Everyone could use a little health boost. And there are many ways that you can increase your health. You may already be doing many things right now that are great for your health. If you want to boost your health, feel better, and prevent disease, look at these top ten ways to get healthier.
#1 Move Your Body More Often
The human body was designed to move, not sit. Yet our lifestyles are primarily sedentary. Did you know that many of the top deadly diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer often stem from a sedentary lifestyle? It is the leading cause of metabolic syndrome, which ultimately leads to several deadly conditions.
So how do you move your body more often? Get up from your chair every 40 – 50 minutes and walk or move for 5-10 minutes. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. When shopping, park at the end of the longest row of cars rather than parking close to the door. There are dozens of opportunities every day to do something other than sit.
#2 Create a Sleep Routine
Sleep is imperative to good health. One of the best ways to improve your health is to create a sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake at the same time every morning. Create a routine at night that signals to your body that it’s time to go to sleep. You might watch television. Turn the TV off, read a book for 30 minutes, take a warm bath or shower, and climb into bed.
#3 Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
It’s recommended that you eat about nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day. The majority of those servings should be vegetables. Most of us consume only two or three servings a day. Think getting nine servings a day is tricky? A serving is generally one cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, or two cups of raw leafy greens.
Make a smoothie. Toss in two cups of greens and two cups of some other fruit of vegetable. Blend it up and enjoy. You’ve just consumed three servings of vegetables in a snack. Have a salad and a side vegetable with dinner. Sneak in a few vegetables in your snacks and you’re on your way to nine servings. Vegetables and fruits have nutrients in them that fight disease, boost immunity, and help you live longer and feel better.
Meditating is difficult. No one will disagree with you. However, it’s also quite simple. The challenge is to be patient with yourself. Sit down every day this week to meditate for five minutes. That’s it. No more, no less. Just sit and try to focus on your breath for five minutes.
When your mind wanders, gently pull it back to focus on your breath. Next week, add a minute and meditate for six. Continue to be patient with yourself. Each week, add a minute. Eventually you’ll be meditating for 15 or more minutes a day. Some days will feel more successful than others. It’s a process. However, it also has been shown to reduce stress and increase longevity. People that meditate are happier and they don’t get sick as often.
#5 Wash Your Hands
Seriously, if there is one thing that you can do to reduce illness and stay healthy, it’s to wash your hands. Here’s how…using warm water, soap up your hands and vigorously rub them together for at least 20 seconds. It will seem like a long time. Rinse your hands from wrists to fingertips. Dry them completely. Do this before every meal, after you use the bathroom, and after you’ve touched something that is probably covered with germs like your cell phone or computer.
#6 Kick Your Bad Habits
We’re going to lump some bad habits together. Smoking is the first habit we’re suggesting that you get rid of. Smoking is deadly and it causes health problems for both he smoker and those who have to breath second hand smoke. Also, cut back on drinking alcohol. Women should drink no more than one drink a night and men no more than two. A drink is an 8-oz. beer a 5-ounce glass of wine or 1 ½ ounces of liquor. Try to cut back to no more than one or two drinks a week and watch how your sleep improves and your energy returns.
#7 Limit Processed Foods
Processed foods are generally foods that come in cans, boxes, and bags. They’ve gone through a manufacturing process. For example, a can of apple pie filling is processed. An apple isn’t. A box of macaroni and cheese is processed. A chicken leg isn’t. Processing strips the nutrients from food. Yes, often the food is then enriched or enhanced. However, this processing tends to cause more harm than good. Processed foods have chemicals, fats, and sugars added to them. Whole foods come as they are from nature.
#8 Reduce Sugar
Did you know that the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar a day? That adds up to about 84 pounds of sugar a year. There is no nutritional value to sugar. In fact, sugar causes inflammation, blood sugar spikes, and disease. Simply reducing sugar in your diet, to no more than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men, can have a significant impact on your health. Start reading labels and don’t consume things with added sugar.
#9 Cook More Meals at Home
Cooking more meals at home offers health benefits on many levels. It’s a great way to control what you eat and put into your body. Cooking at home also provides social and emotional benefits. Eating together with friends and family and creating a daily ritual of sharing a meal together reduces stress and boosts the release of positive hormones that create a sense of wellbeing.
Speaking of producing a sense of wellbeing, laughter does the same. It’s a tremendous stress buster and helps you reshape your mind so that you feel more positive. Stress causes a release of cortisol, which over time can cause inflation and tissue damage. Laughter helps combat this. Find a funny website, call a friend, or watch a television show that always makes you laugh. Laughter really is great medicine.
Choose one of these tips to focus on. Integrate it into your daily lifestyle. Once it has become a habit, add another tip. Step by step, tip by tip, you can take action and improve your health.