Ok almost** instantly.
But what does feeling better even mean? There are a zillion ways to define feeling better, but we’re going to focus on feeling physically better.
So let’s say that feeling physically better means moving more fluidly, being relatively free of pain and discomfort, and having the energy to do things like walk around or do some spur-of-the-moment athletic thing.
Of course working out, sleeping for at least 7-9 hours, and destressing regularly will all help you in your quest to feel better physically, but for now let’s focus on a few things that you can do on a daily basis that will make you feel better (almost) instantly.
Okay so maybe this isn’t an “instant” sort of thing, but being hydrated throughout the day is important to feeling better all the time. And taking a few hours to focus on your fluid intake can drastically improve how you feel afterward.
Your body is literally two-thirds water, give or take. This means that every muscle, every nerve, every organ is basically made of water.
Water helps comprise the fluid that lubricates your joints. It helps in digestion too.
Most importantly, it appears in almost every chemical and metabolic reaction that occurs within your body. This means that every thought, every movement, and every exercise you do are all affected by your hydration levels.
Anecdotally, hydration has an important in things like flexibility and pain management. And it’s easy to see large performance deficits in the gym with just a small percentage of dehydration.
We lose water through things like waste removal, sweating (even when it’s not hot), and even breathing. So it’s super important that you focus on replenishing the water that your body has lost. As the saying goes, “If you wait until you’re thirsty, you’ve waited too long.”
Your body needs fluid replenishment all of the time, not just when you’re parched.
Get hydrated and you’ll gain mental clarity and improved movement, both of which will help you feel better all day.
An often overlooked piece of the fitness puzzle, foam rolling is a simple way you can relieve tension on most (if not all) of your major muscle groups. And since less tension generally equals less pain (or at least less discomfort), foam rolling is a quick and easy way to feel physically better.
If you’ve never foam rolled before, it’s a sort of self-massage. You can do it with a traditionally foam roller (obviously), but you can also use things like lacrosse balls, PVC pipes, softballs, or any number of extravagant foam rolling devices available to you through Amazon and two-day shipping.
If you aren’t able to dedicate the time or money to daily massages, foam rolling is a good way to alleviate tightness throughout your body.
How does it work? Good question. There are a few different theories on massage and how the whole thing “works.” Two of the most common theories are mechanical (a.k.a. physical) and neurological. In the mechanical explanation, foam rolling breaks up scar tissue and adhesions.
In the neurological explanation, the pressure of the rolling excites certain nerve responses that cause the muscles to relax and reduce overall tension.
Either way, it works. So do it.
Move around more
A second and vastly overlooked piece of the fitness puzzle is general daily movement. For many, this simply means counting their steps each day. For others, it means daily walks (or at least frequent trips to the water cooler).
Regardless, there’s no better way to ensure that you wake up feeling like garbage than to sit on your butt the entire day before.
It’s no secret that daily movement is good for the human body. It burns more calories (thus keeping us thinner), keeps us stronger & more vital, and literally gets things moving within our cells.
An easy way to track your daily movement is with some sort of step counter. You don’t have to wear it forever and 10,000 is a good goal to start with. Find out what it takes to get there before you decide to stop wearing it.