Health isn’t just what you put on your plate or how you move your body. Health also includes getting enough sleep, nurturing the relationships in your life and how you approach them, taking care of yourself mentally, factoring in time for things you enjoy, and much more. That’s why it’s important to think of health in all aspects of your life. While it may seem overwhelming to completely change everything overnight, there are small steps you can take towards your goal of living in a balanced way that fosters overall wellbeing. Here are 8 habits you should incorporate to improve your overall health.
1. Create a Routine
Humans thrive on routine. If you think about how you get ready in the morning, you probably do the same steps in the same order. You just need to shift that to your health goals too! Figure out when you can add exercise into your day. Schedule time for fun activities, quality time with loved ones, and other everyday tasks you have to do. When you create a routine for yourself and you stick to it, the neural pathways become more tightly linked and ingrained, making this new habit or routine second nature!
2. Eat More Balanced
Of course, an important habit for overall health is eating more balanced meals. Depending upon what climate you live in, you can often take your cue from nature herself—eating in season to curtail overindulgence and to keep your nutrient intake well-rounded. When you incorporate lean proteins, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, moderate amounts of legumes like lentils and beans, low-glycemic-index fruits in small portions, and limited processed or artificial foods into your diet, you’ll notice you feel a lot better physically and mentally.
After you’ve been eating this way for awhile, you can begin to occasionally add in other foods, like dairy, and really notice how you feel afterwards. Perhaps these foods don’t cause any unwanted effects, perhaps they do! It’s a lot easier to stick to dietary changes when you are the one making the decisions informed by your own experience. That’s not to say to give up on your favorite foods. Remember: balance! Just spread them out instead of eating them every single day.
3. Don’t Skip Meals
Some people believe that skipping meals is moving towards being healthier. Research actually shows that when you skip meals, your body lowers its metabolism, burns fewer calories, and blood sugar levels drop. It is much more beneficial to eat all three meals during the day, and notably to begin to listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. However, skipping meals is different from intermittent fasting. If you are interested in ways to incorporate intermittent or other types of fasting and if they are right for your unique health situation, make an appointment with Medical Transformation Center today!
It’s worth noting that there is a difference between being hungry and having cravings. If you feel that you are in a frenzy to have only a certain food and have had regular meals that day, you are likely dealing with a craving and not hunger.
4. Drink Enough Water
All throughout the day, your body loses water, which is why it’s important to replenish it. The easiest way to determine how much water you should be drinking is to take half your body weight and drink that amount of water in ounces. However, there are certain situations in which you may need more or less water, depending upon your unique health situation. You can discover this by initialing our Personal Transformation Plan process! If it’s hard for you to drink water throughout the day, getting a new bottle with times printed on it or adding non-artifical flavor (like lemons, limes, or cucumbers) could help you stay on track!
5. Add Exercise to Routine
Of course, another habit you will want to incorporate for overall health is to add exercise to your routine. First, you want to find a type of exercise that is fun and makes you excited to do it, or else you won’t ever build this habit. You could just go for a walk every day, start a sport, take a class, or watch exercise videos online. Other small changes you could make include taking stairs, parking farther away at stores, walking to and from certain stores and carrying back small, manageable bags, or sometimes standing at your desk.
6. Find Time to Relax
Physical health is important but so is your mental and emotional health. An essential aspect of maintaining a healthy mental and emotional state is being able to relax. Another way people have recently been referring to down time is self-care. You just need to find something that relaxes you and intentionally spend time doing it to optimize your overall health.
7. No Electronics Before Bed
Of course, sleep is another important factor when it comes to overall health. You want to make sure you are getting enough sleep so your body can rest and heal itself. A major issue when it comes to sleep is electronics. You’ve probably heard this tip before, but it can truly make a world of difference: stop using electronics before bed. You’ll rest much better and probably fall asleep faster!
8. Learn to Manage Stress
In order to maintain mental and emotional health, you will want to learn how to manage stress. This looks different for everyone. Here are some of the top ways people deal with stress in their lives:
- Deep breathing
- Avoid unnecessary stressful activities/situations
- Carve out time for relaxation
- Bond with loved ones/pets
Optimizing your overall health will ultimately lead to a happier version of yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with some of these aspects, we are here to help! Contact us to discuss a Personal Transformation Plan, designed just for you to move towards your health goals.