According to recent study, fewer than 3% of Americans qualify as leading a healthy lifestyle. Yes, you read that correctly: fewer than 3% of the population. Gulp.
While you pick your jaw up the floor, consider what is defined as a balanced routine by the study authors: moderate or vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, a diet score in the top 40% on the Healthy Eating Index, a body fat percentage under 20% for men or under 30% for women and no smoking. To arrive at this startling — and frankly, depressing — figure, they studied 4,745 people, measuring their exercise with a accelerometer and paging through their 24-hour food diary.
Though you might check off one or two of these, if you’re like the vast majority of the country, you have areas to improve. But completely changing everything? That’s a recipe for disaster, when hey, you might already be mostly healthy anyway. Instead of applying too much pressure on your routine, consider making these easy, painless swaps that will ensure your health in the New Year — and beyond.
Sleepetics Celliant Performance Sheet Set ($169.99; amazon.com)
Consumer Reports found 164 million Americans (or 68% of the country) battle sleepy-time woes at least once a week. Considering that our ability to reap shut eye impacts everything from productivity to weight, sleeping soundly should be a bigger priority than most make it. While you might give little thought to your sheets, perhaps you should, considering the texture and the technology of these daily warriors can make a difference in how you feel throughout the evening. Made of celliant mineral-infused yarn, these sheets convert your natural heat into energy, returning it to your body. Based on Sleepletics research, this helps you to recover from physical activity as you rest, and sleep deeper. They’re still new to the market, so more data is needed, but their high reviews on Amazon from frequent gym-goers are a great start.
FluidStance The Plane ($149, originally $199; amazon.com)
You’ve heard it before, but allow us to remind you. What you’re likely doing right this second isn’t great for you: sitting. If you haven’t convinced your employer to allow a standing desk option, consider making a case with the plethora of research available on the dangerous, long-term impact of continuous computer work. Being on your feet isn’t an easy task either, especially with the pressure it puts on your heels, toes, legs and hips. That’s why this (super cool) board could be an easy health swap for 2019. Though it’s still gaining traction, the system is said to increase your range of motion, amp up your heart rate and engage your core, all while keeping you balanced. Research at the University of Idaho concluded those who stood on this board burned 88 calories an hour … just from standing! To date, employees at Apple, Pixar, Google and Facebook are among its fans.
Nima Starter Kit ($289; amazon.com)
You love peanut butter, but it’s an unrequited relationship since it breaks you out every time you enjoy a spoonful. You also can’t get enough of that freshly baked bread your boyfriend whips up, but you pay the price an hour later. For those who suffer from minor to major sensitivities, intolerances or allergies, knowing what’s in your food isn’t just helpful, but mandatory. Though it’s easy to keep harmful ingredients out of your diet when you’re cooking at home, it’s tougher at restaurants or when you’re traveling. To the rescue is this small and mighty sensor that allows you to be an at-home (or on-the-go) chemist. Simply place a bit of whatever you’d like to eat into the test tube, fire up the device, and it’ll let you know if peanuts or gluten are present. It’s the first of its kind, and can give you stats in less than five minutes with up to a 99.5% accuracy.
SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker ($76.99; amazon.com)
Overloaded with sugar, lacking nutrients of any kind and tied to plenty of terminal diseases, if you’re still downing soda, consider this your wake-up call. What most people miss when they give up various blends isn’t just the sugar high, but the fizz. That’s why a smart way to wean yourself is to swap your can for a glass of sparkling water. This at-home maker won’t hog your counter space and is available in a variety of styles, making it easy to quickly carbonate water from the tap. If you can’t go cold turkey, it offers natural flavors, sans sugar or chemicals.