Let’s face it, the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Given that, it’s really no surprise that so much attention has been directed towards health and wellbeing lately. Living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things you can do to protect your health, both physically and mentally. Ideally, you would take a holistic approach to living a healthy lifestyle, meaning that you focus on an all-inclusive approach, rather than just targeting one or two aspects of health.
Do More Varied Exercises
You can’t really talk about living a healthy lifestyle without touching on exercise. Physical activity is crucial to health and wellbeing. It helps keep your body strong, your mind healthy, and your immune system working better than it would if you were sedentary instead. The thing about exercise, though, is that the human body is impressively good at adapting to all sorts of conditions. That means that you’ll see diminished returns over time. Try shaking things up every so often by doing a variety of exercises. As you use different muscles in different ways, you should find yourself plateauing less and you’ll reap the benefits of training your body to go through a variety of different movements.
Limit Processed Foods
Diet is another must-discuss topic when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. In fact, if your goal was to achieve a healthy weight, you’d see more benefit from changing your diet than exercise. The key to it all is to make sustainable changes to your diet that will last for the rest of your life (which is why fad diets don’t work, incidentally). Limiting the processed foods you consume is one such change you can make. Opt for things like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Most of us can still have processed foods from time to time without compromising our health much, but they should be treated as an occasional treat, rather than a regular inclusion in our diets.
Don’t Forget Sleep
Most Americans are sleep deprived. It’s a problem that can be easy to brush off, but to do so can be deadly. Drowsy drivers are involved in roughly 6% of all crashes and 21% of fatal crashes. Even if drowsy driving isn’t a problem you’re dealing with, it’s still important to make sure you’re getting enough. The average adult should be getting somewhere around 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. That may mean making changes to how you approach your time prior to getting to bed. Avoid using electronic devices in the hours leading up to bed. Create a routine for yourself that you can use to wind down. Make sure your room is cool, dark, and quiet, and that your pillows and mattress are a good fit for you. That will help you get better sleep at night so you can perform better during the day.
Consider Your Environmental Footprint
Sometimes living a healthy lifestyle isn’t all about you. Sometimes you have to look outside yourself a little and see what sort of impact you’re having on the environment around you. Odds are that your environmental footprint isn’t big enough that you alone can make a significant difference, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your part. The more people look outside themselves and make lifestyle choices that have a positive impact on the environment, the healthier we can all be, since we’ll be reducing pollution and its harmful effects. Even something as simple as choosing to not use a plastic straw can make a positive impact. Straws can cause a lot of environmental harm because they’re the most common single-use plastic. Opt for paper or reusable straws instead.
Remember to Involve Your Doctor
Taking a holistic approach to health doesn’t necessarily mean swearing off traditional medicine. You should certainly do your part when it comes to preserving your health by doing things like exercising, eating a nutritious diet, getting good sleep, and other key points. You don’t have to be alone in your journey to living a healthier life though. Your doctor is arguably one of your best allies in this. The tests they run and the information they gather even during routine appointments can go a long way towards helping you stay healthy. For example, they can monitor your blood cholesterol levels, which can have a huge impact on your health. That’s not really something you can do on your own. Armed with this information, you’ll be in a better position to know what things you should continue to do and what sorts of changes you should make to protect your health.
You only have one life and one body to live it with. You experience your life with a single mind. Putting forth efforts to take care of yourself by living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things you can do to improve your quality of life. A holistic approach allows you to target all aspects of your health and wellbeing, allowing you to see the greatest improvements overall. In an age where your health is everything, isn’t that worth your time and effort?
Check out this article on how to set up an exercise plan as you age!