9 Simple, Free Ways to Be Healthier

Simple living can make you healthy and happy

1. Breathe. The brain requires more oxygen than any other organ in our bodies, and slow, deep breathing is not only relaxing, it can help improve mental functioning and alertness. Take several pauses throughout the day to relax and breathe slowly and deeply, or practice traditional breathing techniques.

2. Give your pillows a sunbath. Dust mites don’t like dry, warm conditions, so if it’s a sunny day give those mites the boot by giving your pillows a sunbath for several hours. If it’s cold or humid in your area, give your pillows a 20-minute cycle in the dryer.

3. Step away from the computer. According to The New York Times, the latest research shows that too much immersion in technology can result in fractured thinking and trouble shutting out irrelevant information, even after we’re offline. Take breaks, limit electronic use–or if you really need to unplug, take a vacation from digital devices.

4. Open a window. Chemicals and pollutants can build up in closed buildings, but opening a window or door for just 5 minutes a day can refresh the air and get rid of toxins.

5. Take a walk. Walking is an easy, low-impact exercise that improves your mood, lowers your blood pressure, and offers a host of other health benefits. Take your dog along and you’ll both be healthier!

6. Help someone. Research shows that those who help others are less frequently depressed and tend to be happier with better physical health.

7. Give thanks. According to Psychology Today, regularly expressing gratitude offers a host of benefits from better physical health to improved mental alertness.

8. Laugh. Studies show that laughter reduces stress hormones and can even strengthen your immune system.

9. Floss.* Flossing reduces the risk of heart attack and may help strengthen the immune system by reducing inflammation.

Here’s a shout-out to my mom, Betty, for suggesting this great topic. Mom has always been an advocate of healthy living and good eating, and she was an early adopter of the nutritional and lifestyle regimen recommended in Adelle Davis‘s book “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit.” Our mom is healthy, strong, and beautiful inside and out – and when she gives me health advice, I always listen!

Enjoy the weekend, and if you have any other healthy living tips I’d love to hear from you.

The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. *If you don’t already own dental floss, it could be argued that this tip isn’t really “free.” So here’s a $1.00 off coupon from Reach floss, and according to our friends at Moms Need To Know, Reach floss is $1 or less at Target, RiteAid and Wal-Mart. You’ve gotta love free floss!

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of six books about home design and food. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

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