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https://www.cvs.com/blog/blog/health-and-minuteclinic/7-simple-health-hacks-your-home

7 simple health hacks for your home

July 7, 2019

All Posts by MinuteClinic

Striving to be your best and healthiest self is an ongoing project. But while you're obsessing over activity-tracker data and staying on top of gym memberships, you may forget that many of the best habits for good health begin at home.

1. Keep healthy snacks on the middle shelf of your fridge.

The idea behind this clever mind hack is all about eye line. Placing healthy foods and snacks where your brain registers them before fatty, sugary options makes you more likely to choose a healthy nibble. The same principle applies to how you store snacks around the rest of your kitchen: Keep wholesome options such as dried figs or apricots on display in glass jars, or a big bowl of fruit on your counter. In turn, keep the cookies out of sight and out of mind!

2. Invest in food containers.

Stocking up on a set of good quality, varied-purpose food containers makes it easier to store and carry homemade leftovers, and boosts your inclination to pre-prep a lunch ahead of a working day. Not only will this curb your temptation to grab unhealthy fast food during your break, it could save you money. Furthermore, it'll certainly save you some time: With no need to queue up at the sandwich shop during the lunch rush, use time you save to fully enjoy your pre-packed lunch somewhere sunny and peaceful (outdoors is ideal) to enjoy. Concentrating on the food and eating a little slower – what some call "mindful eating" – isn't just better for your digestive system, it provides you with a quality time out during your break.

3. Adopt the "screen-free Sunday" rule.

Whether it's because people are always "available" or constantly comparing their online lives to others, it's well-documented that social media can impact mental health negatively. Furthermore, hand-operated tech is a hotbed for germs, issues such as vision problems, disturbed sleep from blue light. On an extreme scale, some research claims that screen use can impair cognitive function. Engaging in non-screen-oriented activities with your family and friends is immensely good for well-being, helping you reconnect and be present for one another. Spending your screen-free day alone? Take the opportunity to pamper yourself a little, read a book, go for a walk in nature or cook a delicious meal from scratch: A little self-indulgence is just as important for lifting the spirits and calming the mind. Pick a day that best suits your routine—Sundays, for example—to ban use of screens and devices, or limit usage time.

4. Buy new pillows.

There's no beating the feeling of setting your head down on your pillow at the end of a long day. A well-chosen set of pillows limits neck and other muscular and skeletal problems. But accumulated drool and grease creates a hotbed for fungi and mites, and pathogens and spores emitted from pillows can wreak havoc on respiratory systems and aggravate allergies. The National Sleep Foundation recommends buying new pillows every two years (or washing the ones you have if they're machine-washable) to ensure your sleep is as productive (and clean!) as possible.

5. Consider black-out blinds in your bedroom.

Since sleep is a cornerstone of optimum health, creating a restful environment in your bedroom is an essential household health hack. Poor sleep can cause disturbances to mental health, such as depression. Creating a light-free zone is a good start: Research shows that exposure to even very dim light (such as falling asleep with your cell phone home screen unlocked on your bedside table) can have a very negative impact on sleep quality. Swapping out your regular drapery for blackout blinds to eliminate any outside light is an easy but effective step toward better sleep and general health – as is making sure your cell is locked before you nod off!

6. Open your windows.

Regularly throwing open the windows to stimulate air circulation is a must, even if you live in a big city. From regular use of cleaning and beauty products, cooking on gas hobs, human pathogens and the build-up of dust mites, the air inside your home can get icky quickly. Some studies estimate that pollutants in the air inside your house are up to five times greater compared to air outside. Complications such as asthma can be at the mercy of air quality, so if you're a sufferer, this is definitely one for you.

Furthermore, consider enhancing the purity of the air inside your home with some ornamental hacks. Himalayan salt lamps aren't just great for boosting indoor air quality; they look beautiful and emit a relaxing glow. House plants are also a great way to freshen up inside, too. Areca palms, spider plants and peace lilies are stars at keeping air quality at an optimum indoors, and since they're all low on the pollen count, are a perfect solution for sufferers of hay fever.

7. Get a pet.

Seriously! If your living arrangements are accommodating, there's no better way of boosting your health. Regular daily walks with a dog has numerous positive impacts on heart health and general well-being, but caring for any furry friend is immensely rewarding, too: Petting animals such as cats lowers blood pressure and aids relaxation. Dogs and cats a no-no? Fish tanks are effective at calming feelings of stress and anxiety, and lowering blood pressure – so it's no coincidence that they're such a fixture in dentist's and doctor's surgeries.

Creating a healthy environment in your home needn't be complicated or high-tech. Make new habits from the suggestions above and see how your health benefits from just a few simple household health hacks.