Health is dominating the headlines at the moment. If the pandemic has got you thinking about making changes to your lifestyle to boost health and wellbeing, you don’t have to embark upon a dramatic overhaul. Here are some simple strategies you can start employing today.
Adopting a more active lifestyle
The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Physical activity is essential for good health, and it provides an array of benefits for physical and mental wellbeing. If you’re not as active as you’d like to be, it’s very easy to increase activity levels. You don’t have to sign up for a gym, join a sports team, or devote every spare moment you have to working out to get in shape and move your body more. You can choose from a diverse range of activities and introduce gradual changes to your daily or weekly routine. Try and walk or cycle instead of taking the car out, take the stairs rather than the elevator and enjoy active pursuits on the weekends. You can go for a bike ride, play games or go surfing at the beach, take a hike, go kayaking, jog around the park or arrange a round of golf or a game of tennis with friends. Alternatively, you can work out at home. Join virtual classes and exercise sessions, invest in home gym equipment or follow online workouts.
When you start exercising more, you should notice that you feel better. Moving the body triggers the release of endorphins and it also causes levels of serotonin and dopamine to increase in the brain. Being more active can reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, some types of cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Many of us get bogged down with weight loss when it comes to talking about diets. Although changing your diet can help you lose weight if you’re keen to shed a few pounds, it’s crucial to understand the importance of nutrition. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to function. Taking steps to improve nutrition will boost immunity and help you look and feel healthier. You might also notice benefits for your digestion, your sleep habits, your mood and your energy levels.
Before you start making changes, it’s useful to do some research and find out more about your diet. Using apps that analyze your daily food intake, for example, is a great way to see how you’re doing in terms of your vitamin and mineral intake and your consumption of sugars, salt, fiber, protein, and fats. Learning about nutrition will help you plan healthier meals, cut out foods that aren’t beneficial for your health, and eliminate deficiencies. As well as altering your shopping list to include healthy foods, you could also explore natural products that are designed to help you stay healthy. If you’re prone to colds, or you find it hard to shake-off winter illnesses, it’s worth looking at options like elderberry syrup. Creating a shopping list, finding nutritious recipes, and cooking at home can help you stick to a healthy eating plan. It’s also a good idea to allow yourself the occasional treat. You don’t have to give up pizza, fries or ice cream forever to improve your diet.
Looking after your mental health
When you hear the word ‘health’ what kinds of images pop into your head? Many of us focus on physical health, but mental wellbeing is equally important. Just as you can take steps to protect and nourish your body, you can also take good care of your mind. Take regular breaks from work, devote time to hobbies and interests that make you feel happy and relaxed, and surround yourself with people who have a positive influence on you. Try and avoid spending too much time on social media or reading news articles if they cause you to feel stressed or anxious and exercise on a regular basis. If you find it hard to switch off when you’re trying to sleep, avoid using your phone to check messages or emails during the evenings, create a calming, serene sleep environment and use the time before you get into bed to unwind. Reading, listening to music, meditating, or enjoying a hot bath can all help to clear your mind and keep stress at bay.
Health should be a priority for all of us. If you’re looking for easy, manageable ways to boost health and wellbeing, hopefully, this guide will come in handy. Try and get used to moving more, focus on nutrition when planning your weekly menu, and take good care of your mental health.
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