With so many advents in health, science, and knowledge, in general, keeping people healthy is one of the main priorities in those advancements. Here are five simple steps to applying that knowledge and science in your life toward not only maintaining but improving your overall health.
Get Plenty of Sleep
The average human being is said to need at least 8 hours of sleep per night. However, no two people are the same. It’s all about what makes you function optimally. If there’s one routine everyone needs, it’s a good sleep routine. Even on the weekends, it’s important to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each night and each morning. This is one sure step in guaranteeing that you’re getting a decent amount of sleep each night. If for some reason you upset your routine, plan on sneaking in a 20 or 30 minute nap the next day for each hour of sleep you lose. It is definitely a stop-gap measure, but one that works.
Eat Healthy Foods
First, make sure that you are eating at regular intervals every day. I know, that sounds hard enough as it is when you’re running back and forth going to work, finishing errands, and picking up your kids. But, having a solid meal/snack routine during the day will make a major transition in diet that much easier. At that point, it becomes about making smart substitutions in the meals/snacks you’re already eating. Make sure your breakfasts are high in protein and fiber, while using snack times throughout the day to add energy boosts when you feel rundown or about to fall asleep. Coffee, yogurt, and assorted nuts are great ways to get an added boost throughout the day. Don’t forget that healthy carbohydrates and fats (like wild rice, real butter, and avocado, for example) can give you energy, too! Start by trashing foods that are processed or filled with preservatives, and you’re taking steps in the right direction!
Being active is a great way to maintain and improve your overall health. Exercise can take many forms and styles. Again, it’s about fitting activities in that flow along with what you’re already doing. If you’re going to the grocery store today, park in a spot far away from the door. If you’re going to visit a friend’s apartment complex, take the stairs instead of the elevator to reach her door. Things like washing dishes, sweeping floors, and even doing the laundry can be activity enough to be considered exercise with the right conditions at play. Taking the dog out, playtime with the kids, and quality time with your partner can even include exercise activity like jogging, tossing a ball or Frisbee around the backyard, or taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood if you spend enough time doing them. Getting up and getting active for around an hour a day will not only maintain but improve your health in no time!
Being able to and feeling comfortable enough to express yourself are not always the same things. We all have the ability to clearly express ourselves in some manner, whether it is vocally, in written word, or even in Sign Language. Sometimes, all a person needs is a look or a sigh to be able to discern how others are feeling. The ability to express your wants, desires, and needs is a major step in taking care of yourself and being able to effectively take care of others. Understanding what it takes to express yourself will improve how you communicate with others. Open lines of communication go a long way towards alleviating not only physical pains but mental and emotional ones, too, and if there’s anything we’ve learned recently, it’s that mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health to overall health.
Connect with Yourself
All of this is pointless if you don’t know what you want or need to be happy and healthy in this life. So often, we denigrate our own wants and needs to meet those of others. And, while that is a commendable action, it can leave the constant giver with feelings of regret, neglect, and isolation for feelings of not being heard, not being cared for, and not being loved. Make sure that you are taking time every day to meet your own needs, wants, and desires. If you genuinely don’t know what you want or need to be happy, start keeping a daily or weekly journal where you explore your feelings and the things that make you happy. Patterns will eventually emerge, and these are the things you can start asking for or seeking out to make sure you are putting your needs on as high of a priority as the wants and needs of those you love and care for. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important ways to improve and maintain your overall health.