This is a guest post from Jennifer McGregor 🙂 She’s currently setting up her site, so maybe in the future, I will update the post with links!– Kate
Maintaining a healthy life may seem complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. You don’t have to become a triathlete to live a healthful, fulfilling life. With only a few tweaks, you can quickly be on your way to feeling better every day.
Use Your Healthcare Often
Healthcare offers more than just treatment options for your symptoms. You should also utilize it for preventive care to maintain good overall health. Make sure to schedule regular checkups with your doctor, and if you’re not familiar with your plan’s benefits, take some time to read about them.
If you’re not getting the coverage you need, you can change your plan to meet your health needs. Seniors, for example, can apply for a Medicare Advantage plan from a provider like UnitedHealthcare. Many of these plans offer coverage for hearing and vision care, prescriptions, and fitness programs, in addition to the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B.
Add Fresh Foods to Your Diet
Incorporating healthy foods is easier than totally altering our eating habits. Very few of us can make a drastic change, such as cutting out all sugar, processed goods, and fast foods with long-term success. In fact, trying too hard to diet may actually make us gain weight.
So, rather than doing an overhaul, add two extra servings of fruit and three more of vegetables daily. Not only could this curtail junk food — as there will be less room for it — but your overall well-being can gain from improved digestion and greater energy. What’s more, staying on top of your gut health by incorporating foods such as apple cider vinegar and yogurt can help keep the bacteria in your gut flora balanced, which means you’ll feel healthier — both mentally and physically.
Up Your Exercise by 10 Minutes
Exercising can seem tedious and be easy to put off, but it’s important. Beyond losing weight, working out increases feelings of happiness, raises energy, improves our bones, and, like eating fresh foods, can keep us healthy. Yet, we avoid it because we think we need to spend an hour doing intensive cardio.
We should aim for 30 minutes five days a week, but that can be intimidating. Counter any threat of burnout by adding 10 minutes daily for a month. Then, once you’ve adjusted, add 10 more minutes. Spend commercials of your favorite show doing squats, or lift weights while you cook dinner. It doesn’t take much to build a healthy pattern.
Limit Your Vices
Many of us enjoy a glass of wine or two after a nice meal, but relying on alcohol as a means of stress relief or as a way to have fun isn’t healthy. Instead, enjoy it in moderation, just as you would for sugary foods. As mentioned, you don’t need to cut sugar out entirely, but do try to scale it back.
Furthermore, it’s best to completely eliminate toxic habits, such as smoking. To help you skip your cravings and clean up the air in your home, get a purifier designed specifically for smoke. Even just a whiff of your old brand may stir cravings, so be proactive and eliminate odors where you can.
Dial Back Stress
Small amounts of stress can improve our productivity, but large quantities — especially over time — can negatively impact our health and quality of life. Many of the other steps in this article will help with lowering stress, but there are more activities we can do to decrease our anxieties. So, be purposeful with relaxation, particularly during extra stressful times.
Recite a mantra, listen to a hypnosis or guided meditation program, or discuss your problems with someone you trust. You may find that a combined effort is most effective, so keep adding to your relaxation repertoire to find the correct approach for you.
Improve Your Sleeping Habits
We all know how awful it feels to lose out on sleep, especially if that’s a consistent problem. To improve your odds of having a restful night, create an evening schedule and stick to it, even on days off. Don’t disrupt your sleep schedule by napping or sleeping in, and be sure to put away all stimulating things, like coffee and technology, come bedtime. Instead, try reading to unwind, or engaging in a gentle hobby, like sketching, knitting, or whittling. As long as it makes you feel relaxed, it’s a positive habit to indulge.
Living with balance can be fun rather than a chore. It doesn’t require constant dedication, but it does take some small changes. Eat more, not less, but limit vices and eliminate things that are wholly bad for you. It may take a few weeks, but you may feel better than ever soon.
Thanks so much, Jennifer, for a great post to get us focused on the simple things we can do to improve our health!– Kate