Blog post written by Jennifer McGregor
When you search for “health tips” online, you’re bound to get endless tips on getting more exercise and eating healthier. Those basic habits are important for looking and feeling your best, but taking care of your health requires more than clean food and frequent workouts. In fact, some of the most effective things you can do to improve your emotional well-being and physical wellness may surprise you, but what they won’t do is take up a lot of your time and effort.
Motivation for Your Fitness Routine
Most people understand the health benefits of regular exercise, but how do you motivate yourself to keep up with your routine? If hitting the gym isn’t something you enjoy, then you need to change your workout immediately. Look to participate in fun activities that make you feel good, whether that’s hiking, swimming, or playing a team sport. Some people find that they get a motivation boost when working out with a partner—someone to hold them accountable. Others find that they’re more likely to keep up with their fitness routine if they set attainable goals, and that fitness trackers and smartwatches are a useful way of tracking milestones.
Have you gotten to know your gut? Understanding your gut microbiome can do more than aid with digestion. That’s because the health and balance inside your gut can impact all sorts of processes in your body and brain. When your gut is healthy, you are less likely to get sick or experience mood swings, which makes keeping your microbiome in check essential for overall health. The easiest way to restore and maintain balance in your gut is to add probiotics and prebiotics to your diet, in order to decrease inflammation and protect the processes mentioned above. You can also help your gut and your health with balancing foods like broths and greens.
Feeling anxious? Well you may need to meditate. Meditate is such a valuable self-care practice because it rewires your mind for calm and focus. If you’ve tried to meditate in the past and had little success, consider trying a different type of meditation or beginning with less time. You really only need about 5 to 10 minutes to experience benefits, but if meditation just isn’t working out for you, there are other mindfulness practices you can try to relieve stress and anxiety, like taking a relaxing walk outside or spending quality time with loved ones.
More Friend Dates
If you opt to spend more time with friends to relieve stress, you could also be exposing yourself to even more health benefits. Researchers have found that maintaining friendships can prolong your life, but staying connected to other people can also help you get more exercise, eat a more balanced diet, and even experience less stress at work. For seniors, social ties can be more important, since strong social connections have been linked to better brain and body health.
Less Screen Time
Finally, if you still feel like you don’t have time for the practice above, or if you find it difficult to stay active and eat a healthy diet, you should know that your screen habits could be to blame. Many Americans spend eight hours or more staring at screens during work hours, and then spend even more time using screens at home. In addition to wasting valuable time, which could be put to good use on the healthy habits listed in this post, you could also be damaging your vision, causing headaches, and even contributing to neck and back pain. Plus, using screens has been linked to poorer sleep quality, which can negatively impact your mind and body too.
Fitting the tips and tricks above into your daily routine can be pretty simple and can really provide a boost for your mental and physical health. So, try to pick at least one or two that you can incorporate into your daily life, and then add more healthy habits along the way. Eventually, and with minimal effort, you will start looking and feeling like the best version of yourself.
Written by Jennifer McGregor