Many of us know the basics when it comes to improving our health. We know to eat more fruits and vegetables, work out at least 30 minutes a day, and stretch regularly to undo some of the damage of sitting at a desk around the clock. But there are some unexpected methods you can use to help improve your health, too. To help spice up your wellness goals, here are five unique ways you can make yourself happier and healthier.
1. Try out new sports
It’s all too easy to fall into a routine, especially when it comes to fitness. If you’ve been regularly jogging, cycling, or lifting weights, consider trying out something different. New sports and fitness activities not only help to add variety to your hobbies but they can also target different muscle groups. For instance, a 155-pound person swimming freestyle can burn 704 calories in an hour and a 175-pound person can burn 460 calories walking 2.5 miles on a nine-hole golf course.
2. Turn your thermostat down at night
While a warm bath before bed might seem relaxing, it might actually be a better idea to keep yourself from getting too warmed up. At night, your body’s internal temperature drops to signal it’s time to rest. That means climbing under toasty-warm bed sheets or taking a shower right before bed could actually be keeping you awake. To help activate your brain’s “time to rest” switch, try turning your thermostat down before heading to bed to keep your room nice and cool.
3. Install some playful kitchen hardware
According to a survey, about one-third of homeowners who have remodeled their kitchens reported leading healthier lifestyles after renovating. It’s no wonder then that 14% of homeowners plan to make improvements to their kitchens. To make your own kitchen a place where you’re actually happy to cook healthy meals, consider painting an accent wall or changing out the hardware for yellow, orange, pink, or red options instead. Bright colors, as well as pastels, commonly make us feel happy and optimistic.
4. Use cold and heat therapy to treat pain
It’s no secret that pain management is tricky. Chronic pain is infamously difficult to treat, and the opiate medications commonly used for treatment can be dangerous. Up to 750,000 methadone prescriptions were written for pain relief in 2008 alone. However, even over-the-counter pain medication can sometimes cause harm, too. It’s important to drink plenty of water and to eat food before taking Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen, for instance, to avoid causing liver damage. For natural methods to treat acute pain and inflammation, consider using ice or heat therapy instead. The heat helps to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation while ice also helps to reduce swelling and pain.
5. Put a faux plant on your desk
Plant parenting has been a major trend for the last few years, but not everyone has a green thumb to help keep plants alive. Fortunately, you don’t need a living plant to get the benefits of seeing some greenery. According to a study, looking at indoor plants (real or fake) for at least three minutes throughout the day can help to reduce stress. While you may not get the oxygen-boosting effects of a real plant, a faux plant can help lift your mood just as well.