By Barabra Pronin
Feeling healthier and happier may not be a matter of making major lifestyle changes, according to four health experts polled for Woman’s Day Magazine. Most of us already make the effort to eat a moderately healthy diet and get some regular exercise. But, note the experts, making nine small changes in our daily routine can very quickly help us to feel happier and healthier:
Eat protein for breakfast – Research shows women who consume protein in the morning snack less on high-fat and high-sugar foodslater. (Eggs are packed with protein, and the yolks are high in vitamin B12, which helps regulate mood.)
Slather on sunscreen – Apply at least enough sunscreen (or moisturizer with SPF) to cover exposed skin on your face and neck – even in winter. Up to 80% of the sun's rays can reflect off snow, and windy weather exposes your face to harsh elements that cause dryness and chapping.
Take a morning walk – Taking a short walk in the morning, even in cold weather, can give us an instant energy and happiness boost that elevates mood all day.
Swap a snack for a glass of water – If you’re prone to have mid-afternoon munchies, pass the vending machine for a glass of cold water. Chances are your craving for sugar or salt will subside.
Chew sugar-free peppermint gum – The scent alone is energizing, and new research shows that chewing gum helps your brain mute the stress response to noise.
Improve posture while driving – Roll up a towel and put it between your lower back and the car seat. This will help you sit straighter and avoid hunching over, a common cause of back and neck pain.
Soak sore feet – Relieve pain and relax stress before bedtime by soaking your feet for 10 or 15 minutes in the evening. Apply lotion afterward to keep skin moisturized.
Take your multi-vitamin with dinner - Some vitamins (like A, D, E and K) need fat for your body to absorb and store them. Your evening meals tend to contain the highest amount - so take one in the evening for the most benefit.
Move your alarm clock across the room – You’ll be less likely to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep in the morning. (Snoozing multiple times can make you more exhausted and grumpy during the day.)
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.