Your mental and physical health influences every aspect of your life. How you feel, think, and behave is directly related to your mental and physical wellbeing. But in spite of its benefits, millions of Americans find it difficult to develop healthier habits. If you’re ready to live a healthier life, here are 7 ways to get started.
- Get Up and Move
Physical activity is a great way to improve your mental and physical wellbeing. You will benefit from any healthy activity that puts your muscles to work while burning calories. Sure, the thought of exercising isn’t something that most people get excited about. But it’s possible to have fun and exercise at the same time.
What type of activities do you enjoy? Dancing, walking, swimming, riding a bike, and using a hula hoop are all forms of exercise. You can probably think of at least one or two activities that’ll make you look forward to exercising. As little as 75 minutes of exercise per week can make a difference in your life.
- Get Treatment for Addiction
It’s estimated that 1 out of 10 people struggle with substance abuse. Addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs destroys lives, friendships, and marriages. There’s also the possibility of other harmful consequences.
Getting treatment is a wonderful way to improve your health and wellbeing. You’ll feel better and so will the people who love you. Seek help from a reputable drug abuse treatment program. You need someone who can help you discover the root of your addiction. From there you can begin the healing process and work towards a sober life.
- Eat Less Red Meat
Unless you’re vegan or vegetarian, you probably enjoy the occasional steak or burger. Those foods are fine in moderation, but overdoing it can harm your health. Red meat such as beef and pork tend to have more saturated trans fat than chicken, vegetables, and fish. Saturated trans fats can also worsen heart disease and increase bad cholesterol.
Foods such as baked chicken, vegetables, fruits, fresh salmon, and turkey are healthier choices. They also have relatively low levels of calories and cholesterol. Red meat is fine in moderation, but consider other options when possible.
- Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a gift from nature. They provide several minerals and vitamins that are great for your health. Carrots provide beta-carotene so you’ll have healthy skin and eyes. Pineapple is full of vitamin C, which is believed to lower the risk of heart disease.
Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet is easy. You can have a salad for lunch or dinner. You can snack on an orange or an apple instead of a bag of chips. You might even enjoy using fresh-frozen fruits and vegetables to make your own smoothies.
- Meditate Daily
Meditation trains your mind to get quiet. If you’re like most adults, your mind is constantly bombarded with thoughts. You think about what you’ll have for dinner, what you had for dinner last night, what your kids are doing, etc… There’s an endless list of thoughts that clutter your mind on a daily basis.
Constant mental chatter can wreak havoc on your mental health. But meditation can give you a few minutes of peace. Long term meditation is shown to reduce stress, improve concentration, and help develop self-discipline. There are videos and books that can teach you about meditation. You may also have a meditation class or centre in your area.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water is an important part of maintaining a healthy body. Failing to drink enough water can cause everything from constipation to dehydration. It was once believed that everyone should drink no less than 8 glasses of water per day. But now the general consensus is that healthy people can remain hydrated by simply drinking water whenever they’re thirsty.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
Most people underestimate the importance of sleep. And if you’re like a lot of adults, you never get enough sleep to feel completely rested. You can blame that on the fast pace of modern life. Worry, stress, anxiety, and mental chatter are all enemies of sleep.
Good quality sleep is important for maintaining mental and physical health. When you’re asleep, your body does important work such as healing and repairing parts of your body. That’s why lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. Adults should get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for optimal functioning.
Prioritize Your Health
Trying to live a healthy lifestyle can feel overwhelming. The key is to make changes gradually instead of all at once. Adding healthy habits over time makes it easier for the changes to stick. The important thing is to get started sooner rather than later.