Everyone wants to be healthy, but some don’t know the best ways to actually get healthy, both physically and mentally. Most of us probably can admit to some habits/preferences that are less-than-totally healthy.
Steps to get healthy can range from simple to challenging, but every effort you take counts. Here’s a quick list of top tips you can follow to get healthy and be your healthiest self.
Get Healthy: Our Top 8 Tips
See your doctor and dentist regularly
For preventive medicine, it’s best to see your general practitioner once a year, and most dentists recommend cleanings every six months. While you may not have any health issues presently, this is an investment in your health. And these visits can turn up a problem that you didn’t know you had – and the earlier you can treat it, typically the better the outcome.
Evaluate your diet
Aim to eat fewer processed, sugary and fried foods in favor of whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products and fresh fruit and vegetables. Pack your lunch and make dinner at home more frequently rather than grabbing takeout meals, which don’t let you control the ingredients or fat content.
Drink more water
We’ve all heard this, but many people are chronically dehydrated – even just slightly – which can lead to headaches, fatigue and even hunger. Limit coffee, tea, soda and alcohol intake in favor of plain water. Take a bottle to school, work and workouts so it’s a visual reminder to drink up.
This can be a stumbling block for some, but our bodies were made to move – not sit all day. Studies point to serious health issues associated with sedentary lifestyles, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Find physical activities that you enjoy – from walking to yoga to playing tennis – and incorporate them at least 2-4 times each week to improve your fitness and health.
Incorporate more movement
In addition to regular exercise, it’s important to move more in daily life to get healthy. This includes walking the dog, pacing while you are on the phone, taking the stairs when possible (versus the elevator), standing versus sitting when watching your children’s athletic events, performing some calisthenics while watching TV, parking farther from your destination and walking, riding your bike for errands and doing housework daily, to name a few. You get the idea.
Stay in touch with friends
For mental health, you should be part of a community, whether that’s your family, a group of friends, coworkers, a church group, a sports team, a volunteer organization or any other group. Isolation is not healthy. Keep in contact with others frequently; invest in one another’s lives and laugh a lot.
It’s easy to be consumed by technology today, so silence your phone at night, turn off the computer and limit screen time. Instead, talk to others, read a book, meditate or find a non-tech alternative. Take vacations from your regular routine to refresh.
Get plenty of sleep
We skimp on sleep, which results in fatigue, quick-tempered behavior, poor concentration, accidents, stress and even weight gain. Make it a point to go to bed at a regular time and grab a short nap if necessary when you can.