Living well requires taking action to take care of your physical and mental health on an equal basis. Yet, too many people don’t meet the basic needs that their bodies and minds have for continued good health. A part of the problem may be that making lifestyle changes seems too overwhelming or confusing. In truth, there are some simple changes you can make without having to sacrifice the things you enjoy. Following these tips can help you get even more enjoyment and satisfaction from your life.
The thought of drastically changing your diet is one lifestyle change that might make you cringe, but this isn’t something that has to be done all at once. Making very small changes can have a big impact on your health, and yet you may not notice the changes at all. For example, replace one cup of soda or juice with water each day. You can also buy whole grain instead of white bread and rolls. Buy fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries instead of ice cream and candy. You can also eliminate added salt, sugar, and trans fat from your diet by replacing processed foods with natural foods. Look for more gradual changes that can positively impact your health.
At a minimum, everyone needs 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise each day, but you should try to get more physical activity whenever possible. You can add extra exercise to your daily routine by walking or bicycling as you do errands. If you have to drive to work or school, park as far away from the building as possible. When you do exercise, look for a variety of different things to do. You should be strength training at least three times per week, but the other days can be spent doing a broad range of activities. You can join team sports, such as softball or basketball, or you can go hiking, swimming, jogging, or golfing. By engaging in a wide range of activities, you’ll keep exercise interesting, and you’ll be working out several different muscle groups throughout your body.
In general, drinking more water will help you keep your skin hydrated, which will ensure it remains youthful and smooth for longer. You can also invest in all-natural products that are designed to keep the deeper layers of your skin moisturized. The extra protection of natural moisturizers is especially important if you live in a large city or spend a great deal of time outdoors. If you are outdoors during the day, be sure to use sunscreen with moisturizer to add more protection. You should also avoid too much sun exposure by sitting in the shade or by wearing protective clothing. In addition to reducing your risks for skin cancer and sunburn, these steps will help you protect your skin cells from the damage that accelerates the aging process.
Your mind and body are very busy when you’re resting in a deep sleep through the night. During this time, your brain processes long-term memories releases hormones needed to regulate biological functions, and recharge your cognitive abilities. Meanwhile, the body heals and builds muscle, repairs tissue, and performs other biological functions. If you’re not getting enough quality sleep, these functions are inhibited. This is why you may awaken feeling unwell, fatigued, or moody. To sleep better, keep your bedroom cooler by setting the thermostat to 65 or 70 degrees. You should also ensure your mattress and pillows are firm enough to provide proper support. Replace scratchy sheets and blankets with softer bedding. If you make these changes and still find it difficult to sleep through the night, discuss your sleep disturbances with your doctor.
Too much stress can affect your physical and emotional health, which is why taking time to relax each day is important. You should look for activities that you find enjoyable and relaxing. Many people find yoga and meditation relaxing, but, if you don’t feel a benefit from these activities, try something else. You might prefer to take a warm bath or read a good book. You can also spend time writing in a journal, going for an evening walk, or listening to soothing music. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you pick an activity that relaxes you.
Before making any significant changes in your diet or daily routine, you should consult with your doctor. The medical advice you get from your primary care physician can help you make these changes safely to ensure you continue to enjoy good health. Additionally, discussing your health and fitness goals with your doctor can help you learn about more ways to achieve personal success.