By Kim Duke, NETA & AFAA Certified Trainer

Sometimes we’re so busy with our everyday lives, we forget to look after ourselves, especially when it comes to managing our health.

Taking charge of your health is something you can do at any age, and can be as easy as starting your day off with a glass of water.

In fact, drinking two glasses of water increased metabolism by 30% after 30-40 minutes, according to a 2003 study from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Water first thing in the morning helps rehydrate you and flushes out toxins, leaving you feeling refreshed and energized to tackle the day ahead.

With time a precious commodity for all of us, regaining control of your health has never been more important.

Luckily, there are easy ways to monitor your health, leaving you free to enjoy and embrace life, and much of the work you can do starts at home.

“People can easily make small adjustments that make a really big difference to their health,” explains Rose Gallagher, head of Standards, Knowledge and Innovation at the Royal College of Nursing. “For instance, incorporating moderate exercise into your daily routine can reap countless benefits, even if it’s something as simple as walking part of the way to work.”

Adding moderate exercise into your daily life is not only good for mind and body, it can also be a great way to socialize and see friends.

“Choose an exercise that you enjoy. If it helps, exercise with a friend or listen to music,” advises Dr. Imran Rafi, chair of the Clinical Innovation and Research Centre at the Royal College of General Practitioners in England.  “Even moderate exercise has many benefits including helping you sleep better, boosting your energy and improving your mental, as well as physical, well-being. If you’re trying to reach a healthy weight, exercise will help. The best approach is to start slowly and build up.”

Walking, swimming, dancing, strength training and yoga are all good ways to get moving and improve strength, stamina and flexibility.

A recent National Public Radio poll found that half of all Americans surveyed say they exercise regularly, with walking being the most popular form of exercise undertaken a few times a week (a third of those surveyed said they walked every day). And you know what? Turns out that’s plenty.

“Too many people think you have to exercise really, really hard to get a benefit, and nothing could be further from the truth,” Dr. Tim Church told NPR. Church, who studies the effects of physical activity at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, has found that “you’re actually getting, probably, 95 percent or more of the benefits when you’re walking as compared to jogging.”

According to Church, even a little bit of physical activity can help reduce belly fat linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

So drink a couple of glasses of water, take a nice long walk and get your day – every day – off to a good, healthy start.