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Well For Culture: 4 Easy Lifestyle Tweaks to Drastically Improve Health

These four easy lifestyle tweaks will drastically improve your health, fitness guru Chelsey Luger says.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make all the difference.

The wellness journey is all about consistency. It's about making adjustments to your lifestyle that will stick with you for good. It's NOT about short-term goals or intermittent periods of deprivation.

Becoming healthy is about developing a holistic mentality. It's important to remember that health is not ONLY about the food you are eating or the exercise you are doing: it's about your surroundings, your environment, and being careful with and aware of all products you consume.

Too often, we are told to deprive ourselves in order to get in shape. It’s true that there are certain things we should eliminate from our diets and lifestyles. But it’s also true that we can continue to enjoy a lot of things that we enjoy - just in a healthier version.

Here are four ways to tweak your day-to-day lifestyle that are so simple and subtle, you will hardly notice a difference. But, because all of these things are a part of your daily life, these adjustments can make all the difference in improving your overall health and wellness. It's a good place to start.

1. Replace your cooking oil

Get rid of vegetable oil; canola oil; margarine; crisco or anything else artificial or over-processed you may be using in your cooking. This is a critical initial step toward better health because cooking oil is something that most of us use every single day - so it affects ALL of our meals. Even if you haven't yet replaced all the ingredients in your meal with healthy foods, at least you've started with the one component that touches and gets absorbed in all of your food. There are several kinds of healthy, natural cooking oils and healthy fats out there, so take your pick. Coconut oil is my favorite.

2. Keep fitness equipment in your home, car and office

This is about eliminating excuses and creating an environment of wellness. If we keep exercise equipment in our living and working spaces, we make it easier on ourselves to squeeze in quick workouts anytime, anyplace, anywhere. I'm not saying you have to have a home gym with expensive machines. I'm talking about cheap, easily accessible pieces that can be used in hundreds of ways and that are relatively easy to carry around. For example: kettlebells; resistance bands; pull-up bars; yoga mats; etc. Exercise equipment in our personal space is also a constant visual reminder to get moving. If you're watching TV and your yoga mat is sitting in the corner of your living room, you might just remember to take it out and do a good stretch.

Some examples of everyday products to keep around the house: (clockwise) yoga mat, organic face wash, organic blackberries, plant-based household cleaner, a resistance band, and coconut oil. Photo courtesy Chelsey Luger.

3. Replace artificial and chemical-based hair, skincare, & cleaning products with plant-based, natural stuff

Even though we don't ingest these types of products directly through our system like we do with food and drink, our bodies absorb and internally process all products that are in the air around us and on the surface of our skin and hair. This is why it's just as important to pay attention to the ingredients in the products you use on a daily basis for personal and home hygiene as it is to pay attention to the ingredients in your food. Chemical-based hygiene products can cause headaches, respiratory illnesses, and possibly even worse health condition and ailments. Replacing these products with natural solutions will work wonders on your overall health and that of your family.

4. Always choose ORGANIC over non-organic

Assuming (hoping) that fruits and vegetables are already a part of your regular purchases at the grocery store, it is important to make sure that you always purchase the organic fruits and vegetables. It's tempting to go with the regular versions because they're often less expensive and even tend to look juicier, but don't buy into these illusions. The dangerous side effects of consuming produce that has been, at one point, doused in pesticides or grown with chemicals is not worth saving a few cents. Purchasing organic is an investment in your health for the long term. It goes without saying that if you can get your organic produce directly from a garden, that's even better!

Chelsey Luger. Photo courtesy Eller Bonifacio.

Chelsey Luger is Anishinaabe and Lakota from North Dakota. She hopes to be a strong link in a long chain of ancestors and descendants by spreading ideas for health and wellness. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Ideas for articles? Email her: wellforculture@gmail.com.