Want to Get Healthy From Head to Toe? Here’s How to Start
No matter our age or lifestyle, health is a part of life that we must prioritize. Even the healthiest people are constantly seeking new exercise routines that will challenge them and eating habits that will satisfy them. From first-time health dabbler to experienced health nut, anyone can adapt these simple daily habits without making major changes to your routine.
With busy schedules occupying most of our awake time, sleep can often be considered an option rather than a necessity. Yet, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Skimping on sleep might be necessary on occasion, but it’s best to not make it a habit. As one of the strongest risk factors for obesity, poor sleep is correlated with weight gain. On the contrary, adequate sleep can improve your brain activity and lead to a more productive, better version of yourself. Not only will getting a full night’s rest leave you feeling happier and refreshed with a mental health boost, but you’re immune system will also reap the benefits.
The fuel you put in your car helps determine what kind of performance you’ll get from your vehicle. Food does the same for your body. There is no one right way to eat healthy, as everyone’s body, lifestyle, and tastes are different. The countless diets out there can quickly get confusing, but there are general principles you can follow to help you get started. The most important thing you can do is drink more water, followed by eating more vegetables. If you’re used to carbs being the base of your meal, switch the grain and vegetable portions so the vegetables dominate your plate. Other quick fixes include skipping sugary juices and choosing fresh over fast food any time you eat out. These subtle dietary changes will add up and have an impact on a healthier lifestyle and improved weight management.
If we’re watching what we eat, then we also need to watch how we treat our mouths, specifically our dental hygiene. While gum disease has been linked to heart disease, another reason to take care of your teeth is the benefit to your mental health. There is no better way to take care of your dental health than brushing twice a day. From there you can add more to your plate, like using mouthwash, daily flossing, and scheduling a cleaning with your dentist. Good dental health will not only help boost your self-esteem, but it will also give you additional reasons to smile.
Skin is the body's largest organ. Proper skincare is essential to keep it hydrated and well protected from harmful elements. One great way to achieve this is by incorporating spa treatments into your self-care routine. You don't have to spend a great deal of money to get the skin benefits that a spa facility provides. You can pamper yourself without booking an appointment with just a few techniques. Create a steam room at home by increasing the temperature in the shower. Afterward, moisturize head to toe with a hydrating body cream. You can even create your own facial mask that combines avocado with honey, yogurt, and olive oil.
We often take our health insurance for granted. Some of us only use it when we need it rather than as a tool to monitor our health and prevent illness. Now is the time to check on updates to your insurance plan to make sure you’re getting the most out of your benefits. You can see your primary care physician for routine checkups, referrals to specialists, and an annual physical to keep you in check and on the path toward better health. For seniors, reviewing your coverage annually is crucial since plans change regularly. If your basic Medicare coverage isn’t enough, switching to a Medicare Advantage plan can provide expanded healthcare coverage in addition to dental, vision and prescription benefits. Regardless of age, it’s important to use the extra perks your insurance offers -- take advantage of what you’ve paid for!
It might take a lot of motivation to start exercising, and it can be very discouraging in the beginning if you can barely catch your breath, but the truth is that you can’t go without exercise. No matter your fitness level or age, adding a few minutes of exercise to your schedule will help prolong your life. Don’t fall victim to the sedentary lifestyle of a desk-dweller. Prolonged periods of sitting can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. To implement some movement into your desk routine, try standing and stretching every 30 minutes, adding an under-the-desk stair stepper, or practicing chair yoga.
Make a commitment to dial in your health. With a little knowledge and effort, you can turn around the unhealthy habits you might have developed. To continuously motivate and reward yourself, don’t forget to acknowledge and foster the good habits that you do have. If you’re already living the lifestyle, then keep up the positive moves and give yourself a break every now and then.
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