When caring for others, it can be easy to forget about our own needs. It may take more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away, but a healthy diet and other simple lifestyle changes can keep you from becoming ill. Learn how to develop habits that will keep you fit and strong.
Many experts blame the Standard American Diet (SAD) for high rates of obesity, diabetes, depression, and other serious conditions. Good nutrition can strengthen your immune system and lower your risk for many illnesses.
1. Eat more produce. Fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense and light in calories. They’ll boost your immune system and help you stay hydrated. Plus, all that fiber can lower your risk of diabetes.
2. Focus on whole foods. Processed foods are usually loaded with excessive fat, sugar, and salt. Try eating foods in their natural state.
3. Limit alcohol. Too many cocktails can damage your liver and other organs. Most experts recommend up to one drink a day for women and two for men.
4. Manage your weight. Carrying around too many pounds increases your risk of heart conditions, arthritis, and certain cancers. Stay slim by watching calories and leading an active life.
Other Lifestyle Changes
Here are a few more changes to go along with your balanced diet. They’ll have a major impact on your body and mind.
5. Move around. Physical activity strengthens your heart and muscles. Aim to exercise at least 3 days a week. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
6. Sit less. Research suggests that the longer you sit, the poorer your health may be even if you exercise. If you have a desk job, try taking walking breaks every half hour. Cut back on your TV time.
7. Do yoga. While any form of exercise and relaxation can be beneficial, yoga seems especially powerful. A study at Massachusetts General Hospital recorded a whopping 43% reduction in healthcare use among patients who studied yoga for a year.
8. Deal with stress. If yoga is not your cup of tea, there are other ways to keep tension from piling up. Book a massage or listen to gentle music.
9. Be happy. The more you’re satisfied with your life, the less you’ll need your doctor. On a scale of 1 to 6, a patient could expect an 11% decrease in doctor visits for each level of higher life satisfaction, according to one University of Michigan study.
10. Adopt a pet. Holding your cat is good for mental and physical well being. The CDC says pets help people lower their blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. They also provide an antidote to loneliness.
11. Connect with others. Speaking of loneliness, support from humans helps too. Close social ties can help you catch fewer colds, and may even extend your life.
12. Sleep well. Adequate rest and sleep is vital to healing. Turn off the computer and TV in the evening and go to bed on time.
13. Quit smoking. Giving up tobacco may be the most important thing you can do for your health. It takes an average of 5 to 10 attempts to quit for good, so hang in there.
Working through grief and loss, it is importance to maintain our physical health but mental and emotional health are just as critical. Exercise prevention whenever possible. Mental and emotional health issues can be very debilitating and challenging to treat.
Place a premium on your mental and emotional well being:
1. Spend time with others socially. Your mental and emotional health won’t be optimal if you split all of your time between work and home. Spend some time in the company of others. Wednesday afternoon staff meetings don’t count! Humans are social beings and social interaction is a component of good mental health.
2. Train your brain. Keep your brain active and healthy. Buy a book of crossword puzzles or brainteasers. Play chess or learn a musical instrument. One of the best ways to preserve your brain health is to challenge it each day.
3. Take time for yourself. Between work, family, and maintaining a home, it can be challenging to find personal time. Nevertheless, spend a little time each day doing something that you enjoy. Even if it’s just sitting alone on your deck with a cup of coffee in the morning. Social activity is important. A little solitude is important, too.
4. Spend time with positive people. Your thoughts, attitudes, and expectations mirror those of the people around you. By spending time with positive people, you’ll be more positive, too. Whom do you spend time with now
5. Find a job that you enjoy. Besides sleep, you spend more time working than you do on any other single activity. If your job makes you miserable, your emotional health is sure to suffer. Money isn’t everything. Consider finding a career that you enjoy. You’ll be happier and more positive about the future.
6. Share your time and yourself with your community. This is also a great social activity. You feel better about yourself and increase your sense of self-worth when you help others. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Investigate a few and make a decision.
7. Spend more time doing things you love to do. What makes you happy? Spend more time doing it. Do you love golf? Build a weekly round of golf into your schedule. How can you not be happier if you spend more time doing things that make you happy?
8. Get sufficient sleep. Sleep is necessary for good health, both physical and mental. Those that lose the ability to sleep due to accident or illness die within several weeks. Your ability to manage stress, make smart decisions, and regulate your emotions are dependent on getting enough sleep.
9. Have a compelling future. For your emotional health to be at its best, you need something to look forward to. It might be a date on Saturday night, a vacation, or retiring. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you need something in the future that makes you smile when you think of it.
Give you mental health as much attention as you do your physical health. Strive to live a well-rounded life filled with enjoyable activities and people. Get enough sleep and find constructive ways to deal with stress. With good mental health, you’ll be able to handle any challenge that life throws at you.
Remember to get professional help if you’re unable to maintain good mental health. You wouldn’t attempt to treat a physical disease by yourself. Put as much importance on your mental health. Avail yourself of expert assistance if necessary.