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Article: 48-52: Life-Hacks for Your Health

48-52: Life-Hacks for Your Health

48-52: Life-Hacks for Your Health

"When you learn to transform your habits, you can transform your life." -James Clear

Taking care of ourselves is the most important thing we do—each and every day. Yet, for many of us, it feels like an uphill battle just to maintain basic nutrition or movement. It’s time to stop overcomplicating something that should be so inherently easy. And the good news is, healthy habits really add up:

“Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40% of our behaviors on any given day. When you learn to transform your habits, you can transform your life.” –James Clear

Here are five ways to make taking care of your health as simple as it ought to be. And before we start, it’s important to mention that if there’s a specific health concern you need to address, talk to your doctor, a registered dietitian, or a personal trainer about your wellness goals so they can put you on the right track.

48. Spare Some Spare Time

Movement doesn’t have to be a marathon to be meaningful. If you’re having trouble finding the time or motivation to exercise, try starting small with a daily 20-minute walk or this proven 7-minute high-intensity workout. It might seem like an insignificant amount of time, but it’ll make a difference and warm you up to the idea of fitting in time to sweat. You might surprise yourself by how good you feel—and even the busiest among us should hopefully be able to find a spare 7 minutes in our day.

Find A Friend - Two Women Sailing Together

49. Find a Friend

Any goals are more easily achieved when you have an accountability buddy, and that’s doubly true for health goals. Whatever you’re striving to improve, partner up with a friend who can either sweat alongside you or cheer you on each step of the way to be sure you stay motivated. Having someone checking in on you to make sure you’re taking care of yourself how you intend to can make a big difference in whether or not your healthy hopes become healthy habits.

And let’s just say you don’t feel like forging ahead with a close friend tagging along, but you know being held accountable works — there are a range of accountability apps designed to help you reach your goals!

Utilize an App - Man Looking at iPhone

50. Utilize an App

Speaking of apps, there are countless health and wellness apps out there, but the key is finding the one that works for you and your own personal goals. Maybe you want to start a daily meditation practice but need some guidance — try Headspace or Calm.

Maybe you’re a fitness beginner and need accessible home workouts — look into Daily Burn or Obé Fitness. Maybe you’re training for a marathon and need to log mileage — download MapMyRun or RunKeeper. Bottom line? If you have a wellness goal, you can find an app that promises to make it more achievable.

Water Infused by Kinto

51. Find Hydration Motivation

We grow up learning that our bodies are more than half water, but have you ever thought about where all that water is? Today I learned (thanks to this episode of Radiolab) about an organ in your body only recently discovered:

The human body is about 60 percent water. About two-thirds of that water is found inside cells, but the other third is outside cells and is known as “interstitial” fluid. Although researchers already knew that there is fluid between individual cells, the idea of a larger, connected interstitium had been described only vaguely in the literature. A new study is the first to define the interstitium as an organ in and of itself. –Meet Your Interstitium, a Newfound "Organ" in Scientific American

Refilling your interstitium sounds important, right?! Well, while drinking enough water is crucial to good health, staying hydrated is often easier said than done—so here are some thirsty tips from the team: 

  • Make it automatic by habit-staking: have a glass when you wake up and before each meal. While the most eco-friendly reusable vessel is the one you already have, if you're in the market, we love the new MiiR All Day Straw Cup made of 90% recycled stainless steel. 
  • Set reminders on your phone to chug a glass, or use a large water bottle you only need to fill up once a day. We love the Larq system of smart pitchers and sanitizing bottle options for best-tasting water plus an app that tracks consumption and filter status (is it over the top? Yes. Is it beautifully designed and worth it if it helps you stay hydrated? Also yes.)
  • Stay motivated by tracking your day’s progress with a "smart" bottle if you need high-tech hydration.
  • Make sipping more enjoyable: fill a glass pitcher with water infused with fresh, seasonal flavors like smashed mint leaves, berries, ginger, or sliced cucumbers (or smash the easy button with a low- or no-calorie flavor pack).
  • Treat yourself to a soda machine (less La Croix cans to recycle) or heck, a nugget-ice machine if that’s what it takes!

Remember the Snooze

52. Snooze Your Way to Wellness

It’s no coincidence that the very first Distil product was an iPhone dock called “Snooze” (rest in peace), and the final item on this epic list is about sleep—we love our sleep! But we each have different sleep habits, and some could use improving… after all, “insufficient sleep is linked to a host of health problems, from depression to cardiovascular disease.” –

We spend a third of our lives asleep, so the topic deserves our attention! In our quest to become more conscious about when we're unconscious, we asked the Distil team for their top tips to set the scene for a good night's sleep:

  • If you're using screens close to bedtime, you're exposing yourself to light's blue wavelengths which interfere with our circadian rhythm and disrupt our sleep. Try wearing a pair of blue-light blocking glasses—or better yet, substitute that last screentime session with a book in bed instead. 
  • Turns out sawing logs is temperature-sensitive. There are a number of factors, like seasonality, bedding materials, what you wear, etc. Find your goldilocks temperature and set your thermostat before climbing into bed. 
  • Find out which color noise works for you. While I like brown noise to help with focus, this white noise fan puts me in the sleep zone—and while you can opt for an app, it's best to sleep without screens nearby.
  • Drift off beneath a weighted blanket—try our favorite, the Bearaby TreeNapper
  • Headspace and Calm each have guided meditations and sleep stories to escort you to slumbertown; even practicing meditation during your waking hours can help you gain skills to train a chattering mind.

When it's time to rise, we like easing back into the waking world with the gradually glowing Glow Light from Casper. It has the neatest dimming feature (no joke, it's a gyroscope), plus you can pick it up off its charging base to create a customizable glow anywhere you want. While we haven't tried Lofie yet, we love that it incorporates a number of these healthy habits into one sleek machine! 

Still aren’t waking up refreshed? You may need more or fewer hours than most folks; because the popular 8 hours isn’t everyone’s optimum, try a sleep tracker to establish your baseline. Then, try sticking to a regular sleep schedule with your phone’s bedtime mode (Apple or Android).

A man stands on a rock in front of beautiful blue water and a large dark mountain in Hawaii

When it comes to your health, there are plenty of tools and simple strategies you can use to make taking care of yourself second nature. Find what works for you, then stay curious and flexible to ensure you can make maintaining your health a lifelong habit. Because as writer Annie Dillard says, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." 

And for those times in life when you inevitably find yourself overwhelmed or underwhelmed, may we suggest our #1 favorite life-hack of all time: Getting up and taking yourself outside for a few deep breaths of fresh air. It's like the "unplug it and plug it back in" for humans. As Kurt Vonnegut once said:

"We’re dancing animals. How beautiful it is to get up and go do something."

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42-47: Simplify Your Home

42-47: Simplify Your Home

Your home should be a sanctuary — not a source of stress. Here are a few ways you can simplify different rooms of your home and create the abode you deserve.

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