Health is often overlooked as one of our most important assets. Ensuring that we take care of our bodies and minds not only contributes to the overall goal of a long-lasting life but lets us enjoy whatever we choose to do with that life. An astounding amount of research is available online for us to implement in our plan to be healthier individuals, but sometimes he medical terminology and jargon can make it confusing to even the most health-savvy readers.
With that being said, there is a plethora of information that is available that is easily understandable as well. Diet needs lifestyle changes among them. Hopefully, this is one good culmination of important knowledge that will aid you. Remember, the first, and often best, step is to talk to a physician or your doctor before consulting any other tips.
Without further ado, here are 7 ways to help you achieve better health:
1. Dietary Substitutions
Simple, yet insanely effective. Dietary substitutions are one of the quickest and easiest ways for you to help keep your body in tip-top shape. Exercise is important for weight loss, muscle gain and body composition, but most people don’t realize how much of that progress is actually accomplished by diet.
Dietary substitutions do not mean restrictions either. Simply replacing certain food products in your day to day life can make all the difference in waking up feeling energetic and refreshed, and starting the day feeling slow and tired. Why not change out white bread, white rice, and pasta with their whole-grain counterparts. Make a habit of replacing sugary drinks with water instead. Thinking about snacking between meals? That’s fine too! Just focus on smaller portion sizes of good, nutrient-rich foods like nuts (cashews, almonds) or carrot sticks with healthy dips (hummus).
Substitutions are for your daily schedule, having a nice treat every once in a while won’t ruin your goals.
Stretching doesn’t always have to be done at the gym. Implementing a stretching routine before bed or in the morning will go a long way in improving your overall health.
Keeping loose and relaxed will keep your mind and body running in sync and reduce the risk of muscle injuries, soreness, stiffness and help you sleep well. Stretching is a great healthy lifestyle practice because it can be done just about anywhere. Whether you’re at work, home, or school, you can get in a few quick minutes at any time of the day!
3. Sleep Habits
On the topic of stretching and sleep, sleep habits have been proven to increase overall health.
What I mean by sleep habits are the ways in which you prepare yourself for sleep. Going to bed at reasonable times of the night, and using therapeutic or comfort prioritized pillows and mattresses (memory foam), are just a few ways to create responsible sleep habits.
Smaller steps you can take include; not looking at your phone or other electronic screens for 10 or more minutes before bed, keep your sleep space as dark as possible, and keep a comfortable temperature that won’t have you tossing and turning from discomfort.
4. Posture and Ergonomics
Depending on what you do for a living or how often you’re stationary, paying attention to your posture will be very beneficial to your health.
Sitting in office chairs for too long puts stress on your hips and lower backs, make sure to get up and stretch or walk around every so often to keep limber. Even while standing, pay attention to how much you’re letting your back slouch and condition your mind to recognize it and straighten the spine.
Moving your office supplies, like your mouse or screen, so they help you sit and work in a way that feels less restrictive on your wrists, neck, and back, will give you an added degree of comfort.
5. Vitamins and Essential Supplements
I’ve made this separate from the diet section because this suggestion isn’t always met through our diets, and that’s reasonable.
Vitamins like A, B, C, D are all vital. Some food sources include nutrients that help our body in unseen ways, like yogurt and probiotics. Probiotics/yogurt keeps our gut healthy, which is important for our overall health, regularly testing for your gut’s health gives a quick picture of how our bodies are doing. This article from Microbe Formulas explains that a healthy microbiome test helps regulate your immune system and is critical to proper digestion. Pay attention to your gut health and microbiome functions as they are often ignored. You’ll be able to read a more in-depth breakdown of how important the gut’s health is to your overall well-being with information that is backed up by reputable sources.
We’re busy and often we can’t always get our full dietary needs from food alone. Think about introducing some vitamins and supplements into your day to day routine to help your body feel its best.
This one almost goes without saying, but I’m going to say it because it’s that important. Exercise.
Nothing beats increasing your body’s physical capabilities like exercise. Run a little, bike a little, lift a little. Whatever you choose, it’s an investment of time and sweat into your health that money can’t buy.
Pick something small and work your way up, do your research as to what kind of exercise you want to do and make a plan for how you’ll do it. One of the hardest parts of exercise is starting so writing it down is a good way to keep yourself accountable.
Meditation is a phenomenal way to keep your head free of distraction and stress. Mindfulness has become a big trend in health communities because of the proven benefits to your brain activity.
De-stressing through meditation will reduce your blood pressure and heart rate. It will increase your memory, creativity, and, as tip 3 states, improve sleep! Meditation can be done just about anywhere as well, which makes it an easy tip to include in your routine.
Health is one of the most important things we have. It drives our success in work, school, and family life and no dollar value can replace having a healthy body that feels good to be in. Including these tips and techniques into your daily life will dramatically improve your well-being, and they are often really easily achievable. Write down a plan and hopefully you can get all 7 of these in your schedule so you can enjoy each day to the fullest.