It seems like a simple question: Are you happy? But for many people, it can be a hard one to answer — and to answer honestly. But for many, the key to gaining happiness (or at least working on it) is prioritizing their health.
According to a research report from Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) and Gretchen Rubin, 45 percent of people said they have not felt truly happy for more than two years. Twenty-five percent of participants said they forget or don’t know what it’s like to be happy.
Those statistics, though, have not gotten in our way of our pursuit of happiness. Nearly nine out of 10 people are seeking out experiences that make them smile and laugh. Eight out of 10 people are prioritizing health to improve their outlook.
But it’s not always so easy to prioritize our health. It’s easy to put it on the back burner in favor of other pressing priorities. Or, fear can get in the way — fear of change, fear of failure, fear of discomfort.
However, these health hacks can help you enhance your daily routine, gradually changing your lifestyle. And, maybe, helping you to pursue a happier, healthier life.
Small changes to prioritize health
Prioritizing health often requires making choices that yield long-term benefits but may not offer immediate rewards. It can be challenging to opt for a salad over a burger or to choose to exercise when Netflix beckons. The allure of instant gratification can make it hard to stick to health-related goals.
Set clear goals
Setting goals is a powerful first step towards prioritizing your health. Clearly define what you want to achieve, whether it’s losing weight, improving your mental well-being, or simply maintaining overall fitness. Break these goals into smaller, attainable milestones to monitor your progress and stay motivated.
Get outside every day
Are you one nature walk away from better health and a better mood? OK, it might not be that simple but spending time outdoors and in green spaces has been shown to lower stress, cortisol levels, muscle tension and heart rate. Whether you choose to hike, garden, or even birdwatch, these activities can feel restorative to your mental well-being.
But it’s not always easy to drive to your favorite nature preserve for a hike during the work week. Still, you can make time to spend just a few minutes outdoors every day.
Consider incorporating outdoor time into your morning routine. You can take your four-legged friends for a walk, sip your coffee on the patio, or read a book on the porch. You could also practice yoga or Tai Chi in your backyard. The combination of gentle movements, deep breathing, and the tranquility of nature can set a positive tone for your day.
Do you feel like you need more than gentle movement or a cup of coffee to prepare for the day? An early swim can also help you jump start your day and leave you feeling less tired and more focused. The workout will get your blood flowing, delivering valuable oxygen to your muscles (and brain).
Swimming outdoors can feel like a seasonal activity. However, a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa allows you to swim outdoors, at home, year-round. These swim-in-place pools have a built-in heater that keeps the water at your preferred temperature, whether you prefer the chill of the pool at 82 degrees or like a more comfortable 86.
Michael Phelps swim spas have a swim system that allows you to swim in place, at your own pace. There are speed settings from zero to 100. You can swim as fast as 54 seconds per 100 meter pace in the spa pool. Bonus: You don’t have to share your “lane.”
Go to bed earlier
Nearly five out of 10 American workers say they are regularly tired during the day, according to a Sleep Foundation survey. About seven out of 10 people are tired by the time the work day is done.
When we are tired and not getting enough sleep, we can feel more stressed and less mentally sharp. In addition, sleep deprivation can lead to a weakened immunity, high blood pressure, and poor balance.
Prioritizing quality sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health and to help you feel happier. While you might not have the luxury of sleeping later, you might be able to change your bedtime to support your health goals.
Determine what time you want to go to bed each night, and stick to it as consistently as possible. Gradually adjust your bedtime, going to sleep a bit earlier each night or week, to reach your goal. It’s also important to establish a relaxing bedtime routine that signals to your body that it’s time to wind down. This routine might include activities such as reading a book, practicing relaxation exercises, or listening to calming music.
Hydrotherapy could be a beneficial component of your nighttime routine, allowing you to go to bed earlier. Warm water therapy causes changes in the core body temperature, allowing you to achieve deeper sleep more quickly. Researchers have called this phenomenon the “warm bath effect.” You can take a warm shower, but soaking in the hot tub side of an MP Momentum D can help you achieve that effect while taking advantage of the massage jets.
Try one new food or recipe every week
Eating healthy can get a bad reputation. It’s boring or restrictive. Some people might think it’s more time-consumingtime consuming or more expensive. The dishes don’t taste as good as food that’s not healthy.
While we know a well-balanced diet is crucial for maintaining good health, it can be easy to forgo fresh foods for processed options.
However, this healthy hack can make eating a home-cooked meal a lot more fun.
Trying a new recipe or food every week creates excitement around what you are preparing. It also encourages you to incorporate a wider variety of ingredients into your diet, which ensures you’re getting a broader range of essential vitamins and minerals.
Experimenting with new recipes can ignite your creativity in the kitchen. Preparing a delicious meal from scratch can be deeply satisfying and boost your overall mood and well-being.
Rethink your exercise program
Intentionally moving your body is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. You’ll not only improve cardiovascular endurance and strength but also develop agility, coordination, and other physical skills. It can help you reduce stress levels and promote relaxation, which is beneficial for your mental well-being.
But exercise should not feel like a chore. If you are struggling to get in your daily movement or find that you are not enjoying your workouts, it might be time to try something new.
A new exercise program can reignite your motivation and enthusiasm for fitness. You might find yourself looking forward to each workout with anticipation. It can also be a way to introduce different movements and muscle groups, helping you achieve a more balanced and well-rounded fitness level.
There’s an added advantage to incorporating new movements into your routine. Learning a new exercise, such as swimming, can stimulate your brain, enhancing cognitive function, memory, and coordination.
Deliberate cold exposure, like soaking in a Michael Phelps Chilly GOAT Cold Tub, can have a positive effect on your mood and mental well-being. Research shows that cold exposure activates the sympathetic nervous system and increases the level of endorphins in the blood. These mood-boosting chemicals contribute to an improved mood.
Regularly incorporating cold water immersion can also help you better manage your stress response. Cold water can act as a stressor, leading to the activation of your body’s stress response mechanisms. Over time, exposing yourself to cold water in a controlled manner can make you more resilient to stress in daily life. You may find that you handle stressful situations better and feel calmer overall.
Practicing mindfulness can enhance your mental and emotional well-being. However, mindfulness can be a very individual practice and you need to find how it best fits into your daily life.
Start with small moments: Set aside a few minutes each day to practice deep breathing, guided meditation, or simply being present in the moment.
Practice gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude by listing three things you’re grateful for each day. This can shift your focus to the positive aspects of your life.
Mindful waiting: Use moments of waiting (in line at the store, at a traffic light, or in an elevator) as opportunities to practice mindfulness. Instead of reaching for your phone, take a few deep breaths and observe your surroundings.
How to buy a Michael Phelps swim spa
Do you want to be able to swim, exercise, and relax at home? Having a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa allows you to swim on your schedule while adding a fun factor to your backyard. You can click here to find out more about the benefits of hydrotherapy and relaxing in a hot tub. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a swim spa costs? You can request a quote here.