Getting healthy is the top resolution of 2014; it’s a new year and a chance to become a new you. Discover ways to be healthy and active while also being sustainable and reducing your carbon footprint!
1. Eat local. Visit one of Austin’s Farmer’s Markets almost every day of the week and see how affordable and abundant fresh produce is. By focusing your diet on eating locally produced food, you will likely end up eating more fresh fruits and vegetables!
2. Toss out toxins. On a daily basis, our skin is exposed to all kinds of toxins. Consider ditching harsh detergents and even opting for natural make-up products. Many local Austin companies even offer organic home cleaning products!
3. Bike more, drive less. Have a bike but a long commute? You could bike halfway to your destination and ride the bus the rest of the way! Commuting by bike gets you active but also reduces your carbon footprint!
4. Go meatless once a week. The water needs of livestock are far above those of vegetables or grains, so going vegetarian, even one day a week, can greatly reduce your carbon footprint and help you eat healthier. Some restaurants in Austin even participate in Meatless Mondays; join the movement!
5. Go outside. Breathing in fresh air, getting vitamin D and exercising are just a few benefits of getting outdoors. There are numerous parks and outdoor events in Austin; grab your shades and check them out!
6. Unplug electronics. Did you know that as much as 10% of your household energy use is caused by “sleeping” electronics? Unplug them not only to save energy but to reduce stress and increase sleep! Check out Austin Resource Recovery’s guide of where to recycle old electronics.
7. Sit less, stand more. Sitting for over 8 hours a day greatly increases your risk of health issues. Having a desk job doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health! Try pacing, while talking on the phone or instead of emailing or calling a coworker, walk over to her desk. After a few weeks, you may be addicted to being active while at work!
8. Get more sleep. Getting at least 6.5 hours of sleep per night promotes health and healing. More sleep means less colds, a healthier immune system and more energy throughout the day! Set aside enough time at night to wind down, turn off electronics and promote healthy sleep.
9. Cook more. Eat out less. Going out to eat can lighten your wallet in more ways than one. Not only is eating out significantly more expensive than cooking, it also increases your fuel consumption. Consider enrolling in one of Austin’s many cooking classes!
10. Expect good things from yourself and be grateful. Half of our tendency to be happy comes from genetics. But a large percentage of being happy stems from “intentional activity”. So the next time you’re feeling blue, try writing down everything you’re thankful for. A small thing makes a big difference!