5 Free Nutrition Health Hacks
Getting healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many habits that are both effective and free to improve both your body and mind. Don’t underestimate the power of small changes that help to build a stronger, more resilient you.
I’ve listed some of my favourites below.
1. Catch the morning sun
Get outside as soon as you wake up for morning sun. The morning sun helps to sync your circadian rhythm to the day, the light signalling to your brain that it’s awake time and time to start your day. A gentle stretch barefoot on the grass, a walk or even your workout if you’re a morning bird will do the trick. There are plenty of light rays that come through on a cloudy morning, it doesn’t have to be sunny to get outside.
Many people believe the circadian rhythm sets the tone for sleep and wakefulness, but it does much more. It also plays a role in
- Balancing hormones
- Digestion (and hunger hormones
- Blood sugar control / insulin sensitivity
- Promotes sirtuins which regulate cellular health & homeostasis
- DNA repair
2. Grounding / earthing
Grounding (aka earthing) is the practice of having a barefoot connection to the earth. Walking or sitting barefoot directly on the ground gives your body free electrons, which scavenge free radicals, reducing inflammation and promoting health. Grounding is both anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.
Grounding can be done on grass, in the sea or a lake, but not on concrete or your balcony. You’ll want ‘real earth’ contact. Swimming in the sea is an immersive way to ground, plus you get all the minerals from the water itself. And it’s free.
It’s possible to ‘buy’ accessories, grounding mats and blankets that are grounding, but this post is about free hacks, so I’ll leave it out.
3. Cold showers
Cold showers are free and fantastic for your health. Your mind screams ‘no way’, you do it anyway and feel amazing afterwards. Below is a list of some of the benefits of cold water immersion.
- Improves circulation
- Gets your lymph moving
- Helps metabolism
- Builds mental resilience
- Supports the immune system
- Releases endorphins
- Helps alertness, focus & willpower
- Helps anxiety, depression & stress
Start with 60 seconds and work your way up to a few minutes. You get bonus points for sea swimming!
4. Expose yourself to sunlight
Getting sunlight on your skin, without sunscreen, has a whole host of benefits. I’m not recommending you spend hours in the summer sun without sunscreen, but start with 5 minutes and build up to 20-30 minutes of sun exposure on plain skin. And as much skin as possible. The benefits include:
- Sunlight increases endorphins which make you feel great
- Increases energy (through dopamine production)
- Boosts mood (through serotonin production)
- Reduces stress
- Increases melatonin production to help you sleep at night
- Improves immune system
- Maintains strong bones (through vitamin D production)
So don’t be afraid of the sun!
5. Mindfulness, meditation & gratitude
The final free hack that you can do anywhere in the world is to take time each day to just be. Mindfulness, being in the present and being ‘mindful’ of your thoughts, actions and behaviours is a practice that will transform your mental and physical health.
Cultivate gratitude in your life – make it a daily practice to list 10 things each day you’re truly grateful for. Don’t allow yourself to repeat them each day. Find new things to be grateful for. You’ll find that your gratitude grows (and positivity and mood improves). You’ll find yourself appreciating the ‘small’ things in life.
Establishing a firm meditation practice is life changing. It really is. It requires practice and dedication, but the payoffs – mental resilience and stamina, stress reduction and general mood improvements – are worth it.
As William James says ‘If you can change your mind, you can change your life’
These are my top five absolutely FREE health hacks, accessible to all, that can transform your health for the better. Give them a try for a week and let me know how you get on!
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