North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

How to maximize your healthy habits


Getting a new pillow is a simple way to help you get the recommend amount of sleep each night.

If you have been working to improve your health habits, why not get the most out of that effort. Everyone loves to get more bang for their buck, so why not apply that to your health as well.

Hydrate Better

Did you know those electrolyte enhancing sports drinks are actually full of sugar? You could be trying to hydrate better when in fact you're filling up with sugar. With Americans consuming nearly 200 pounds of sugar per year we need to cut it out of our diet every chance we get.

Swap it: Next time you need to replenish after a workout try an electrolyte enhancer found in powders or tablets, sans sugar, or just use good old fashioned sea salt. Salt will help you hydrate quicker and you can also add a bit of lemon for even more hydrating power.

Sleep Better

If you have been trying to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night, but you aren't quite getting it in, or aren't getting that great REM sleep try making a few adjustments.

Swap it: Get a new pillow, there are many on the market that even have technology in them that claim to help you sleep with white noise and a natural awakening cycle. But you don't need a high tech pillow to sleep better, just look for one that is comfortable and supports your neck well.

Got Apnea? One huge reason people don't get high quality sleep is due to the prevalence of sleep apnea. If you snore, feel tired all day, have high blood pressure or are overweight or obese you may have sleep apnea. It's a good idea to see your doctor to be sure, and a great way to reduce your risk is to keep a healthy weight.

Eat Better

Maybe you are already meal prepping and planning healthier meals for yourself and your family, but why not amplify that? There are lots of little ways to sneak in a bit of extra nutrition without much extra work.

Swap it: Try swapping out extra simple carbs like white breads and rice with more vegetables. Try making a dish with rice and using cauliflower rice instead. If the family doesn't love it, try doing a half and half mix to ease them into it. Another way to add more nutrition to what you are already doing is to use spices and seeds that amplify your health. Try using turmeric spice and black pepper in your daily routine as it helps with decreasing inflammation, or adding a few flax seeds to your dishes. Easy add-ons like this are hardly noticeable when you are eating the meal and also easy to do.

No matter what you are doing to improve your health it's important to keep looking for small ways to improve your health each day and build on the healthy habits you have already incorporated. You only get one body, so make it last.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at


Reader Comments

Quil Ceda Village - Favorite Neighborhood Stores

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018