Everyone wants to be happy and healthy whatever their age. Maybe you are a teenager learning how to get comfortable in your own body. Or maybe you are in your 60s getting finer with age and becoming the true embodiment of the term ‘silver fox.’
There are many different ways to get and stay healthy. Below are 10 of the most important and easiest things you can do to live a happy, healthy life.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet
Food is the fuel that keeps your body strong and functional. It can also be the poison that slowly destroys and incapacitates you. It all depends not only on what you eat but how much and how often you eat it.
There is a common misconception that fruits and veggies are the only constituents of a healthy diet. They are without a doubt super important, but they are not the only healthy foods out there. In fact, eating healthy is about establishing a balance between the key food groups which also include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
While you adopt a balanced, healthy diet, it is also important to stay away from unhealthy processed food. There is a very good reason why it is referred to as junk food as it will fill your body with unhealthy toxins and excess fats. So trade in that pizza slice and soda for a nice casserole or low-fat stir fry with all you need plus the yummy goodness.
Staying active is another great way to ensure that your body remains healthy. Physical exercise helps not only your body but also your mind and has numerous benefits. These include maintenance of healthy weight levels as well as improvement of mental health and cognitive function. Exercising regularly also helps strengthen your muscles, joints, and bones which is important whether you are old or young.
When it comes to physical exercise, you should make a deliberate effort to work out three or four times a week. To ensure you work out regularly, choose activities that you really enjoy. These could be yoga, walking, swimming, etc.
Although regular exercise is very important, it’s not the only thing that matters to your overall health. It’s important to try to stay active every day throughout the day! If possible, go to work by walk or get off public transport a couple of stops before. Little things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator also count. And don’t forget gardening and household chores.
Manage and Reduce Stress
Being healthy is not just about having a strong and disease-free body. It also includes taking care of your mind. Studies have shown that unmanaged stress and depression could actually manifest as physical illnesses. One way this happens is through lowered immunity. Therefore, learning how to manage stress is something you cannot compromise on.
There are many ways you can manage stress:
As earlier stated, exercise goes a long way towards helping alleviate stress. This happens mainly through the release of endorphins which are essentially the brain’s “happy hormone.” Another great way to deal with stress is by simply making a conscious effort not to let things bother you. Whoever came up with the “don’t worry, be happy” mantra definitely knew what they were talking about.
You could take up yoga or learn to meditate to calm the mind. Or you could pamper yourself by taking long relaxing baths, booking a massage appointment or investing in a massage chair to help you relax.
Another avenue you should never rule out when dealing with stress is seeking professional help. Sometimes it takes a little more than willpower to deal with this problem. So consider seeing a therapist if it gets too hard to hand. And if it comes down to it, taking prescribed medication to keep your mind as healthy as the rest of you is not a bad idea.
Improve Sleep Quality
For the most part, it is your job to take care of your body. However, there are a few housekeeping tasks (so to speak) that the body handles for itself. One of these is sleep. This autonomic state allows the body to rest and recuperate in preparation for more work. Your job here is simply not to fight it. Let your body do its part for your sake.
When it comes to improving sleep patterns for health purposes, quality and quantity are very important. Quantity refers to the amount of time you get to sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, a teenager should sleep for 8-10 hours, adults between 18 and 64 years should get 7-9 hours while anyone over 65 needs at least 7-8 hours.
Quality, on the other hand, refers to many different aspects of sleep that make the entire rest and recovery process successful. This includes the ability to fall asleep quickly, deep sleep as well as lack of sleep due to hangovers upon waking.
There are many things you could do to improve sleep quality:
For one, avoid coffee, energy drinks or other brain stimulants that could keep you from sleeping. It is also important to ensure that your sleeping arrangements are as quiet and comfortable as possible.
Maintain Social Relationships
Another unique yet highly effective way to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle is by investing in relationships. Yes, loving someone and receiving love could help you get and stay healthy!
Social interactions and strong relationships help with mental health the same way exercise does. In addition to endorphins, spending time with loved ones could increase your brain levels of chemicals like adrenaline and oxytocin. These biochemicals help improve mood and overall health and well-being.
So call a friend, spend time with your family and meet new people. It will really help.
Keep Your Brain Active and Healthy
Some people say that the brain is like a muscle that needs constant exercise to remain strong. These people are right. Your central nervous system controls everything in your body from digestion and assimilation of food eaten to movement and even breathing. The brain is at the very center of this complex connection and therefore needs extra care.
Exercising your brain helps not only with optimum function of connected systems but also with improved cognitive function. This means improved alertness, concentration, memory and even the ability to solve problems.
One way to keep the brain healthy is by giving it its favorite foods. These include healthy fats like Omega 3, vitamins, minerals and of course water. You could also keep your brain healthy by challenging it. Try reading a book, solving a puzzle or whatever else you need to get it fired up.
Reduce Your Alcohol and Drug Intake
To keep your body healthy, it is important to avoid anything that could cause it harm. And so far, nothing consumable has been proven to be as dangerous to the human body as drugs and alcohol. Like junk food, they fill your body with toxins, kill healthy cells and eventually reduce your body’s functional capacity.
The best thing to do would be to avoid these substances completely. Ditch the whiskey and try some healthy fruit juice instead. Give up the cigarettes and get a load of all the crisp, clean and fresh air around you. Whatever your ‘poison’ is, give it up and watch how fast your body will transform into a flawless machine.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is everything. It is literally the source of life. In fact, if you haven’t had a glass in the last 3 hours, you should probably stop reading this and go get yourself one right away!
Water has many benefits when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. One of them is the fact that it helps clean your body; not just outside but inside. With clean systems, your body can exhibit peak performance whether it is cognitive function or excretion.
Eight glasses a day has been the recommended daily consumption for a long time. This has not changed. The 2 liters you consume will allow your body to replace all that is lost through sweat, urine, and breathing. This helps prevent dehydration and all the associated consequences as a result of a deficit.
Maintain Personal Hygiene
A clean body is a healthy body. Personal hygiene goes a long way to ensure this by eliminating any opportunistic pathogens lying around on your skin, hair or even in your mouth. This prevents infections including UTIs, dermatitis, dental cavities and a lot more.
So brush your teeth twice a day, shower at least once a day and avoid wearing dirty clothes. These might seem simple things, but they will definitely have a huge effect on your health.
Make Regular Screening a Priority
It is very important to ensure that you have regular medical checkups. It doesn’t matter whether you are 20 and at the peak of your health or 70 where everything seems to hurt. Screening allows you to identify and promptly deal with serious conditions. These include things like cancer and infections that could be harder to treat if discovered too late. Make sure to schedule regular doctor’s visits to ensure that all is well.
The best way to benefit from these tips is by incorporating them into your daily schedule. Don’t make it a one-time thing where you have a salad and oversleep one day and think you are good to go. Make it a completely new and long-term lifestyle change. Your body will thank you for it.