8 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Health
By Sarah Kaminski
Being generally healthy has never been as important as it is now, amidst a global pandemic, when all of us need a strong immune system to fight the coronavirus. While taking care of your health is always a good thing to do, the current turmoil might just be the motivation you needed to start being active about it today. The benefits you will experience will go way beyond the pandemic, and they will include feeling better about yourself, living longer, managing stress more effectively, and lowering any future medical costs.
So, if you are interested, here are some things you can do to improve your health, starting today.
Check Your Health
Let’s start by seeing how your health is. Some of the problems plaguing the nation, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, are easily discovered through regular medical appointments. Unfortunately, however, a lot of people avoid going to the doctor’s until the situation becomes serious.
Regular checkups can identify early signs of medical issues and assess the risk of future illness. This is especially important if you have high-risk factors, such as a stressful job or a family history of diseases.
Change Your Sleeping Environment
The quality of sleep depends on numerous factors, but the one you can change today is your sleeping environment. This starts with finding a supportive mattress that will provide you with many years of relaxed sleep. Also, you can buy a pillow that supports your neck, so that you don’t have to wake up with muscle pain in the morning.
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Speaking of sleep, establishing a bedtime routine may not show results right away, but it can be rewarding in the long run. A bedtime routine will help you ease into sleep every night and wake up feeling rested. Here are some useful tips:
- Go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time every day.
- Avoid using electronic devices before going to bed.
- Read a book or meditate before sleeping.
- Try having a warm bath to relax your muscles.
- Avoid eating (especially heavy meals) before bedtime.
Eat Healthy Foods
Quick-fix diets are the worst thing you can do for your health and your appearance. They will affect your immunity and the pounds you lose are bound to return like a boomerang.
Instead, you’ll want to take things slow, and start eating healthier foods and smaller portions. The first thing you need to do is include more vegetables in your diet. Follow up with some whole grains, high-protein foods, fish, and fruits.
Physical activity is the basis of good health. However, many people find it challenging to stay active, typically because of their busy lifestyles or simply a lack of motivation. Starting is the most difficult part, though, but with time, daily physical activity becomes habitual.
Find an activity that works for you – something you’ll actually enjoy doing. This can be going to the gym, jogging, dancing, practicing yoga, or simply walking. Any physical activity is better than none. Now, the important thing is to be consistent and not to give up. So, don’t set your goals too high. Take it one step at a time, and gradually increase the difficulty of the workouts and the time spent doing them.
Drink More Water
Usually, when you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue and loss of focus. On average, people need eight glasses of water a day, but that also depends on various factors. If you practice any activity that makes you sweat, you will need more water. This is also the case if the weather is too hot. Other things you can do to stay hydrated are eating watery fruits and vegetables and drinking herbal teas.
Manage Your Stress
Stress can be the trigger for various health issues, especially when piled up. That’s why it’s imperative to fight it on a daily level. When you feel that you’re starting to get overwhelmed, try breathing deeply to get plenty of oxygen into your brain and calm your heart rate. When you are burdened by a big problem that can’t be solved right away, try solving a little one. This will give you a sense of control and a much-needed victory. For battling stress in the long run, try yoga, meditation, or speaking to a counselor.
Start Spending Time in Nature
Speaking of battling stress, nature is a great de-stressor. In fact, spending minimally 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with many different health benefits. It improves subjective wellbeing and self-confidence. Some studies suggest it can improve short-term memory, and it has also been proven to:
- boost vitamin D levels
- improve sleep
- reduce inflammation
- increase happiness
- inspire creativity
You don’t even have to travel to the mountains to experience all these benefits. It will be enough to take a stroll around the local park or even just go out to the backyard.
Your health is the most valuable thing you have. Cherish it.
However, good health doesn’t come without some work. These tips will help you keep both your mental and physical wellbeing in check and, if you stick to them, the results will be tangible soon enough.
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