5 Healthy Lifestyle Changes to Impact Your Health

Natural Factors
Young mother grocery shopping with baby girl in supermarket, shopping for fresh organic vegetables and fruits

When it comes to your health, your lifestyle choices are much more dominant than your genes. It’s always a good time to adopt new habits to improve your well-being. Here are five healthy lifestyle changes that could have the most significant impact on your health, along with a few tips for making them successful.

1. Move More

How often you’re physically active is just as important as how much you exercise. So don’t follow your morning workout with hours of sitting at your desk, in your car, or on the couch. [1]

Two women walking in a park

Moving more can help improve everything from your circulation to your stress levels and sense of well-being.[2] Add more movement into your life by breaking up sedentary activities with physical activity. Here are a few ideas to get you inspired:

  • Swap your coffee break for a power walk; after all, walking is the best exercise.
  • Set your alarm 10 minutes early to do morning stretches.
  • Wait for your lunch to reheat in the plank position or see how many squats you can fit in before your coffee is done brewing.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Use the jungle gym for pull-ups, dips, lunges, and push-ups while your children play

2. Nourish Yourself

There’s a big difference between being well fed and well nourished. By ditching processed convenience foods and nourishing yourself with a balanced diet of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins, and healthy polyunsaturated fats, you can improve your health and overall quality of life.

Get started by doing the following:

  • Eat with the season and stock up on fresh-picked fruits and vegetables while their flavours and nutrient levels are at their peak. Aim for 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day to help meet your body’s demands for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibre.
  • Add omega-3-rich foods to your diet, including fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, ground flax, seaweed, and chia seeds. For a more concentrated source, look for a quality omega-3 supplement, such as:
  • Choose lean, high-quality proteins. Great sources include:
    • Fish
    • Lentils and beans
    • Quinoa
    • Soy products
    • Nuts and nut butters
    • Turkey breast
    • Egg whites
    • Whey Factors® Grass Fed Whey Protein
    • Vegan Protein Factors® with 22 g of plant protein per serving
  • Eating prebiotic- and probiotic-rich foods every day to replenish and nourish your intestinal microflora. Fantastic sources include:
    • Natural yogurt
    • Kefir
    • Kombucha tea
    • Cultured vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi
    • Natural Factors Ultimate Probiotic 12/12 Formula with 12 billion live probiotic cultures
    • Prebiotic fibre from foods such as garlic, onions, artichokes, whole grains, and peas
  • Support your bone health with Vitamin D3 & K2 formulated with bioactive and highly bioavailable D3 (cholecalciferol) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7) from natto beans.

3. Manage your Stress

More than one in every four Canadian workers report finding even a regular day “quite a bit” or “extremely” stressful. [4] Stress causes an increase in cortisol levels. When it becomes excessive or ongoing, this can have a negative impact on your health. [5] Everybody has some form of stress in their lives, but it’s how you deal with it that counts. Healthy ways to cope with stress include:

  • Getting 7–9 hours of sleep per night. Remember, sleep shouldn’t stress you out!
  • Keeping active and eating a nourishing diet, as covered in the first two tips.
  • Taking time to relax and switch gears after work.
  • Scheduling “free time” to completely check out with fewer responsibilities.
  • Unplugging yourself from electronics. Yes, this means putting away your cell phone, tablet, and laptop.
  • Communicating your feelings and needs to family and friends.
  • Managing your time effectively with the Pomodoro Technique.

For a well-rounded approach toward calmer days and restful nights, add one of our Stress-Relax® line of products to your stress management routine:

  • Tranquil Sleep® helps you fall asleep, stay asleep, and sleep more soundly.
  • Magnesium Citrate Drink Mix helps replenish magnesium levels.
  • Suntheanine® L-Theanine promotes relaxation without drowsiness.

For more tips on how to manage stress, check out our 8 Effortless Tips to Manage Family and Work Stress

4. Make Sleep a Priority

Around 40% of women and 30% of men have trouble with insomnia.[6] When you don’t get the recommended 7–9 hours per night, it can have a significant impact on your physical and mental health, not to mention work performance and social life.[7]

Man sleeping while holding a sleeping dog in his arms

If you have trouble falling asleep, have restless sleep, or are losing sleep due to stress, shift work, or waking children, it is time to make sleep a priority with these healthy sleep tips: [8]

  • Make time to sleep. If you have to, set the bedtime alarm on your phone.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. All of these can disrupt your sleep. [9]
  • Unplug from your computer, tablet, cell phone, or e-reader before bedtime. Instead, unwind before bedtime with a bath or some light reading.
  • Use a natural sleep aid to help improve sleep quality. Stress-Relax Tranquil Sleep is the ideal choice for anyone dealing with an altered sleep schedule due to jet lag or shift work. It helps reset the body’s sleep-wake cycle and temporarily promote relaxation.

5. Reduce your Alcohol Intake

While moderate alcohol consumption is considered safe for some people, there are many alcohol-related health risks that aren’t apparent until later in life.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you consume up to: [10]

  • One drink per day for women
  • Two drinks per day for men

Alcohol is dehydrating and high in calories, and cutting back has benefits. Keep your alcohol intake down by:

  • Setting a drink limit for yourself
  • Drinking slowly
  • Matching every alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink
  • Eating before and while you are consuming alcohol
  • Not drinking for health benefits
  • Enjoying some non-drinking days every week to prevent alcohol from becoming a habit

Be aware of factors that make alcohol consumption unsafe, including when you are pregnant, driving, or taking certain medications.[11]

Healthy Changes for Life

It can take time to develop new habits. Be patient with yourself and remember that making healthy lifestyle changes is a long-term commitment to support your health and quality of life.

Natural Factors
We are passionate and knowledgeable about a wide range of natural health topics.
  1. De Rezende LFM, Rey-Lopez JP, Matsudo VKR, et al. Sedentary behavior and health outcomes among older adults: A systematic review. BMC Public Health. 2014; 14:333. 
  2. Government of Canada. Physical activity tips for adults (18-64 years) [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2018 Dec 13]. Available from: 
  3. Davidson KM, Gondare L, Kaplan B. Food insecurity, poor diet quality, and suboptimal intakes of folate and iron are independently associated with perceived mental health in Canadian adults. Nutrients. 2017; 9(3):274. 
  4. Crompton S. What’s stressing the stressed? Main sources of stress among workers. Statistics Canada, 2015. Web. 14 December 2018.
  5. Bergland C. Cortisol: why the “stress hormone” is public enemy No. 1. Psychology Today. 2013 Web. 14 December 2018.
  6. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Brain basics: understanding sleep. NIH, 2018. Web. 14 December 2018.
  7. Wong ML, Lau EY, Wan JH, et al. The interplay between sleep and mood in predicting academic functioning, physical health and psychological health: a longitudinal study. J Psychosom Res. 2013;74(4): 271-7.
  8. Hirshkowitz M, Whiton K, Albert SM, et al. National Sleep Foundation’s updated sleep duration recommendations: Final report. Sleep Health. 2015; 1:233-43.
  9. National Sleep Foundation. Healthy Sleep Tips. National Sleep Foundation, 2015. Web. 14 December 2018.
  10. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Web.