Of course, we’re all trying to feel better, live longer, get more energy, and be happier (no duh!). But if achieving optimal health was easy, we’d all be running marathons and there’d be no such thing as a double-stacked hamburger. Luckily for our busy lifestyles (and the temptation that is fast food), we can simplify our health goals and routines with hacks that make it easier to feel better and improve our overall wellbeing. Here are 10 simple hacks that will seamlessly fit into your busy schedule, but could totally change your life.
1. Hack your hydration
There’s a reason that drinking water is the most basic, universal health tip in the book. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies, but it’s not always easy to remember to drink enough water when we’re fitting in sweaty workouts or are so busy with work that we forget to refill the water bottle (or even drink it in the first place). Many aspects of our modern lifestyles can mess with the proper hydration our bodies need to function. We’re busy women living busy lives, and staying hydrated is not always at the front of our minds. The fix? Nuun Instant.
Nuun is dedicated to keeping you as hydrated as possible with good-for-you electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. I love Nuun because the single-serving packets are vegan, non-GMO, made with clean ingredients, and absolutely delicious. Plus, one packet only has 25 calories, so it won’t be sneakily sabotaging your health goals. Whether the problem is that you don’t crave the taste of water or you’re just not drinking enough, Nuun will fill your regular cup of water with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that will hydrate you from the inside, out. Try drinking even more water (loaded with extra nutrients) and just watch how much better your body feels.
2. Tweak your diet instead of changing it
Good news: you don’t have to transform your diet to be healthier. The most sustainable and effective way to eat healthy (without hating your life) is making small tweaks every day. For example, if eggs are your go-to breakfast, add some sautéed spinach or kale. If you’re ordering out from your favorite restaurant, you don’t need to change your order. Instead, order a side salad or ask for sauce on the side. You can also try having a smoothie instead of a breakfast sandwich or eating carrots and hummus instead of your usual Cheetos snack in the afternoon. The point is to make one small change at a time, rather than to transform your entire diet at once, so you’re eating more nutrients without forcing yourself away from the foods and habits you’re used to.
3. Take a work break with movement instead of an Instagram scroll
You know it, you love it, you depend on it: the momentary pause from uninterrupted work to take a quick scroll through social media. Your brain might need a break, or you need a few minutes “off” to transition into the next task. But instead of scrolling through Instagram, checking Snapchat, or refreshing TikTok, get up and move your body to refresh in between work tasks. A few jumping jacks, a mini dance party, a yoga flow, or just some stretches are enough to energize your body, reset your mind, and will help you focus better for the rest of the day. Not only will movement help you refocus and reenergize better than an Instagram scroll ever would, but it’s also an easy way to fit in movement and motivate yourself to make better choices for the rest of the day.
4. Make your workouts work for you
You know you’re supposed to exercise to stay healthy, but make your workouts work harder for you with a few key hacks like fitting in shorter bursts of movement throughout the day instead of one long workout. Not only will you always have time for a 10-minute workout, but it will be easier to stay consistent if you’re not used to a 60-minute workout every day. Bottom line: getting in a daily workout doesn’t have to be hard.
Also, try other fitness hacks like opting for workouts that are restorative or motivating instead of draining (it will help with consistency), and replenish hydration and minerals for more efficient energy. Nuun Instant is packed with complete electrolytes and a balance of ingredients that can help healthy muscle recovery and lasting performance, so you’re getting an even better workout. It’s like the sports drinks you used to have at soccer practice, only way better for you.
5. Get sunlight first thing in the morning
You know that you should avoid screens at night because they restrain the production of melatonin, right? While that’s a hack in itself (no Netflix before bed!), we can also use that info when we do want to be extra awake. If you’re lacking the energy to fit in a workout or just feeling groggy getting through your morning routine, try going outside first thing in the morning; sunlight tells your body to suppress melatonin production to boost energy and alertness. After the alarm clock goes off, open the blinds right away. If possible, get outside in the morning (walk to work, drink coffee on your patio, or do an outdoor workout–just don’t forget your SPF). If you’re one of the brave souls who wake up before the sun is up, consider investing in an alarm clock that mimics a sunrise.
6. Change up the location of social media apps in your phone
Confession: whenever I open my phone to look at a note, send a text, or check the weather, my finger automatically clicks on Instagram first. Sometimes, I’ll realize I just spent 15 minutes on Instagram and have no idea how I even got there. More often than not, we open our phones for other reasons and click social media by habit (or as a mindless break), only realizing after 10, 20, or 30 minutes how much time we’ve wasted.
If you find that your iPhone addiction is hurting your health goals, the fix could be as simple as breaking the habit, and breaking the habit could be as simple as rearranging where the social media apps are located on your phone. Consider placing the apps that you want to avoid on the very last page (so you have to consciously scroll to get there), or regularly change up the location to break the automatic motion. Yes, you’ll still have the option to spend tons of time on social media, but it will cut out those moments where clicking on an app is just a mindless habit.
7. Invest in your health
Put your money where your mouth is. Yes, it’s a weird cliché I don’t think I’ve ever actually used before, but when people invest money, they’re more likely to stay motivated and on track. If your workout plan consists of Youtube videos or some yoga flows on your own, and you find yourself never making time for exercise, it might be because you don’t have anything on the line. Try investing in an online subscription, a new pair of leggings, a pretty yoga mat and pair of dumbbells, or a hydration supplement. Likewise, invest in healthy produce. Because fresh produce goes bad much quicker than a box of mac n’ cheese or a frozen pizza, you’re more likely to go for a meal incorporating the fruits and veggies, if for no other reason than you don’t want your money to go to waste. There’s nothing more important than your happiest, healthiest self, so start spending like it.
8. Focus on making healthy choices (even when it’s hard!)
Think about the number of decisions you make every single day, even just within the first few minutes of waking up: whether or not to hit snooze, what to wear (which is approximately 100 different decisions for me), or when to turn on the coffee pot. The little decisions add up to be subconsciously overwhelming. Decision fatigue is a real thing, and it’s often why we opt for pizza delivery instead of finding a recipe to cook at the end of a long day or forego the workout instead of deciding which online video to do. Imagine that there are a certain number of decisions you can make throughout the day, like a decision piggybank.
Make sure you’re saving the decisions for important moments (like work meetings, how to spend your evenings, and what to eat for dinner), by planning ahead of time. Meal prep all your lunches, sign up for workout classes in advance (or put a workout in your calendar so you can’t skip it), and try a go-to outfit formula so you don’t have to think about what to wear. After a late night out or just a bad night of sleep, we can feel sluggish and forego all of these important decisions to make choices that doesn’t let us feel our best. Nuun is a great pick-me-up when feeling exhausted. The electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals will help you feel your best, even on days where you don’t. After all, true health is not about being perfect all the time (no such thing!); it’s about making the best decisions for you, even on days where you don’t feel like it.
9. Have a nighttime routine that relaxes you
Raise your hand if you have trouble sleeping or are exhausted all the time (*insert hand raising emoji here*). We’re all typically going 100mph until the second our heads hit the pillow. Whether it’s late-night work, going out with friends, or wrangling toddlers, nighttime typically looks like wearing ourselves out until the lights go out, instead of hours of me-time and self-care rituals while dressed in a comfy bathrobe (Barefoot Dreams, to be exact). It’s no wonder we’re tired all the time!
The health hack that’s fixing sleep problems all over the world? Allowing time to relax before it’s lights-out time. When you need to unwind after a long day or to recover after that aforementioned workout, Nuun Rest is packed with ingredients to calm a busy mind and melt away tension. With ingredients like tart cherry, potassium, and magnesium, every sip is optimized to support your body’s natural relaxation functions for the soothing R&R that you deserve. Make yourself a glass of Nuun Rest, light a candle, and read a book to get the most restoring sleep of your life.
10. Be grateful for something new every day
Sure, this sounds like a cheesy cliché or a segment on Oprah, but gratitude is a health hack in its own right: grateful people report feeling overall healthier, experiencing fewer aches and pains, and feeling less toxic emotions. While any feelings of gratitude spark positivity and the health benefits that come with it, try challenging yourself to be grateful for something new every single day. Hold yourself accountable by recording it each night, and see how many things you’ll find to be grateful for besides your family or getting eight hours of sleep (my two gratitude go-tos). Finding something new to be grateful for requires you to be conscious throughout the day, meaning you’ll notice even more and get those feel-good benefits throughout the entire day.
This post is sponsored by Nuun, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.