It is often assumed that it takes a major lifestyle change to see a noticeable difference in health and wellness. While a major change is often the best way to see improved health quickly, there are some minor and unusual health changes that can make a big impact! Even better, most of them are free or very inexpensive!
1. Get Some Vitamin D
I’m glad to see that there is increasing awareness about the importance of Vitamin D in the news lately. I’ve written before about the importance of Vitamin D and how Vitamin D levels impact everything from oral health to sun tolerance.
I personally prefer to get Vitamin D from sun exposure whenever possible, but there are also some high quality supplements that are helpful in winter or when sun exposure is not an option. Overall, optimizing Vitamin D levels is one very small change that has a tremendous impact!
Free Option: Get healthy sun exposure to boost Vitamin D levels naturally.
Easy Option: If sun exposure isn’t an option, it is possible to optimize levels and protect skin from the sun with certain supplements.
2. Get Grounded
I first encountered the idea of “Grounding” or “Earthing” when I read the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever. The basic theory is that out bodies need to come in direct contact with the grounding force of the earth on a regular basis to reduce the positive charge that can build up in our bodies. Our bodies and cells have electrical energy, and especially with the high prevalence of Electromagnetic waves, Wi-Fi and mobile phone waves, many of us have a high amount of positive charge built up in our bodies and need to be “grounded” to diffuse this.
In modern society many of use rarely (or never) come in direct contact with the earth and the book explains how this can contribute to many health problems. The good news is that it’s an easy fix!
Free Option: Spend some time outside barefoot in direct contact with the dirt.
Easy Option: Get an earthing mat to sleep on. It provides the grounding force so you can reduce inflammation and boost health while you sleep!
3. Potty Posture
Yes, I just used the word potty… I have toddlers! Turns out that another thing we got wrong in modern society is the way we use the restroom. Speaking of toddlers, they give a good clue of the correct way to use the loo: in a natural squatting position. Experts point out that the squatting position is more natural and can help avoid colon disease, constipation, hemorrhoids, pelvic floor issues and similar ailments.
This post explains a lot more of the science behind using the squatting position.
Free Option: Squat on the toilet seat or put a stool, box or a couple of upside-down buckets under your toilet to rest your feet on while using the restroom.
Easy Option: A Squatty Potty is an easier (and more attractive) option for adopting a squatting position without attempting a balancing act on the toilet seat!
4. Boost Gut Health
Hippocrates was once quoted for saying “all disease begins in the gut.” Time is proving Hippocrates to be a pretty smart guy, and science is even now linking poor gut health with a myriad of health problems.
From eczema to poor immune health, it seems that our gut health influences much more than we previously realized. If all disease beings in the health, it is logical to realize that perhaps optimal health begins here as well.
Overall, there are ten times the number of bacteria in the body as actual human cells, and this colonization of bacteria (good or bad) can weight up to three pounds. With such a large concentration of bacteria in our bodies, it is logical that we depend rather heavily on them for health.
I make it a priority to do as many things as possible to improve gut health on a daily basis, but even small changes can make a big difference in this area!
Free Option: Make some fermented foods (you have to eat anyway…) or drinks like Kombucha and water kefir.
Easy Option: Eating fermented foods is a great option, but if you don’t have time or don’t like them, a high quality probiotic supplement can be another good option. (This is the one I take)
5. Get Some Sleep
We’ve all heard how important sleep is, but it turns out that it is likely even more important than we thought.
I recently read the book Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival, which though poorly written in parts, has a lot of good information on the science behind the importance of sleep. It turns out that lack of sleep impacts your health (and your heart disease and cancer risk) just as much as a bad diet or constant exposure to toxins.
Statistically, getting enough sleep is one thing that we (as a population) are notoriously terrible at doing. The good news is that getting enough sleep is a completely free way to boost health…we just have to make it a priority!
Free Option: Just get some sleep! Here are some tips for improving sleep quality and getting to sleep more easily!
Easy Option: Ok, so there isn’t really a way to get the benefits of sleep without actually sleeping, so check out these tips and get some ZZZZs!
6. Eat More Nutrients
Many of us consume plenty of food but not enough actual nutrients! Statistically, many of our diets are made up of processed foods and chemical ingredients and they lack the important mineral rich and living foods that were once an integral part of any diet.
Diet is key, and while some supplements may help, they won’t be effective without a solid diet, since you can’t out supplement a poor diet! My suggestion is to focus on consuming extremely nutrient dense foods daily, rather than trying to “diet” which brings thoughts of deprivation. From experience, I can say that when I consume bone broth, grass fed meats, healthy fats like butter and coconut oil, raw milk and fermented vegetables each day, I am never hungry for (or crave) unhealthy foods.
Free Option: We all have to eat anyway, so just choose more nutrient dense foods like inexpensive homemade bone broth, soups, high quality meats, fermented vegetables (inexpensive and easy to make!) and other healthy foods.
Easy Option: Once we’re consuming high nutrient foods, certain supplements can complement a healthy diet and help the body operate optimally.
7. Clean Up Your Mouth
Did you know that oral health directly impacts the entire body and problems in the mouth can lead to compromised health?
Turns out that cavities and gum problems indicate problems that go much deeper than the mouth! Diet actually makes a big difference here too, and emerging evidence shows that teeth are even capable of remineralizing and healing if given the proper tools…
Free Option: Eat a diet that supports oral health (you have to eat anyway).
Easy Option: Check out my oral health resources page for some easy options to help boost your oral health.
Do you already do these things? What has made the biggest impact on your health? Share below!