The idea that better health can come from adopting certain habits is nothing new. Research has shown making small changes over time can make a major difference. A 2004 study conducted by the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that just 30 minutes of exercise was enough to offer a myriad of health benefits.
This is a reasonable goal for most people. If 30 minutes of activity is too much to do at once, you can break it up into smaller chunks. For example, you can do go for a 10 minute walk three times a day. Perhaps even more important than exercise is your eating habits.
Decreasing the intake of fat, eliminating sugar, eating natural foods rather than over processed food are all things that you can do to eat healthy. It doesn’t matter if you want to control your blood sugar, lose weight, improve your cholesterol level or reduce risk of heart disease – by taking small steps you can reach your goals.
Steps toward better health
Below are some steps you can take to manage your health. We broke these steps down into four categories: Nutrition, Exercise, Stress Control and Sleep Hygiene. There are 3 things you can do for each category. It is recommended that you pick 3 of these activities from any category and try them for 3 to 4 days at a time. Once you are satisfied with your improvement in one area, move on to the next one. Hopefully these activities will inspire you and help you make some healthy improvements.
To Improve Diet
Buy whole foods – fresh is best, but canned and frozen is good too. The more you know about how the food is produced the better. Try visiting a farmers market or buying certified organic foods.
Avoid certain foods – stay away from beverages made with corn syrup. It’s a high-calorie sweetener filled with heavily processed sugars.
Eat your veggies – start your dinner with a plate of mixed greens. Eating vegetables is a healthy way to get calories as well as nutrients.
Do squats – every time you lift something up, do a squat. Instead of bending down from your lower back like you normally would, bend your knees and squat. This can strengthen your legs and improve balance.
Flex – Arnold Schwarzenegger was a big fan of posing to solidify strength gains. You don’t have to be a body builder to get some benefits from flexing. Try flexing your thighs and glutes next for a second or two and releasing them. This can help keep your muscles firm and enhance bloodflow.
Balancing act – improving balance is important to reduce the risk of falling. Try lifting one foot off the ground when you are brushing your teeth to improve balance. Switch sides. If this is too easy, try it with your eyes closed.
Stay on Top of Stress
Decompress – everyone needs a way to relax. Find something that helps you forget about your troubles. This could be a friend to talk to, hobbies, work, exercise or any other action. If you are worried about something specific, perhaps you can make plans to manage your stress.
Let it out – sometimes you need to express your emotions. Holding it all in can be a big burden. If you need to have an occasional cry this can be a good thing. It can be a release and help you move forward. Sometimes you may just need to be heard. Music, art and talking are other great ways to give yourself a voice.
Meditate – inhale deeply for 5 minutes, just concentrating on your breath. Do this twice per day.
Aromatics – take some lavender water and sprinkle it over your sheets. The fragrance has been touted to help you unwind and promote sleep.
Purchase a new pillow – try getting a memory foam pillow that supports your neck. Sometimes a new pillow can make a big difference in the quality of your sleep.
Walnuts – eat a handful of walnuts before you go to be. Raw walnuts are a good source of fiber and unsaturated fat. They are also known to help promote relaxation.
Always speak with a professional before trying any of the activities in this article. Your health care provider will work with you to determine which course of action is best for you. Total Home Health can connect you with experienced health care experts who are ready to help you live a long, healthy and fulfilling life. Join today to learn jumpstart a longer, healthier life.