, family, and other responsibilities that our wellbeing can fall by the wayside.

What’s more, it can feel like we need to take drastic actions to see any real impact on our health. But for most people, that is simply not true! Improving your health doesn’t have to happen in one giant leap. You can take small steps to become a healthier version of yourself. And we’re here to show you how.

Simple Steps to Living a Healthier Life

  • Drink water. Staying hydrated is crucial for good health and well-being, but many people don’t consume enough fluids each day. Try and make hydration a priority, because it really does provide so many health benefits. For instance, long-term dehydration can reduce your joints’ shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain.1 Getting plenty of H2O helps to lubricate your joints, keeping them cushioned and flexible. Drinking water also forms saliva. This may not sound super important, but saliva helps you digest your food and keeps your mouth, nose, and eyes moist.
  • Fill half your plate with non-starchy veggies. Vegetables can be loosely classified as starchy and non-starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables generally have more carbs and calories than their non-starchy counterparts. Examples of starchy vegetables include potatoes, corn, and navy beans. Non-starchy vegetables include spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Filling your plate with non-starchy veggies is a simple way to make your diet healthier.

Speaking of greens, an easy way to get an extra serving in your diet is through a powdered greens drink mix. It makes it easy because you can add some powder to your morning juice, smoothie, or even to your glass of water without having to wash and chop those  extra ingredients. Try looking for a greens powder that is a blend of superfoods designed to benefit the whole body. These include barley grass, wheat grass, chlorella, and kelp. Did you know that chlorella’s nutrient composition supports heart health?

  • Consider certain supplements. If you feel like you aren’t meeting your nutritional needs through your diet—or you’d just like to boost certain aspects of your health—supplements can help you meet those needs. Soluble fiber supplements, for example, can help you to stay fuller longer, keep you regular, and reduce your blood sugar.3

Another powerful nutrient to consider is Aged Garlic Extract. Your cardiovascular system is only as healthy as the arteries that carry your blood throughout your body. Healthy arteries are flexible with a smooth, undamaged endothelium—the single layer of cells that line the inner surface of your arteries—that allows oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to flow freely to all of your organs and tissues. But over time, the effects of heredity, unhealthy habits, and age can cause the buildup of artery-damaging plaque and calcium deposits. When arteries become damaged, a condition called atherosclerosis can occur, where blood flow can be hindered or completely blocked. Studies show that Aged Garlic Extract can help to reduce the buildup of plaque and coronary artery calcification, ultimately helping to minimize the progression of atherosclerosis.4

We believe that a probiotic can help, too. Probiotics refer to the specific live strains of “good” bacteria that help the body maintain wellness. They’re found naturally in foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, and they’re also available in supplement form. When you supplement the body with probiotics, you’re essentially repopulating the gut with the healthy bacteria it needs to maintain a balanced microbiome—the collection of microbes that lives in and on the human body. The microbiome can be thrown off balance by any number of factors like a lack of sleep, antibiotics, stress, travel, or a poor diet, so probiotics can play a positive role for many people. Look for a probiotic that is backed by clinical research, one that is shelf-stable (meaning they can be safely stored at room temperature and doesn’t require refrigeration), and one that lists expiry at the time of consumption, not at time of manufacture. This is important because consuming expired  probiotics won’t be as effective if the live cells have perished.

  • Get outside. Try to get some fresh air at least once a day for at least five minutes at a time. You’ll feel refreshed, more productive, and better equipped to make healthier choices.
  • Stack those zzzzzz’s. If you’re not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night, try going to bed just 15 minutes earlier every night for a week and see how you feel.
  • Commit to exercising for at least 30 minutes every day. You’d be surprised how invigorated you will feel afterwards.

Major health overhauls, like dropping 20 pounds by summer aren’t actually necessary to getting your life on a healthy track. Focusing on baby steps—little changes you can incorporate one day at a time—is not only more doable, but is more sustainable in the long run. Try a few of the tips above to slowly but surely build out a long-term health routine that’s best for you.

References

  1. Ishibashi T, Sato B, Rikitake M, et al. Consumption of water containing a high concentration of molecular hydrogen reduces oxidative stress and disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: an open-label pilot study. Medical Gas Research. 2012; 2: 27.
  2. Ryu N, Lim Y, Park J, et al. Impact of daily Chlorella consumption on serum lipid and carotenoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Nutrition Journal. 2014; 13: 57.
  3. Sood N, Baker W, & Coleman C. Effect of glucomannan on plasma lipid and glucose concentrations, body weight, and blood pressure: systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008; 88(4): 1167-75.
  4. Wlosinska M, Nilsson A, Hlebowicz J, et al. The effect of aged garlic extract on the atherosclerotic process—a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies. 2020; 20: 132.