Let’s be honest, summer is here in Nashville and not only do we want to look our best, we want to feel our best. And after a long, hard winter and super short spring (hello 90 degrees), it’s time to get out, feel the sunshine and put our best foot forward. But the walk towards our best health (and best self for that matter) is not always an easy one. Work, relationships, and kids can all distract us on our path.

Here is a practical breakdown for 6 simple ways toward healthier living.

Go Green

It’s no secret that when we eat more plant-based food daily, we feel rapidly better. Yes, there’s the current celery juice craze that everyone has jumped on and if it wasn’t your favorite, try adding organic spinach, an apple, half a banana, and some mixed berries and that might do the trick. Sometimes just taking your favorite nutrient-dense fruits and veggies in the kitchen can turn into a super satisfying smoothie. There are no strict rules for healthier eating here. Just go green. Eat less processed foods. Be intentional. Eat more greens. Eat more fruits. Swap rice for sautéed spinach. Swap pasta for a roasted brussel sprout sweet potato medley. When you need a pick-me-up in the middle of a hot Nashville afternoon, stop by Clean juice for a green juice or a protein smoothie and feel instantly better. And healthier.

Get Outdoors

Meeting for coffee or breakfast these days seems like a thing of the past. Text messages between besties recently usually land on “wanna walk Radnor?” The answer is yes. An hour hike through Radnor Lake burns not only calories but also a fire within like minds. Walking with friends is better than coffee, it’s fuel for the heart and a healthy heart rate to boot. If the outdoors isn’t your favorite, stop by the Sculpt House and see Beccah for an incredible burn and sweat session.

Say Yes to Sex

Can we talk about sex? So, no, it’s not the hashtag we see on everyone’s feed on a Friday morning, but it should be. It should be part of the worldwide health conversation. And here’s why. It’s healthy. And we should talk about it. In this crazy busy and ever-changing world, we are adulting at fast speed and sex is the most underrated form of healthy heart business on the planet. Nobody discusses the benefits of what sex with your partner can do for your mind, your body and your soul. So let’s just cut the crap and embrace the facts that sex benefits range from lowering your anxiety to boosting overall health and well being. Plus human connection is our #1 craving. So say yes.

Meditation

We may not all have Deepak Chopra at our fingertips, but his fundamental belief in the benefits of meditation are most definitely within reach. Whether it be 10 minutes of morning meditation alone in your bedroom, your favorite hour of hot yoga at Fahrenheit Yoga Nashville, or diving into the newest transcendental meditation workshop, every minute counts and acts as a straight gateway to healthier living. Mindful awareness and expanded consciousness are the core components, so experiment at free will. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy heart.  

Drink You to Healthy

No, we’re not talking adult beverages, although we’ll never talk you out of a good glass of red wine full of antioxidants. We’re talking the most simple step to health. More h2O. Sounds simple right? You’d be surprised how much water people do NOT consume, and how many benefits you may be missing out on is astounding. Better skin, better sleep, fewer headaches and an overall better sense of well being. When you start drinking the recommended 9 plus cups of water (for women) or 13 cups (for men), the body does the work and the results are visible and physical. Stop by the Brentwood Rei or your local Whole Foods and pick up a water bottle. You’ll thank us later.

Get Your ZZZ’S

Sleep when you’re dead? Actually, no. Sleep is paramount for health. As the culture continues to ricochet through the idea of more more and more, it’s important to remember, we’d all like to stay a while. Be here now. Getting healthy also means turning off. It is recommended that we try our best to get 8 hours of sleep. Getting those hours is not only important for your energy levels, but it’s also critical for good heart health. And as much as we’d like to get those 8 hours, it’s not always in the cards. Overworked, sick kids, insomnia, you name it. Being intentional to shut off at the end of the day is your ticket to rest. Shutting your phone off to airplane mode at bedtime means you’re cut off. And cut off means no interruption. Whether you need to exercise before bed, take a bath, or simply watch your favorite show, when you feel like it’s time to doze off, make a committed effort to shutting down for the night and get your z’s. Your health long term will thank you.