We know many of the benefits that come with good all-around health: reduced risk of developing a chronic disease, a better chance of a longer life, high self-esteem, and overall happiness, among many others. However, knowing the benefits alone won’t make us healthy. Head-to-toe health takes work and a commitment to maintaining good habits in our everyday lives. While there are many ways to get and stay healthy, here are some of the most practical steps you can start taking today:
Ditch the harmful processed foods.
Much of the commercialized food we consume is processed. “Processed” simply means that the food is altered in one way or another before it is packaged and/or sold. Since this includes procedures like freezing, drying, and canning, not all processed foods should be avoided. However, a lot of these foods are loaded with sodium, sugar, and fat (e.g., bread, cakes, fast-food, crackers), and eating them won’t help you reach your health goals.
Add in a daily multivitamin.
With processed foods out of the way, you can start to foster a healthy diet with nutritious foods. However, a diet alone won’t get you enough nutrients. Make sure you’re supplementing every day with a multivitamin, which can boost your entire health. Everything from heart health and the immune system to your skin and hair can really benefit from taking a multivitamin.
Get up and move.
Exercise is crucial for physical, mental and emotional health. The good news is that there’s a plethora of different exercise routines and movements that count as exercise. For instance, running, swimming, yoga, weightlifting — these all count. Recreational activities such as golfing, basketball, hiking and mountain biking are also considered exercise. Even if walking is the only thing you can imagine yourself doing, doing that 30 minutes a day can make a big difference. Basically, find a fun way to break a sweat, and you’ll be on the path to a fit life.
Invest in self-care tech.
One advantage of living in the technology age is that there are lots of gadgets that promote self-care. From electric flossers and air purifiers to light therapy glasses and relaxation headsets, you have options when it comes to improving your health and fostering good self-care habits. If motivation is a recurring issue, consider investing in a fitness tracker or smartwatch. These handy gadgets can go a long way toward helping you monitor your fitness routine and health. If you need bells and whistles like fall detection and phone notifications and alerts, then a smartwatch may be your best choice. If budget is an issue and you only need fitness-related info, then a fitness tracker may be your preferred option.
Get your R&R.
Sleep deprivation and overworking are much too common in our society, and they can have severe consequences on a person’s health. Make sure you are getting enough sleep each night and take time off from work every once in a while to kick back and relax. Not only will you be more productive in everyday life, but you will build your immune system and likely become happier overall.
Foster your relationships.
Relationships are critical to everyone’s health and well-being. People are naturally social beings, which is why isolation can quickly lead to depression. Make sure you’re setting aside quality time for the most important people in your life and continue to grow those relationships. Along with family and close friends, it can also be beneficial to build new relationships—whether it’s going out with coworkers, volunteering at a nonprofit, or taking any other measures to make new friends.
Though overall health requires us to commit to good habits, it doesn’t have to be as hard as many people think. Try to stay away from harmful processed foods, move a little each day, and look into all the self-care tech that can improve your health. Be sure to get plenty of rest, stay connected to others, and celebrate your victories along the way. Once your new habits set in, health will just be something you do.
Written by: Jennifer McGregor