Whether you've felt unhealthy for a while or just come off a vacation where you over-indulged a little too much, life can be tough when you're not feeling your best.
As many of you know, I experienced some difficulties with my health last year. I didn't have enough energy for my daily tasks, and fell crummy most of the time. Waking up feeling bad is miserable! But that's what I did for many months.
If you've ever felt like this, you probably know just how overwhelming it is. We have the desire to get better, to be healthier, but it seems like so much work and results appear to be a distant dream.
However, in my experience, a few simple changes, when implemented consistently, can lead to significant improvements in very little time. Sure, there are things that need to be worked on over longer periods, but generally, we can feel a lot better than we do today quite soon.
Maybe even just three days? (It happend to me once I cut out gluten)
Certainly you could have a major improvement within a month's time.
And even more so after a year.
Health improvements come in stages. Some suffering from chronic illness can take longer to feel any benefits, but they are possible.
When I felt sick and unhealthy, I often felt hopeless.
It seemed as though things would never turn around.
But they did.
I want to encourage you to keep on keeping on. Feeling better might be closer than you think. Don't give up!
Here are a few changes I made that had a major impact on my health:
You might be surprised how quickly you'll feel better once you implement these consistently.
1. Get more sleep
If at all possible, get more sleep. Go to bed early enough to get at least 8 hours. A good night's sleep helps you fight food cravings, loss weight, and improves decision making skills. It also leads to a happier demeanor (ever noticed how easy it is to be cranky and irritable after a bad night's sleep?).
2. Eliminate common food allergens
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
― Ann Wigmore
Food has a powerful impact on the way we feel. It's so powerful that removing a food that one is allergic to can be life-changing. That is not an exaggeration.
If you are not aware of any food allergies or sensitivities, a simple elimination diet can reveal a lot. You may not even know how good it's possible to feel until you try this. It really can make that much of a difference.
Once I found I was sensitive to gluten, I eliminated it and felt ten times better within a week!
Some of the greatest offenders, when it comes to food, are: gluten, dairy, refined sugar, eggs, and nuts. Cut them out for 30 days and see if you feel better. If you do, then add them back in one at a time; taking note of any reactions you experience.
If you're not ready to remove all of those things, but regularly consume processed foods, start by eliminating that. Get rid of sodas, packaged treats, candy, fast food, and so on. This step alone will have a major impact.
Some good info can be found here: Foods the Health Conscious Will Want to Avoid
3. Add vegetables – lots of them!
A few months ago I mentioned how I was striving to eat a lot more veggies (and even had a little printable to go along with it). Increasing my vegetable intake has made a big difference.
I still try to eat a lot of veggies and aim to have them at every meal. Sometimes this is challenging, especially when life gets busy. One trick for keeping my veggie intake high, even when life is crazy, is to use a green powder, like the All Day Energy Greens from the Institute for Vibrant Living. It can easily be mixed with water or added to a smoothie.
Whether you use a green powder or not, green smoothies are always a great addition to your diet. check this out for ideas: The Benefits of Green Drinks and Five Delicious Green Smoothie Recipes
4. Add gentle exercise
Exercise should make you feel good, not seriously depleted. A walk, stretch, lifting weights, yoga, pilates, and son on are all good. Almost any exercise is good. Just make sure it's not too much and actually damaging your body rather than enhancing your health. Find something that works for you and do it on a regular basis. Don't try to become an athlete overnight, as this will likely lead to burn out.
Experiment and find a form of exercise you enjoy, then strive to be consistent with it. Even if that means only once or twice a week to begin with. Movement is good for our bodies.
Get after it.
So How Long Does it Take to Feel Healthy?
You can start to feel better very quickly in some circumstances. Even a week of implementing healthy habits can lead to feeling better.
Other times, it might take months.
But here's the thing…
No matter how long it takes, its worth the effort to make a change.
Slow progress is still progress.
What are your best tips for feeling healthy fast?