Being healthy is not a one-time checkbox. It’s an ongoing journey that requires diligence and intentionality. Healthy living isn’t just about losing weight or eating right; it’s about adopting habits that allow you to thrive holistically in all aspects of your life. That being said, sometimes the hardest part about getting healthy is actually beginning the process. Making minor adjustments here and there doesn’t give you an immediate outcome. But it goes a long way. Here are eight ways to be the healthiest you’ve ever been!
1. Watch Your Diet
You are what you eat. It’s an old saying, but for a good reason. What you put in your body directly impacts your health and wellness. There are a ton of studies showing that a diet high in meat and dairy can increase your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. On the other hand, an increased intake of fruits and vegetables has the opposite effect. Research confirms that vegetables play a key role in decreasing your risk of various cancers, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. Remember, it isn’t about depriving yourself of the food you love; it’s about making intentional choices. You won’t get the essential vitamins and minerals you need if you eat very little. Plus, there’s something to be said for the positive feeling that comes with eating something delicious. It’s a great way to reward yourself and make sure you don’t feel deprived.
2. Prioritize Exercising
Let’s face it: Our lives are busy. You have responsibilities and obligations that cut into the time you have to take care of yourself. However, being busy doesn’t mean you can’t make exercise a priority. If you’re consistently busy, it might not be realistic to expect yourself to make it to the gym every day. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the CDC’s suggestions for how much exercise you should be doing. A study conducted by the American Heart Association found that only 15% of people meet the recommended guidelines for exercise. That’s a whopping 85% of people who aren’t getting the exercise they need. The best types of exercise aren’t necessarily those you do at the gym. You can find ways to move your body every day. Go for a walk around your neighborhood, go hiking, dance like nobody’s watching (even if you’re at home in your living room), and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
3. Practice Meditation
There’s a reason why more and more people are turning to meditation: Research has shown that meditation can positively impact the way you think, feel, and act. It can improve your health and even help you live longer. The great thing about it is you don’t have to be a monk, retreat to a monastery, or follow any specific religious teachings to benefit from it. You can practice anytime, anywhere, and with almost no cost. If you’ve never meditated before, start small. Commit to 10 minutes a day, and try to build up from there. There are tons of audio and guided apps you can use to help get you started. Anyone can benefit, no matter what their faith or beliefs are.
4. Commit to a Cause
You don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to improve someone’s life, just like you don’t even have to be a teacher to inspire future generations. There are countless causes and organizations you can get involved in to make a positive impact on the world, from donating to worthy causes to volunteering your time. Giving back is a great way to stay engaged with the people around you while making positive changes. If you want to make a difference in your community, there are tons of volunteer opportunities available. You can also look into what causes your friends and family are passionate about and see how you can help out.
5. Consider Supplementation
You don’t have to rely on a diet full of processed foods to get all the vitamins and minerals. In fact, it’s difficult to get enough of some of the most important vitamins and minerals on a subpar diet alone. Unfortunately, many of us fall short. That’s why supplementing is so important. There are tons of multivitamins on the market, but they aren’t all created equal. Be sure to choose one that includes a wide variety of key nutrients. It would be best to first consult an expert when you go for a checkup. Consider remote patient monitoring services if you have a busy schedule and an elderly loved one with ongoing care needs. That way, the clinician can monitor their health, which gives them peace of mind.
6. Don’t Be Afraid of Carbs
You’ve probably heard the myth that eating more carbohydrates increases your risk of heart disease. However, that’s not entirely true. Studies show that people who consume more healthy carbohydrates have a lower risk of heart disease than people who don’t. This means that you shouldn’t be afraid of carbs—but you also shouldn’t go overboard on them, either. Consider taking plenty of whole grains and healthy carbs like whole-wheat bread, quinoa, and sweet potatoes to positively impact your well-being.
7. Get Sufficient Sleep
You would think that something as simple as sleep wouldn’t be enough to make a list of ways to get healthier, but it does. In fact, it is one of the most important aspects of healthy living. Sleep provides your body with an opportunity to repair and rebuild muscle, process toxins, and consolidate memories. On average, people need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. If you’re finding it difficult to get enough sleep, there are a few simple steps you can take to help improve sleep duration and quality. First, ensure the room is pitch-black and avoid looking at screens when it’s time for bed. Moreover, don’t consume large meals, and avoid caffeine and other stimulants.
8. Get Enough Fluids
Most people know they should drink plenty of water, but they also forget. They get busy in daily life’s hustle and bustle and fail to prioritize what’s best for their well-being. It’s recommended that you drink about eight cups of water per day. Unfortunately, the majority of people don’t hit or even come close to that number. Consider setting an alarm to remind you when it’s time to hydrate. Also, having a water bottle can go a long way in boosting your intake.
Starting your wellness journey isn’t easy. And it might take some time before you can notice the positive impact. However, remember to be patient and kind to yourself.