12 Pieces Of Health Advice We Should ALL Be Following

It seems like we are constantly bombarded with conflicting health and beauty advice. One day there’s a new superfood and the next we’re told that same thing actually causes cancer. It can be confusing trying to keep up with all of the things we’re supposed to be doing to maintain our basic health, especially since there’s definitely no “one size fits all” approach to health. However, there are some tips we can ALL benefit from, and here are a few to get you started.

  1. Drink more water. Step away from the Starbucks sometimes. By now everyone knows they should drink more water, but most of us don’t actually do it. While the old adage prescribes 8 glasses of water daily at 8 oz each, more recent guidelines have suggested that you should drink half of your body weight in ounces every day to ensure you don’t become dehydrated. It’s not all about hydration, though – there are plenty of scientifically proven reasons to be chugging more H2O – your body will thank you.
  2. Stop smoking. Stop smoking. Stop smoking. Stop smoking. Stop smoking. Smoking is literally terrible for every part of your body and the effects on the outside pale in comparison to the damage you’re doing inside. But if you need vanity as a catalyst to quit, here you go. Smoking causes your teeth to turn yellow or brown, bags under your eyes, premature aging & wrinkles, and thinning hair – just to name a few external side effects. Stop smoking.
  3. Exercise. While there’s a debate raging in the health community about how healthy kale actually is, there’s one piece of advice that every health professional on Earth agrees on: Exercise. Yes, it can be annoying, but physical activity is essential not only to your health but to your happiness. Elle Woods spoke the truth. “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Preach, girl!
  4. Stop being so sedentary. Most of us are in an office or on our computers all day and are relegated to a sedentary life. It’s important to get up and move yo butt! It’s recommended that everyone take 10,000 steps a day. You don’t need to buy a fancy pedometer to track your steps, either – most newer model smart phones come with an app that calculates it for you. Even in your sedentary life, you can take a walk during your lunch hour or go on foot to the store if you’re only buying one thing. Your feet are your friends and will help keep you fit and healthy.
  5. Give processed foods the boot. The golden rule of food? If it has ingredients you can’t pronounce, you shouldn’t be eating it. Aside from all of the additives and preservatives found in most pre-made foods there’s that pesky GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms). These are also in processed foods and GMO means the foods have been altered at the genetic level. Life moves pretty fast, but if you’re able to eat real, whole foods instead of grabbing stuff on the go that sounds healthy but isn’t, you’ll feel better.
  6. Just say no to sugar. There have been numerous studies that have found that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Take that, Colombia. It actually activates the same parts of the brain that cocaine does. Not only is sugar more addicting, but it’s also legal and in EVERYTHING. Really. Everything. Look at any bottle of ketchup, salad dressing, peanut butter… most items on the shelf contain added sugar in one of its many rforms. The more the eat it, the more you crave it. Stop sugar cold turkey and detox your body.
  7. Don’t drink out of plastic. Don’t you know that you’re toxic? Water bottles are filled with different chemicals that you’re essentially drinking every time you take a swig of H20. You wouldn’t sprinkle toxins on top of your food before each bite, so you shouldn’t drink out of plastic water bottles, either. Opt for glass whenever possible, and if you live in a city with great tap water like New York, there’s no need for the bottled stuff, anyway.
  8. Get enough sleep. Did you know the human body can live longer without food and water than it can without sleep? For all of those “I’ll sleep with I’m dead” people, that day might come sooner than you think. Not getting enough sleep can trigger health issues, not to mention the increased risk of in a preventable accident because you weren’t paying attention… because you were tired. Getting your beauty sleep is important and worth missing a night out every now and then for.
  9. Take off your makeup before you go to bed. Makeup will seep deep into your pores while you sleep if you leave it on after a long day or a night out. Instead of helping your skin look fabulous if it’s left on too long it can actually give you acne or irritate your skin. No matter how tired you are, take off all of your makeup before bed. It also gives your skin a chance to breathe and restore itself.
  10. Keep up with your oral hygiene. Oral hygiene is related to heart health. Gum disease may strongly be linked to heart disease. Now you know why your mother told you to brush your teeth every night. Also, remember to floss. Brushing your teeth without flossing is akin to going to the bathroom and not washing your hands afterwards.
  11. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Taking the dead skin cells off your body allows you to take care of the new cells. It’s important to exfoliate both your face and body at least twice a week. It will give you softer skin and the face products you use will be more effective since they don’t have to pass through a layer of dead skin.
  12. Make your own happiness. The best beauty secret doesn’t come from a chic aesthetician in France and it doesn’t cost any money. It’s happiness. While it’s free, it can be the most difficult thing to attain. Remember that you are the creator of your own destiny. If you don’t like something, only you can change it. It won’t be easy and you may not have answers how to change it right away but you are in charge of making sure you’re happy. And once you are, you’ll get a glow that the best facial and beauty products in the world couldn’t give you.
Abby Stern grew up in New Orleans and is now an actress, screenwriter, and blogger (who isn't?) trying to keep it real in Los Angeles. She also writes for FabFitFun and contributes to various blogs detailing her unique perspective on dating and twenty-something life in Hollywood. Gwyneth Paltrow is her spirit animal and in her free time, Abby enjoys Bellinis and plotting to steal unattended Birkin bags. Follow her on Twitter: @abbystern