Lots of us take our health and bodies for granted until we become sick and have to see a doctor. Taking care of your health to minimize your risk of getting sick is much better than reacting after the fact. Fortunately, you can make simple changes that have a lot of impact, so you can be as healthy as possible.
Drink More Water
Many people only drink water when they feel thirsty. Thirst is a mechanism your body uses to tell you that you are starting to get dehydrated or you already are. Water is crucial for numerous metabolic processes and transporting nutrients, waste products, and oxygen.
Having enough water also allows your body to better control its temperature. The body does this through sweat. If you have no water to sweat, your body will have difficulty controlling its temperature.
Water is also important for:
- Digestion and nutrient absorption
- Skin health
- Cognitive function
- Physical performance
- Joint lubrication
While there is some debate around the amount, doctors generally recommend eight to twelve glasses of water every day. You should drink more if you exercise or are in a hot environment.
Change Your Diet
As with water, what you eat has a significant effect on your body and health. A balanced and healthy diet consists of enough vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and proteins. You should also ensure your meals contain enough fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats and dairy or dairy alternatives. Feel free to substitute some of these so you are not always eating the same thing. However, ensure your meals are always balanced.
Because of how important a balanced diet is, food insecurity is a serious issue. Fortunately, there are programs promoting healthy lifestyle choices by providing their members with means to purchase healthy food. These programs ensure members have the healthy food they need, therefore encouraging healthy eating and reducing the risk of factors like obesity.
Sleep More and Better
With how busy and stressful our lives have become; many people are not getting enough sleep. Some people reportedly sleep less than six hours every night, which is very unhealthy. In addition to how much you sleep, you should also ensure that you sleep well by getting high-quality sleep.
There are various ways to sleep better and longer, some to do with you and some to do with your bedroom. If you have trouble falling asleep, consider avoiding electronics for an hour before bedtime and using an eye mask to keep the light from your eyes.
Next, get a comfortable mattress and comfortable bedding. The bed and bedding should feel like they fade away when you fall asleep, so they are not a factor that impacts your sleep quality. If you can, paint your bedroom dark colors, use drapes and curtains, or dim the lights. Doing so helps create an environment conducive to falling and staying asleep.
Many people overlook the importance of exercising even though they know it has numerous physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. The thing is, you do not need a gym or an elaborate plan; you only need to get moving. Start by walking around the block, taking the stairs, or cycling to work. Doing this will introduce your body to exercising so you can do more in the future.
Once these exercises are no longer challenging, you can change things by running or doing other aerobic exercises. You can also do bodyweight exercises like pull-ups and sit-ups to get the blood moving.
You can then move on to lifting weights. These types of exercises are great for losing fat and building muscle. Muscles increase your metabolism, making it much easier to keep your weight at healthy levels.
Practicing mindfulness requires being fully present and engaged in the present moment. It can be a powerful option for stress reduction, increasing self-awareness, and improving your overall well-being. There is no right or wrong way to practice mindfulness, but there are steps you can follow.
The first is finding somewhere quiet and setting how long you will spend practicing mindfulness. Once you do both, assume a comfortable position and start focusing on your breathing. As you do this, let other thoughts go and only focus on the moment.
Sometimes your mind will wander as you do this, and this is normal. If it does, bring your attention back to the present. Some people also do a body scan where they concentrate on different parts of the body, one at a time. They start from their toes and work their way to their heads, noticing any areas of tension or that require attention.
Living a healthy life has numerous benefits. Healthy living is possible but requires action on your end. You will need to know how to eat and sleep better, move your body, and practice mindfulness to start.