More than four in five American adults wish to improve their health, as reported by PR Newswire. From poor diets and inactivity to high stress levels and low self-esteem, there are a myriad of lifestyle and mental health issues that we are all facing. These problems impact our mental and physical health, driving us to feel less than our best.
Maintaining good overall health is not a complicated practice or secret medical trick – it is a simple collection of good habits, self-care, and help from those around us. We’ve unlocked 7 essential tips that are sure to get you feeling better, and more balanced, quickly.
Adopt a consistent stress-reducing routine
Every person is handling a level of stress each day. It is a necessary element of being human – too little, and we tend to feel unmotivated. If there is too much stress, we fall into states of anxiety and being overwhelmed. Over time, high stress levels impact our sleep, blood sugar, ability to regulate our emotions, and more. There are plenty of gadgets and gizmos available that promise to eradicate your stress, but one of the most studied and trusted methods is free.
Meditation and mindfulness are centuries old practices that encourage us to slow down our thinking and observe. Because we are changing the pattern in which we operate, it can feel like a massive obstacle. However, once you begin to shift your mind to observe your thoughts, rather than react immediately, it rewires our brain’s activity and boosts our confidence. It’s also one of the easiest ways to calm your mind.
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Inject healthy foods into your daily diet
Ever since we were little, we heard it all from our family. “Eat your vegetables or you won’t get dessert,” sound familiar? While these phrases often leave us avoiding vegetables more than enjoying them, the intentions were very good. Vegetables, specifically colorful and dark green ones, boost our immune system functioning. Stress puts a damper on both the immune and digestive system, which creates a link between stress and our immunity. Since gut health and mood have already been established as a working pair, improving your diet can do more than just offer additional nutrients.
You can start slow by adding broccoli or spinach to a familiar favorite, like macaroni and cheese. If you’re looking to radically improve your diet, go for roasted vegetables with pepper or another salt-free seasoning. For those who struggle to up their veggie intake, utilizing vitamins and supplements can be a powerful ally in a healthy lifestyle.
Check in with your care team and your body
Medical appointments can feel so overwhelming, which makes it no surprise that many of us avoid going unless something serious is going on. However, maintaining a regular appointment schedule with your primary care team is a valuable asset in a healthy life. Minor tests and symptom monitoring will ensure that you are not only treating your body well, but you are also practicing preventative care. This shift will keep you focused on your healthy habits and ensure that your hard work is paying off. Your body (and your doctors) will thank you.
To get even more insight into your state of health and wellness, technology has developed to provide detailed information about your cellular and mental health. An awareness scan is designed to highlight nutrient levels and energetic biomarkers for you to feel informed and confident in your healthy routines.
Stay optimally hydrated all year long
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This advice is seen everywhere, and it is for a good reason. Hydration is the gasoline that keeps the human body running well, in the sense that our cells and every organ in our body need water to run optimally. When you are properly hydrated, your filtration systems in your lymph nodes and kidneys, as well as your circulatory system and nervous system to name a few, will have enough “fuel” to operate. You are supporting your body and health by drinking enough water, and it is one of the fastest lifestyle changes that you will notice improvement on.
No matter the time of year, drinking enough water is necessary throughout. All four seasons can be dehydrating on you if you do not replenish your bodily water enough. A good rule of thumb is to check the color of your urine, and how thirsty you feel. If this is hard to recognize, check if your eyes, lips, and mouth feel dry. This is a sure sign a glass of water is needed.
Invest in a sustainable exercise regimen that you love
If water is the gasoline the body needs to run well, exercise is the battery. By establishing a consistent fitness routine in your life, your body will amp up its production of valuable ATP – a molecule made by every cell in the body. This molecule delivers energy to your cells that go to your organs and keep them powered up and ready to go. It’s the mechanism with which your body is fueled and nourished.
Your routine can be as simple or complex as you like. Cycling is a great low-impact activity, while tennis or climbing is a fantastic option for someone who loves a challenge. Exercise is also shown to improve mental health, which reduces stress and tension. This leads to a happier and healthier you!
Reach out to friends and loved ones
Studies have repeatedly illustrated that loneliness and social isolation causes an increase in health risks. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression are the most common consequences of a loner lifestyle. When you’re working on your overall health, spending time with people you enjoy can boost your mood, help you relax, and keep your mind alert. Socializing and shared activities makes us feel both purposeful and supported. This combination is an unstoppable force against any health issue.
Variety is the spice (and secret) to life
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Every element of our lives benefit from variety. In one study, women who had 16 to 17 different healthy foods in their diet had 42% lower mortality than those who only had up to 8 healthy foods. The brain loves an unfamiliar environment, too. Taking a new route to a familiar place, eating with your non-dominant hand, and brushing your teeth with the opposite hand are all shown to boost cognitive activity. This means that your brain is busy creating new pathways down old highways within your mind, allowing for healthier habits and other new choices to feel easier, too.