Dr. Kristen Mitteness
10 Ways to Improve Your Health for FREE
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Leading a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean you have to spend money on "super foods" or expensive supplements and appointments. Many of the things that are going to bring you TRUE health are not only FREE, but they're things you can do every day and often without much effort. Here are 10 ways to improve your life for FREE!
Get outside. It's pretty amazing what some Vitamin D will do for both your brain and body. I notice my mood can go south fast when I haven't been outside. I don't care what you do outside or how long you spend outside, just get OUT! This article from Harvard is one of many that found that nature can improve your health.
Go for a walk. Many people think walking isn't "enough" in terms of exercise. In my opinion, it is the best form of exercise. I even wrote an article on it here. Bonus points if you go for a walk outside!
Hang out with friends and family. Nothing can beat some face to face time with the people you love the most. Unfortunately, virtual visits don't fill our souls in the same way in person interaction does. Grab a friend, get outside and go for a walk. Win-win-win.
Build some muscle. And no, you don't need a gym for this. Increasing your muscle mass will slow down aging, allow you to live your life with more resilience, improves your glucose tolerance (less chance of Type II diabetes and chronic disease), improve sleep quality and more! I have a You Tube channel with more than 100 workouts you can do with or without weights to improve your strength in the comfort of your own home. The best news? They are all LESS THAN 12 MINUTES LONG! Now, come on, you know you have a spare 12 minutes in your day to get some exercise in for FREE. Bonus points if you do it with your family or friends and outside!
Listen to music you love. Enjoying music has been shown to improve your mental health. Add some dancing to it and you've just incorporated free exercise, too!
Make meals at home. Now, I know this isn't technically FREE, but chances are you have to spend money on food anyway. By making meals at home, you are gaining the benefits of the meditative quality we receive from making food and you can control the quality of the ingredients. Focus on real, whole foods; avoid highly processed, food-like products. I have loads of delicious, easy and quick recipes here.
Disconnect from electronics. Take a break from tv, news, computers and your phone. You can either put everything on airplane mode or do not disturb mode. You might feel bored at first, but your stress will immediately be reduced (unless you're having withdrawal symptoms, of course, and if that's the case, you should be doing it more often!). Taking time and space away from a bombardment of (mostly negative) news and electronics exposure is excellent for your health.
Drink water. Most of us don't drink enough water and it's a very easy thing to do that can instantly help you feel better. Staying hydrated is great for your joints, muscles, brain and cells. Here is another great article on hydration from Harvard.
SLEEP. You will die faster from lack of sleep than from lack of food. If you focus on nothing else, getting better sleep will get you the biggest bang for your buck. We've all experienced the negative effects from one or more consecutive nights of poor sleep. I know this is a tough one for parents, so don't stress out too much, if you can help it. Here are 10 tips for getting a better sleep.
Stretch. Every time I have one of my patients or athletes stretch, they mention how good it feels. So, why don't we do this more often? Maybe you aren't sure what to stretch or how to stretch. It doesn't have to be complicated. Any stretching, as long as it doesn't illicit sever pain, may be beneficial. I have a bunch of videos here that can walk you through how to stretch. Add some deep breathing to your stretches and you'll be feeling better in no time.
Which ones will you do today? Remember, health is a journey, not a destination and we're all getting out of here the same way. Now go get healthy for FREE!