Too often, we expect our bodies to perform in peak form day after day, without stopping. Our hectic, modern lifestyles leave little room for downtime, at least not on a schedule that would actually benefit us. However, our bodies need the right care, or they suffer from fatigue, illness, pain and other problems. The good news is that there are simple ways you can work toward better health and wellness without taking a month off at work. What should you know? Below, we’ll discuss seven overlooked tips for better health that might surprise you with their simplicity and how easy they are to implement into even the busiest of lives.
Get the Right Amount of Sleep
You’ve heard this before, but it’s important you take steps to ensure you’re getting the right amount of sleep. Current research shows that most people need around seven hours of sleep each night. Less than this and you can build up sleep debt, which affects many different aspects of your life. You’re no doubt familiar with feelings of lethargy and lacking energy. However, sleep debt can also make you more susceptible to heart problems, lead to a lack of clear thinking, and a great deal more. Take steps to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of sleep each night, and that your sleep is as restful and restorative as possible. Turn off lights, turn off the TV, and don’t listen to music. Avoid eating or drinking at least an hour before bedtime, and try to go to bed around the same time every night.
Here’s another one you’ve no doubt heard, but not taken to heart. The old adage says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and current science proves that’s true. Those who skip breakfast tend to gain weight and be less healthy than those who eat breakfast every day. However, you need to avoid eating a heavy breakfast filled with fat and grease. Put down the bacon and sausage and, instead, opt for something high in fiber along with a piece of fruit. The fiber will keep you feeling fuller longer, reducing the chance that you’ll gorge on unhealthy snacks before lunch.
No doubt, you could do with a little more rest and relaxation. It’s important to stop and smell the roses every now and then. New research is proving that it’s actually more essential than you might have thought. If you’re one of those who plans to rest once you’re retired, you might want to rethink that stance. New evidence suggests that getting more rest and relaxation now will help keep you healthier both mentally and physically, and that you’ll be in better health when retirement does roll around. That doesn’t mean you need to quit your job and become a beach bum, but it does mean you have to stop being a slave to the job. Find ways to work more personal and family time into each day, even if that means not being the “go to” person at work. Your health is more important than any job, after all.
No, we’re not encouraging you to drink to excess, but there’s plenty of solid, scientific evidence that drinking beer or wine in moderation can have significant advantages for your health. No doubt, you’ve heard that red wine benefits heart and brain health, reduces blood pressure, and more. The same is true for darker beers (stouts, porters, brown ales and the like). Of course, moderation is the rule here. Too much alcohol in any form is seriously detrimental to your health, so stick to just one glass of wine or a single 12-ounce beer per day to enjoy the benefits and avoid the damage. Also, this does not apply to liquor – avoid the hard stuff.
Cut Out the Soda
Soda’s gotten a bad rap in recent years, and for good reason. The amount of sugar in the average soda is staggering. This applies to adults and children alike. Cut out the soda. Kick it to the curb. In addition to sugar, you’ll find a host of other chemicals in the mix. This goes for both regular and diet soda. (Artificial sweeteners have been shown to have a significant number of detrimental effects on the body, including encouraging weight gain by making you feel hungrier). The best choice is to drink plain old water. Not a fan? Consider adding lemons, oranges or other fruit to your water to give it a kick of flavor without all the nasty additives.
Get a Pet
This is something that pet owners have known for a long time, but modern science is just catching onto – pet owners are healthier. You’ll get more exercise by walking Fido every day, but it goes beyond that. Pet owners also have lower levels of stress, and lower blood pressure, too. Not a dog person? You have plenty of other options, from cats to birds and more.
Visit the Chiropractor
Unlike your primary care physician, a chiropractor is concerned with whole body health. The right practitioner will help you improve your quality of life and health by addressing the body as a complete system, rather than a collection of unrelated components. Modern medicine focuses on treating the symptoms, but chiropractors focus on treating the underlying cause. And it’s about more than just good spine health. A good practitioner can help with problems ranging from blood pressure to allergies to depression and a great deal more.
When it comes to improving your health and wellness, it’s important to look beyond the basics. We all know we need to exercise more and eat better quality food. However, few of us understand the importance of downtime, getting the right amount of sleep, and taking a holistic view to health and wellness. The body is a single system, and problems in one part affect the whole. Follow the tips listed above and improve your life.