Being healthy is something that most of us strive for. We make New Year’s Resolutions around giving up habits that are bad for our health, making healthy changes, exercising more or eating more healthily. Then, we overcomplicate things. We try too hard, we get confused and ultimately, we fail. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are the ten things that you really need to be healthier.
You don’t need to be a doctor to take care of your health. In fact, it’s often said that doctors make the worst patients. Nor do you have to study medicine and gain a high qualification in the subject. You don’t need to be an expert of health, medicine or anything related. We don’t need to spend our time reading medical journals, or even health blogs. But, learning a little more about your health and well-being can give you a great head start.
Learn about any conditions that you may suffer from, or be at risk of. Know what to look out for and how to spot the signs of serious illness. Gain knowledge of how to examine yourself and what you should be looking for. Spend some time learning about your immunity and what you can do to improve it and generally learn how to promote and maintain good health.
Knowledge is great. But, it’s not the same as understanding. You can’t read up about your own body. There’s no one to teach you what feels right or how your body will respond to the changes that you make. You can learn everything, but you still need to trust your instincts and understand your body. Pay attention to it, read the warning signs, trust your instincts and learn about what feels right. Listen to your body when it’s telling you it needs a break. And give your mental health the respect that it deserves. Remember, if you don’t care about and understand your own body and health, no one else is likely to either.
There’s a lot that you can do on your own. You can make healthy changes, learn about your health and listen to your body. But, that doesn’t mean that you should go it alone completely. If you are worried, you should see your doctor. You should attend regular check-ups, get tested for at-risk conditions, get help with treatment options, and have routine immunizations. There’s plenty of help out there from heroin addiction treatment center to counselling services and your family doctor. You just need to ask for help when you need it.
Exercise is a crucial element of a healthy lifestyle. Without exercise, your heart will suffer. You will gain weight. Your fat percentage will increase, and unhealthy fats will begin to clog your arteries. Your mental health will suffer. Without regular exercise, you risk countless health conditions, your mood will be impacted, you might find it hard to sleep, and your fitness and stamina levels will drop.
But, that doesn’t mean that you need to become a seven days a week gym bunny. You don’t need to be hitting the pavement all weather. You just need to move. Going to the gym is excellent, but so is practicing yoga at home, walking to work, swimming, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking the dog. If you are moving, you are exercising. Try to get three 30 minute cardio workouts a week and move as much as you can the rest of the time.
Sleep is another of those key ingredients. While you are asleep, your body and mind are resting and repairing. Those of us that have a regular sleep pattern, and get between six and eight hours a night find it easier to focus, we’re more creative and happier. We have lower blood pressure, better circulation and our organs are able to work better. People that sleep more even find it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
If there’s one thing that many people overlook when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, it’s balance. People think that they have to diet to the extreme to lose weight, or that they have to exercise for hours every day to gain muscle and improve fitness. They think they need to do everything to the extreme to make changes, or they don’t do anything at all, and they completely neglect their health.
Balance is the key to being both healthy and happy. Eat a healthy diet most of the time and a takeout dinner or afternoon chocolate biscuit occasionally won’t hurt. Exercise when you can, and the occasional day in front of the TV in your PJs will do you good.
Getting into a routine makes everything easier. If you go to the gym at the same times every week, it will become a habit. You won’t try to make excuses, and you might even start to look forward to it. Go to bed at around the same time every night, and you’ll begin to find it easier to fall asleep. Get your morning routine right, and you’ll start your day well, feeling productive and creative. Look at your day to day life, are there any easy changes that you could make to create a healthy routine? Perhaps getting up a little earlier every morning, or trying to eat meals at the same times.
Good friends are another overlooked part of a healthy lifestyle. You don’t need loads of them. One or two very good friends that are there for you when you need them, that listen to your problems, offer advice and cheer you up when you need it are worth the world. Friends that will support you, be honest with you and push you when you need it can be great for your health.
Getting out into the fresh air, even for a short walk, can improve your mental health and mood. It can boost your confidence and reduce anxiety. It will also encourage you to exercise more and to socialize.
We’re not great at acceptance. We judge ourselves harshly. We put too much pressure on ourselves, and we worry about what other people think. This kind of pressure can be terrible for your health. Accept yourself, learn to love yourself, and you’ll find it easier to be healthy.