Your health is one of your most valuable assets. Without it, you can’t accomplish all the things you want to in life. Living a healthy lifestyle allows you to work hard, participate in sports and activities, secure a quality life insurance policy, and watch your children grow and thrive to have children of their own. You invest your time and money in so many things from the stock market to careers and personal relationships. But we don’t always invest the time we should in our health. Here are 7 simple ways to invest in your health and guarantee you’re around long enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
1. Catch Those Z’s
The average adult needs between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night to function properly. Unfortunately, it’s rare that we actually achieve this. Between work and family obligations, it’s sometimes difficult to catch those much needed Z’s. But it’s important that you try. Without proper sleep, your body and mind can’t function properly. Getting the right amount of sleep is more about quality than quality. Sure, getting anything over 7 hours is a great start but if that isn’t 7 hours of quality sleep, it won’t matter much. Quality sleep means that you experience enough REM (rapid eye movement) cycles for your body to truly rest and recover. You body enters its REM cycle approximately 60-90 minutes after you fall asleep and it’s when your body and brain become energized.
2. Take Your Vitamins
Just like we don’t always get enough, quality sleep, even with a well-balanced diet, it’s sometimes impossible to get all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients our bodies need. This is where vitamin come into play. Simply adding a quality vitamin to your daily regime can do wonders for your overall health. There’s some debate on whether or not multivitamins are the best way to go. Some nutritionists believe that consuming individual vitamins is much more beneficial. If you decide to go this route, first determine which vitamins your body is lacking and then invest in a supplement to reintroduce them to your body. If you prefer to cover all bases and use a multivitamin, consult your physician to get the right guidance on which one is right for you and your needs.
Regardless of your activity level, hydration and fueling your body with water is extremely important. Your body needs hydration to function properly and continue sending blood, oxygen, and nutrients to all the important areas. If you’re looking to up your water game, try mineral water. Not only will it help to keep your body properly hydrated but offers you calcium and magnesium as well. In terms of how much water you should consume in a day, the jury is still out. Various doctors, athletes, and professionals in the field hold different beliefs about this. Although one thing is agreed upon. If you’re extremely active or exercising regularly (which you should be), you’ll need to increase your water intake to help replenish your body’s stores.
4. Stay Active
Speaking of hydrating while you’re active, incorporating regular physical activity into your life is a must for achieving optimal health and longevity. And this doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym every day for hours or even participate in any type of organized, intense workout regime. Staying active is as easy as taking the stairs verses the elevator, parking farther away when you visit the grocery store or walking or biking to the local market instead of driving. There are so many small adjustments that can really add up to big changes. If you enjoy gardening or landscaping, get outside and do it! These are both great forms of physical activity. When your body stays moving, it helps strengthen muscles and bones. It keeps your lungs and heart healthy as well. A body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest. Don’t let your body stay stagnant for too long. It can lead to a long list of medical complications.
5. Use Moderation
This is true with anything in life but certainly when it comes to leading a healthy one. Moderation is key, especially when it comes to the food you consume. There’s no need to completely eliminate the foods you love from your diet. Starving yourself does not equate to being healthy. And the more you restrict yourself, the more likely you are to succumb to insane cravings and inevitably, overeat. If you want an order of french fries, get one. Just make sure it’s a small order. Or, opt for baked potato fries over their fried counterpart. If you’re craving ice cream, get a small cup or cone and perhaps choose frozen yogurt instead. There’s always a way to make small adjustments that leave your cravings satisfied and your waistline slim! Use moderation when it comes to exercise as well. Try not to overdo it. Your body needs rest days so that your muscles can repair themselves. Like anything, exercise is a great thing, in moderation. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself either. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy or failure.
6. Posture, Posture, Posture
Your mother, your teacher, and your coach most likely reprimanded you at one time or another to “sit up straight” or “stand tall”. Well, they were right. Being conscious of your posture is extremely important and it’s something that we don’t often do. When you have poor posture, it places strain on all areas of your body, primarily your neck, back, shoulders and other muscles and ligaments. This holds true for both standing and sitting with poor posture. To alleviate strain on your spine and prevent slouching, invest in an ergonomically friendly desk that allows you to stand and move around. Sitting on an exercise ball is another great fix. It forces you to use your core for balance and sit with a straight, well-postured back.
7. Don’t Skip Your Annual Check-Ups
Not all underlying medical conditions show obvious symptoms right away. The only way to catch a serious condition or illness early on is to see a doctor for regular and routine check-ups. During these visits your doctor will ask basic questions about your overall health, diet, activity level, and ask if you have any questions or concerns. They may order some additional testing like basic blood work to ensure that your cholesterol, sugar, and blood cell count are normal. If you’re a male or female of a certain age, additional routine procedures may be required. These include mammograms and pap smears for women and prostate exams for men. Although some of these procedures may seem inconvenient and unpleasant, they’re necessary in order to catch any issues early on and help your doctor develop a treatment plan. Knowledge is power when it comes to your health so don’t be afraid to find out what’s going on inside your own body.
Small Changes Add Up
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult, complicated, or expensive. There are countless small changes you can make today that will improve your life and overall health. Simple things like swapping out certain foods in your diet, trading your car for a bicycle, and going to bed a half hour earlier can all greatly and positively impact your health. When you’re nourishing and caring for your body, you’ll start to feel more energized, confident, and happier. You only have one body, so take care of it and start investing in your health today.
Article Submitted By Community Writer