Lifestyle Tips For Better Overall Health
The way you go about your daily life has a massive and direct impact on your wellbeing. Nearly everything, from what and when you eat to how many hours you work in a day, can influence your health. However, as many as 97.3% of American adults do not live a healthy lifestyle, which has frightening implications for long-term health outcomes and overall longevity.
Fortunately, your lifestyle is based entirely on your individual choices. You have the power to make changes and take control of your health. Whether you’re looking to completely overhaul your lifestyle or find new ways to keep improving, there are a few adjustments you can make to your lifestyle for better overall health:
Eat Healthy Foods
The food you eat plays a huge role in your wellbeing. Your diet can affect virtually every aspect of your short- and long-term health, from your mental health to your risk of developing certain diseases and chronic conditions. Your diet can even affect your hair,potentially causing it to fall out or promoting its growth. Because your diet is so significant to your wellbeing, it’s crucial to eat nutritious foods so your mind and body have all of the power they need to function optimally.
A balanced diet full of nutritious foods looks different from person to person, depending on lifestyle, current health needs, and future health goals. Generally, you should focus on getting as much nutrition from your diet as possible, being mindful of your cravings, limiting your intake of heavily processed foods, and avoiding potentially dangerous fad diets. For many people, this involves eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. Always take your specific dietary needs and preferences into account, as what works for someone else may not work for you.
Everyone needs water just to survive, but drinking the right amount of water can help you thrive. Staying properly hydrated has myriad benefits, such as boosting your mood and helping with weight loss. Dehydration, on the other hand, can have negative health consequences, including headaches and migraines, constipation, and decreased cognitive function. In severe cases of dehydration, you may even need medical attention.
It can be difficult to know exactly how much water you should drink each day to stay hydrated. There is no single answer, as the amount of water you drink will likely vary from day to day, depending on factors like the weather or your level of activity. It’s commonly said that you should drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day, but that is an average. Try to drink something whenever you feel thirsty throughout the course of the day.
Regular exercise is another way to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Its physical health benefits include increased muscle strength and bone density, pain reduction, and lowered risk of developing chronic diseases. Exercise also has a number of effects on mental health, such as improved mood, increased energy levels, and boosted cognitive function. Additionally, regular exercise can increase your life expectancy, possibly by several years.
To benefit from exercising, you don’t need to commit to a serious workout or spend hours per day at the gym. Any amount of physical activity, regardless of the level of intensity or duration, can be good for you. Further, try to find a form of exercise that you actually like to do, as this makes it easier to incorporate it into your routine. For example, swimming has countless health benefits, but if you dread going to the pool, you may forgo exercising altogether because of how much you dislike it. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore — ideally, it should be a fun way to take care of yourself and improve your health.
The world around you has a huge impact on your wellbeing; even the weather outside can affect you physically, mentally, and socially. A growing body of research suggests there are many ways being outside can benefit your health, including lowering your risk of developing chronic conditions, improving the duration and quality of sleep, and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. There also appears to be a synergistic effect when humans exercise in nature, leading to greater stress reduction, improved physical performance while exercising, and increased mood and self-esteem. However, you don’t have to exercise outdoors, as simply sitting or spending time in nature can still provide these benefits.
Conversely, not going outdoors can pose risks to your wellbeing. Whether for work or school, many people spend much of their time inside, but doing so may have the opposite effects of going outdoors, especially when it comes to your mood. If you have to spend most of your time inside, make an effort to incorporate outdoors time into your schedule. Going for short walks, eating lunch outdoors, or biking to work are simple ways you can get outside on a daily basis.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is just as important to your health as eating a balanced diet or exercising regularly, but as many as one-third of American adults don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation has short-term health consequences that can interfere with your daily life, such as impairing your judgment and affecting your memory. There are also long-term issues that can come from chronic sleep deprivation, including being at greater risk of developing mental illness and overall poor quality of life.
Generally, adults need between seven and nine hours of rest each night, but the actual amount of sleep you need can vary depending on a number of factors like your age and current state of health. If you have a medical condition or illness that interferes with your sleep, you may need to consult your doctor for a solution. Otherwise, prioritize sleep as much as possible. Exercising regularly, being mindful of your caffeine intake, and going to bed at the same time every night are all simple but effective ways that can make it easier to fall and stay asleep.
Balance Work and Life
Finally, do your best to find a balance between your work and your personal life. Work is important, but so is enjoying your life, your hobbies, and your personal relationships. If you are constantly focused on or stressed out about work, you may disregard these other areas of your life. This deprives you of the opportunity to unwind and can result in chronic feelings of stress, both at work and at home.
Chronic or long-term stress can also have negative effects on your mind and body, including anxiety, depression, heart problems, skin issues, and hair loss. You can always talk to a doctor or the appropriate specialist about treating your symptoms — for instance, consulting a trichologist about your hair loss or seeing a mental health professional to treat anxiety — but the root cause of your stress will still be an issue. Neglecting to address the source of your stress may end up making these symptoms worse or long-term problems in and of themselves. This is why it’s necessary to set boundaries for yourself between your work and your personal life: to prevent these problems from developing in the first place.
When it comes to improving your health, the most important thing you can do is find ways to adjust your lifestyle that work well for you. It’s your health and wellbeing, and you’re the only person who knows what’s best for you.