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By Sarah Jio
I’ve been writing about health and wellness for my entire journalistic career, so it’s fair to say I know what to do—and not to do—to stay healthy. But here’s the straight-up truth: Sometimes I get a little lazy about it all. I’m into health, of course, but not perfection, and I know I can’t be the only one looking for the ol’ easy button sometimes. Obviously, there’s no substitute for the ultimate trifecta (AKA, eating clean, moving your body often, and getting quality sleep—along with 5,000 other things we all should be doing, right?), but I admit to taking a few shortcuts here and there. What can I say? I’m a tired mama. Here are my favorite wellness hacks:
Staying hydrated is the key to so many things—warding off headaches, boosting energy and nixing muscle cramps, for starters. While I’m a champion water drinker, I’ll admit that I find straight-up H2O pretty, well, boring. Fortunately for us, there are a ton of products designed to make hydration a tastier experience while also adding a boost of extra goodness, like vitamins, electrolytes, even fiber! Three of my favorites:
With apologies to my children, who I apparently embarrass all the time, I have this thing I do throughout my day that I swear by, even if teens and pre-teens might find it a tad “cringey”. You’ve heard about all the sneaky ways to work in extra calorie-burning, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking far away from the grocery store, right? I love these strategies, but I take it a step further.
Let me explain: You know when you’re standing in a long line somewhere, held hostage by someone whose taking insanely long to order their coffee or pay for their groceries? A few years ago, I noticed a woman in front of me in a long line who was doing leg lifts and calf exercises to pass the time while she waited, and I was like: GENIUS! Nowadays, I do the same, whether it’s stretching, calf-strengthening, squats (I have no shame) or glute work (just extend your legs backward a bit and rotate in small circles).
My supplement game is strong, but like anyone else, sometimes I forget a day or two, whether it’s out of sheer laziness or because I don’t feel like swallowing pills on an empty stomach (gross). Vitamin lotion to the rescue! Seriously, it’s a thing—and it works. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and research shows that it can be a great vehicle for absorbing nutrients—just like taking oral supplements. Two to try (I keep both on my nightstand and another set at my desk):
Of course, you’re wearing your SPF—good girl—but if you’re trying to streamline and simplify your skincare routine a bit, like me, you’ll love what I discovered: a sunscreen that doubles as skincare and a makeup primer. Yes, it exists, and I’m obsessed. I have Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential to thank for recommending Replenix’s caffeine and antioxidant infused sunscreen.
Formulated with a unique blend of hydrating squalene, caffein, green tea extract and hyaluronic acid only, not only does it tighten and awaken the skin while providing UV protection, it also masquerades as a pretty great makeup primer—saving you a step. Lazy girl for the win!
These days, we mask up, scrub our hands and sanitize like pros, but there’s one extra thing you can do every day to support your immune system and it’s really easy. Everyone knows to take vitamin C to treat and prevent viruses and infections, but did you know that most mainstream vitamin C doesn’t last long in the body (we quickly eliminate it—aka, pee it away).
One thing I discovered this year that has kept me and my family virus-free for a long time is a new kind of C—one that’s designed to release slowly over time to provide maximum immune support. Some brands are called “time-release” C, others are called “liposomal” C (which basically means that it’s made in a way that the body can better absorb, again, over time). Two to try:
Sarah Jio is a journalist and the New York Times bestselling author of 11 novels, published in more than 25 countries. To learn more about her work, visit www.sarahjio.com or www.instagram.com/sarahjio.