Article by guest contributor, Jennifer McGregor
Easy and Impactful Ways to Stay Healthy from Head to Toe
Maintaining good health is an active process. You can’t just sit around and expect your health to keep up with you! Fortunately, it’s easier to maintain your health over time than it is to treat declined health in the future. While it may not be possible to get those six-pack abs without a killer workout routine, you can do wonders for your general health with just a few easy habits. Here are some simple ideas to get the ball rolling.
Try to Walk More
There are plenty of health-promoting actions you can take to improve your overall wellness. Getting adequate exercise is one of the most important. Regular physical activity can boost your mental health, help you sleep better, and optimize your body in several other ways. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week. For the greatest benefits, bump this up to 300 minutes.
If you’re finding it hard to hit the minimum, park farther away from work, or try to go for walks during your lunch break. You could even engage in an at-home cardio bodyweight routine while you’re watching TV.
Swap Sugary Beverages for Water
After exercising, it’s tempting to rehydrate with a refreshing sports beverage. But these, like soda and juice, are packed full of sugar. Sugar has a variety of damaging health effects on your entire body. For starters, a diet high in sugar can impair your cognitive skills and increase your risk of depression. Of course, sugar also attacks your teeth. On a whole-body scale, sugar increases the risk of diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, and fatty liver disease.
So, try to swap sugary drinks for a humble glass of water. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help you maintain consistent levels of energy and cognitive performance. Plus, staying hydrated will keep your skin looking it’s best.
Eat for Your Gut Health
Sugary foods and beverages can also wreak havoc on your gut health. According to Forbes, a growing body of scientific research is revealing that gut bacteria is connected to obesity, inflammation, mental health disorders, and many other issues. If you want to be healthy, take care of your gut microbiome.
There are several foods that you can eat to promote the growth of good gut bacteria, including walnuts, cranberries, yogurt, kimchi, leafy greens, and high-fiber whole foods. Whether you’re battling chronic pain, fatigue, or mental health problems, incorporating these healthy foods into your diet may help.
Maintain a Healthy Beauty Regimen
A well-balanced diet is essential for glowing skin and silky hair. Many healthy foods can be used for hair and skin treatments, like honey and avocado. Since skin and hair are mostly made of protein, you should eat plenty of lean meat, eggs, and seafood. Also, opt for foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals, which will benefit not only what’s inside your body but also its exterior.
Beauty care is an important part of your daily self-care routine. That’s why it’s important to choose quality products that are ideal for your skin and hair type. Likewise, if you’re looking for new beauty products to add to your skin and hair care routine—such as makeup and hair accessories—make sure you research recommendations first. Eyelash extensions are another example; there are tons on the market, but you should read reviews for the best ones instead of randomly choosing one.
Get the Right Healthcare Coverage
Even if you’ve changed your bad habits to good ones, you still need a great doctor in your corner. Your healthcare coverage dictates which health services you use. Ensure your coverage meets your unique needs so you can stay on top of your whole-body health and take preventive action against diseases. Seniors, in particular, have several coverage options through Medicare Advantage plans. Many of these plans, like those offered by Aetna, include vision and dental care as well as special access to a nationwide network of fitness centers. Whatever your age, take a moment to double check your insurance coverage and go over your alternative options in case another plan may help you take greater control over your health.
Pick Up a New Hobby
Engaging in hobbies is another excellent way to support your mental health. For example, setting aside personal time to participate in an activity you enjoy can reduce stress. And, if you learn a cool new skill, you’ll find more fulfillment and confidence in your life. For the best mental health benefits, choose a skill that really challenges your brain—this can enhance your cognitive skills, and is especially important for adults over 60. Martial arts is an ideal choice that works both the mind and body. You’ll not only learn self-defense, but also self-control, and that can be a huge boon to your wellness efforts.
Taking concrete steps for your health is a wonderful act of self-care. If you’re finding it difficult to make healthy choices, start really small. Perhaps this means doing something as simple as stepping outside for a minute during a busy workday or pouring a glass of water to sip at your desk. While these tiny actions may not feel like much, getting your feet wet with the idea of self-care can give you a great foundation on which to build healthy habits down the road.