With the New Year comes a new list of goals that will likely include being healthy. Yet despite this, only 2.7 percent of Americans actually live a healthy lifestyle.1 This is a huge problem and has caused a huge strain on the health industry as well as being very costly for those who fall ill. However, for most people good health can be achieved with a few lifestyle changes.
5 Things to Start Doing Today to Improve Your Health
Nowadays, sleep almost seems like a luxury. According to the Cleveland Clinic website, over 100 million Americans do not get enough sleep.2 Consistent sleep deprivation can cause cognitive and physical issues.
Experts say that the number of hours a person should sleep is seven to nine. But even just an extra hour of sleep will do you wonders. It’s a way to let your body recover from fatigue and stress.
Promote sleep by not reading or using gadgets in bed. Keeping your room dim and cool will also relax your body. You can even have oil diffusers, ASMR, or soft music. Your circadian rhythm will take note of these cues and help regulate the rest.
Prioritize Your Hydration
Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Considering that humans are made up of 60 percent water, it’s no surprise that we need to regularly “top up”.
Contrary to popular belief there is no set quantity everyone should drink. But as a general guide, 8 glasses a day will do for most. This can prevent breakouts, sluggishness, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, and toxicity in your gut, just to name a few.
Try adding a few slices of fruit for flavor. You could add these into sparkling water, too. Bringing a water tumbler will also prevent you from reaching for sugary alternatives. Drinking water even discourages overeating!
Commit to Brisk Outdoor Strolls
A sedentary lifestyle seems easier to fall into with all our daily stressors. But humans are meant to move. This doesn’t mean you have to dive into high-impact activities though.
Brisk walking for 45 minutes daily can help weight loss.3 You can even break that up into five-minute chunks. A good reminder is to get up and move during every commercial break when watching TV. Socially-distanced strolls outside are even better! This helps pause melatonin, give you Vitamin D, and boost your endorphins. This can manage your energy and stress levels.
Schedule Routine Check-ups
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, and routine check-ups drastically lessen the chances of a serious illness developing. As we mentioned in the introduction, the US healthcare industry is under strain, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a regular check-up. In fact this check-up will likely keep you out of hospital in the long term.
The good news is that it is now much easier to get a routine check-up. With the arrival of the pandemic, telehealth has become increasingly popular and is proving an effective form of remote healthcare. Nurses will be your first point of contact and they will not only have experience in diagnosing health conditions but also how to provide healthcare digitally. Nurses who have earned a BSN degree are trained in healthcare leadership, family assessment, nursing informatics, and genetics, all of which makes them qualified to detect most health issues through these routine check-ups. Whether it's in-person or remotely everyone under 50 should schedule a routine check-up every one to three years.4
Talk to Somebody
If you’re feeling depressed or overwhelmed, don’t brush it off, as it’s not a sign of weakness. You don’t have to carry the weight of your problems alone. Recently, the importance of mental health has been underscored. About 42 percent of the population have sought counseling, and 75 percent of this group in talk therapy experience genuine relief.5
There are many ways to connect with mental health professionals today. There are even apps and websites that connect you to licensed therapists. If you’re not comfortable talking to a stranger, schedule weekly calls with your loved ones. Do it over FaceTime if you can. Sometimes just catching up and seeing a familiar face can do plenty for a person’s mental health.
Wellness doesn’t mean going cold-turkey on your old habits. Sustainable health is best achieved when you respect every step of your journey. Slowly but surely, these small but impactful changes will have you living your best life.
Written by Katie Swanson for detoxify.com
Katie Swanson is a personal trainer and blogger. Having been raised by rock climbing parents, Katie developed a passion for adventure herself. She now works with clients who want to improve their fitness through exercise. She hopes to help them change their mindsets about health and fitness and, in turn, improve the quality of their lives.