Americans have a lot of weird views about health, and society often teaches us that if we aren’t completely overhauling our life, then we might as well not even bother. But getting healthy is not an all-or-nothing solution. You can make changes to your life without drinking kale smoothies all day and hiring a personal trainer. There’s no need to go to extremes, and doing so can often make you more likely to get frustrated and end up right back where you started. Focusing on mental health and reducing anxiety often translate to immediate physical benefits as well. Here are three tips that will help you get healthy without making you feel overwhelmed.

Exercise a Little

You may not know this, but the federal government actually has guidelines for how much Americans should exercise. The current recommendation from the Department of Health and Human Services is 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. If you go for the first option, that might mean working out 30 minutes a day five times a week.

For a lot of us, that’s easier said than done. You may start your day intending to head to the gym and get on the treadmill for 30 minutes, only to abandon that once 5 p.m. rolls around. If you’re tired, you have to give yourself permission to rest sometimes. Instead of saying, “I have to work out every day after work or I’m a bad person,” take a deep breath. Take several deep breaths, and then aim for two or three exercise days a week to start with. See how you feel at that level, and then, if you want, ramp it up a bit.

But don’t sign up for a marathon right away or anything. Do what you can to build up your fitness levels gradually. That’s more sustainable than going for broke right out of the gate.

Take Vitamins and Supplements

In addition to exercise and a good diet, your doctor may recommend that you supplement your diet with vitamins. As you get older, it’s common to start feeling like you need an extra boost. For some people, taking supplements provides that boost.

That said, you shouldn’t walk to your drugstore and grab the first bottle you see on the shelf. Vitamins aren’t regulated the same way that, for instance, a bottle of headache medicine is. Since the FDA isn’t in charge of vitamins, there’s technically nothing stopping a vitamin company from slapping whatever they want on the label.

You can empower yourself by doing your own research. Look for vitamins that are manufactured in safe settings where quality matters. Companies like Makers Nutrition are more transparent about their manufacturing process, for instance. That’s a more positive sign than a company that refuses to say anything about how they produce their vitamins.

Stick to a Schedule

The weekend is finally here, and you need some rest after all that overtime you put in this week. When you go to bed Friday night, you decide to not worry about setting your alarm. You’ll let your body decide when you should wake up.

That sounds luxurious, but it can actually do more harm than good in the long run. Evidence suggests that having a fixed wake time results in healthier sleep patterns. Think of it this way: If you sleep until noon, you’ll feel relaxed and well-rested. But then, once midnight hits, you’ll still feel well-rested. You may feel so well-rested that you don’t go to bed until 3 a.m.,which means you’ll have to sleep until 11 or 12 a.m. on Sunday. That’s a bad idea if you have to get up at 6 a.m. on Monday to get ready for work.

If you must sleep in, don’t sleep for more than an hour past your weekday alarm clock. It may not feel great to wake up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday, but your body will thank you when it’s time to go to bed later.

Author's Bio: 

A freelance writer with a BA in English from Sarah Lawrence College.