Health is one of the most essential considerations for people and impacts almost every other aspect of our lives. The current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has brought this into stark relief, and even as the vaccine rollout begins, we still need to ensure we do what we can to stay healthy and happy this year.
Luckily, we can take many simple steps to begin living a healthier lifestyle, no matter what your current habits are. Here are three pieces of guidance to get you started.
Taking regular exercise is one of the most important factors when it comes to staying healthy. It can reduce your risk of a huge variety of health conditions – including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer – as well as boosting your mood and psychological wellbeing. This means it can also help to stave off mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Also, exercise can improve your sleep quality, lower your stress levels, and give you more energy. The best part is that there are loads of ways you can get the necessary amount of physical activity – anything from running and yoga to martial arts and basketball will have an impact. Even walking can make a huge difference. Plus, it is never too late to start!
Having a healthy diet goes along with getting enough exercise. This means having lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, oily fish, legumes, and nuts and seeds, plus drinking plenty of water.
Meanwhile, you should avoid having too much sugar, processed food, red meat, salt, alcohol, and fatty foods. It might be an idea to see if you lack any specific vitamins or minerals, too, because even those of us with a reasonably healthy diet may still not be getting enough of them all.
For example, vitamin D deficiency is particularly common, especially in the winter months when we do not get much sunshine exposure. Once you find out, you can then try and include what you are missing by changing your diet if possible or taking a supplement.
Get Enough Sleep
In today’s fast-paced world, it is all too easy for sleep to fall by the wayside. However, getting enough shuteye – between seven and nine hours is recommended – is crucial for our health and our mental state. Being well-rested increases our brain performance by making us more productive, improving our memory, and boosting our concentration.
Also, a lack of sleep can increase your risk of a range of health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and depression. Top tips for boosting the quality of your sleep include limiting screen use late at night, not drinking caffeine in the evenings, and sticking to a regular sleep schedule every single day.
It is also a good idea to create the perfect sleep environment by decluttering your bedroom, getting blackout curtains to keep the room dark, and choosing a high-quality mattress and pillow to ensure you are comfortable. You will be drifting off in no time!