Advancements in the field of medicine have resulted in significant improvement in public health outcomes such as increased lifespan and reduced incidence of infectious diseases. However, our modern lifestyles still adversely affect our wellness, as evidenced by the prevalence of chronic illnesses. Fortunately, there are some practices, as listed below, you can implement to improve your mental and physical health.
Credit: Nathan Cowley | Source: Pexels
Eat A Healthy Diet
It may sound like a cliché, but you really are what you eat. Healthy eating habits not only promote better growth and development but also prevent weight gain and ward off unhealthy diseases like diabetes. Not to mention that eating healthy is cheaper than the alternative. A healthy breakfast will keep you going all morning long. A healthy lunch helps your body repair and recover from the day, and a healthy dinner relieves fatigue and provides the nutritional building blocks for a good night's sleep. All in all, eating well makes you feel better and look better.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
An elevated body mass index (BMI) can increase the likelihood of developing health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight can help decrease these risks. If you are overweight, losing just 5% of your current weight may help lower your risk of developing obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. You may choose to lose more than 5%, but this amount can help reduce the health risks associated with being overweight. Losing weight can be achieved by changing eating habits while increasing physical activity.
Credit: Andrea Piacquadio | Source: Pexels
Reduce or Quit Smoking
Smoking tobacco is associated with many negative health impacts, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary artery disease, and stroke. Fortunately, one can reverse the effects by quitting. The following are some tips to reduce or quit smoking tobacco. Avoid second-hand smoke by avoiding smoking areas and standing or sitting near someone smoking. If you can afford it, consider buying a nicotine patch, gum, or lozenge. These devices can reduce cravings and help you to quit smoking. Nevertheless, stopping altogether is best for your health and longevity.
Take Care of Your Teeth
Regular tooth brushing and flossing are essential for a healthy mouth. Aim for at least two to three times per day. After meals, scrub your teeth with a cup of saltwater. Brushing your teeth after meals can remove up to 96% of all food particles from the mouth. It will also prevent tooth decay and plaque buildup. Regular daily oral hygiene will help prevent heart disease, stroke, and cancer because it helps eliminate harmful bacteria throughout the body by eliminating their food sources.
Increase Physical Activity
Exercise promotes blood circulation and boosts energy levels. It can also be an effective stress reliever on days when it seems impossible to relax. And let's not forget about the proven benefits of staying active for longevity. Ideally, high-intensity exercise (HIIT), such as sprints, elevates heart rates and blood pressure. This increase in alertness is associated with better performances across numerous domains, including motor function, mood regulation, social interaction skills, and working memory capacity after exertion. But with all this, most people do not like to exercise. This is why fitness products are more prevalent than ever these days to help people exercise in situ.
Manage Stress Effectively
The idea that our emotions and thoughts can affect our health is not new. One researcher observed that most people tend to overlook this fact because they do not have any proof to back up their beliefs. Therefore, if you are about to work on a task for which you fear failure, or are anticipating a big surgery, it's often best to take things easy. Generally speaking, increased strain, which results in stress, in such situations could shorten your life. Learning ways to effectively cope with stress can significantly improve your physical and mental health. Some examples include engaging in high-intensity exercises, going to social places, and embracing mindfulness.
Credit: Gianni Orefice | Source: Pexels
Get Enough Sleep
A good night's sleep is incredibly important. It helps your body and mind to recover from the stresses of the day and prepares you for a healthy, productive day tomorrow. That means no staying up late cramming for a test or watching TV until the wee hours of the morning. Instead, aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night. That doesn't mean forcing yourself to fall asleep- it means spending at least 8 hours in bed before you have to get up. Doing that will help your body feel more rested and prepared to tackle whatever comes your way throughout the day.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is a drug with lots of benefits, but it's also linked to numerous health problems. People who are trying to improve their health should consider cutting back on alcohol significantly and transitioning their drinking habits to reduce their risk for the various health problems that come along with drinking too much. One of the more recent ways that doctors have been trying to help people control their drinking is by encouraging them to count the number of drinks they have. This is called a "drinking diary." Anyone who has even tried counting drinks will attest that it isn't easy. Nonetheless, the method is effective, only if you are diligent about it.
Limit Caffeine Intake
Do you find yourself addicted to your morning or afternoon pick-me-up? Is it difficult to go a day without a cup of coffee or tea? If so, you might be interested in the benefits of limiting your caffeine intake. Many people find that their quality of sleep improves if they cut back on caffeine. As well as this, many people also report feeling less anxious and experiencing an increase in their mood and energy levels. Caffeine is also addictive, meaning that there's a good chance you'll feel withdrawal symptoms if you completely cut out caffeine from your life (headaches, fatigue).
Credit: Lisa Fotios | Source: Pexels
Put Down the Electronics and Get Outside More Often
Mobile electronic devices have revolutionized modern lifestyles where individuals can accomplish their daily activities of life within the confines of their homes. However, spending time outside has numerous health benefits. These can include increased Vitamin D levels, more efficient metabolism, and lower body weight. But the most important reason for people to get out of their house and enjoy the great outdoors is to reconnect with nature and live healthier lives. According to research, close contact with nature can have tremendous psychological health benefits.