Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Tips for Turning Healthy Activities into Everyday Habits

Please enjoy this guest post by Jennifer McGregor from .
All opinions are those of the writer of this article. This post is for informational purposes only. Please consult your physician for any medical advice or concerns.
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Adopting a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to mean making sweeping changes, which is often unrealistic and unproductive. Smaller changes can be more effective and lasting, turning healthy activities into everyday habits. If you’re going to make health strategies part of your everyday routine, be sure these activities bring you joy and happiness. 
Make Destressing Fun
Destressing should be a personal matter. Emphasize things you look forward to, activities you find yourself daydreaming about at work. Meditation and sensory deprivation are well-known and widely practiced, but they may not be for everyone. If you relieve stress by brewing your own beer, practicing yoga, or doing yard work, find ways to work it into your routine. Don’t get upset if you can’t work it in every day; plan ahead for a Saturday afternoon pruning the hedges and planting flowers, so you’ll have something to look forward to. 

Exercise Your Way
Don’t worry if everyone seems to be joining aerobics classes, Pilates, or goat yoga. If you like exercising by mowing the lawn, trimming trees, or just shooting hoops in the driveway, do it as much as you can. What really matters is elevating your heart rate and working up a good sweat, which benefits the entire cardiovascular system and keeps excess weight off. You can even use a fitness tracker to monitor your heart rate, calories burned, and steps taken. The latest Apple smartwatches have an altimeter, can generate an ECG, and are water resistant. Or if you prefer a Fitbit, the Fitbit Flex 2 features sleep analysis and exercise reminders. 

Red Wine
Studies have found that drinking red wine in moderation has a number of positive health benefits. The antioxidants in red wine, for example, combat cancer, and moderate use also helps prevent heart disease, anxiety, and depression. Experts recommend that men should drink two glasses of red wine a day, whereas women should limit themselves to one. 

A Healthy Home

Don’t underestimate the impact of a healthy home. In order to improve the health of your home (and your own health), you can start by decluttering because a cluttered home can have a major impact on stress levels. You can improve air quality by regularly changing your air filters. Also, if you suspect your home has any major problems such as mold or a pest infestation, these issues could have a serious effect on your family’s health, so address these problems right away.  

Hit the Sack Earlier
A full night (seven to nine hours) of restful sleep is crucial for your mental and physical health. So, if you tend to be a night owl, try getting to bed at the same time every night, and maintain a quiet and soothing sleep environment to help you drift off. It’s an important investment in your long-term health, because sleep can help prevent heart disease, sharpen mental acuity, relieve stress, enhance mood, and fight off illness. 

The Impact of Dental Health
Medical science has established a close connection between oral health and other parts of the body, including your heart and gut. It’s perhaps less well-known, but just as important, that dental health is closely tied to our mental well-being. Depression, for instance, can lead to oral neglect, as people who suffer from mental health issues tend to ignore their appearance. Regular check-ups and dental treatment can get you back on track, as will maintaining a consistent oral health routine with regular brushing and flossing. 

Pay Attention to Your Skin
Good skin care is also important for maintaining an attractive appearance. Healthy skin makes you feel more confident and should be part of a well-balanced health routine. Consult with a dermatologist if you’re experiencing dermal problems and ask about the best skin care products. Remember that vitamin D, which the body gets from sunlight, is also important to healthy skin. You should also try to sleep on your back because side or stomach sleeping can worsen wrinkles.

Gradual Dietary Changes
If you’re trying to eat healthier, take an incremental approach instead of trying to remake your diet all at once. Incorporate a new change every week. Substitute skinless chicken for the kind that tastes so good deep-fried. Cook with olive oil, a naturally healthy substance, instead of butter or vegetable oil. Also, change your snack lineup by adding nuts, apple slices with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with fresh berries, and dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

Always be wary of fad diets that promise rapid weight loss but can actually be harmful to your overall health. Talk to your doctor about the best dietary changes for you and make changes based on healthy foods that taste good. Don’t bother eating rye crisps if you don’t like them.
Sometimes, a small change is best. If you’re trying to lead a healthier life, take it one step at a time. If you stick with an incremental approach, your chances of achieving positive long-term results will be greater, and you’ll feel great about what you’ve accomplished.

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