24 hours to a healthier you

From burning calories to getting great shut-eye, find quick ways to boost your well-being—anytime

by 0
If the thought of swapping Entertainment Tonight and your bag of popcorn for a walk and some broccoli has you hiding behind the couch, we understand. But what if we said that better living can happen in small steps, even in as little as 24 hours? It’s true: sneaking in a few healthy choices today can help you feel, look and sleep better. Munch on your bread crusts and you’ll load up on antioxidants that help combat chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Or take 20 minutes to pedal home from work and melt an Eskimo Pie’s worth of calories while strengthening your legs. Check the time now, skip to the appropriate tip in the following pages and start your brightest, most-bushy-tailed 24 hours yet.

7:15 a.m. Give your breakfast some brawn
Debating what to top that bowl of bran flakes with? Sprinkle on half a cup of organic strawberries. They boast 19 per cent more cancer-fighting antioxidants than their non-organic siblings, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Since organic berries grow herbicide- and pesticide-free, they produce extra antioxidants to help them fight off pests naturally. For wallet-friendly organics, look to farmers’ markets and local-produce stands rather than trendy health food stores, suggests Diana Steele, a Vancouver-based dietitian. Some grocery stores sell frozen organic berries, too.

8:30 a.m. Walk this way
You’ve heard about getting off the bus one stop early to sneak in a brisk 10-minute walk. But if you’re like many people, you may scoff at such a short workout. A survey conducted by the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition (ACFN) found that 35 per cent of adults thought they would need to walk quickly for 30 minutes to burn an extra 50 calories a day—the amount actually burned in that 10-minute power walk. Many people don’t have the time or the budget to go to the gym to work out every day, says Susan Calvert-Finn, chair of the ACFN. Walking or biking is an easier fitness activity to maintain over a lifetime. So take a hilly route or walk as fast as if you were late for work. The extra effort will make your strides really count.