Protect Your Health By Doing These 8 Things
The state of optimal personal health and wellness is less a destination and more a journey. A lot goes into the cultivation and maintenance of a healthy body and mind. Health is considered an investment, one that requires more than a few ongoing, mindful habits. The pursuit of personal health is a worthy one, however, as healthy habits are more likely to discourage the development of disease and illness and result in a longer, healthier life.
You won’t become the peak of health overnight, but to take steps toward your healthiest self, keep these essential factors in mind.
Eat a healthful diet
When you fill your plate primarily with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you’re investing in a lot more than a trim waistline. Your body requires several essential nutrients to not only look your best, but feel your best, too. A diet rich in plant-based foods has been shown to reduce the risk of several conditions such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure and more.
Drink plenty of water
Your body is largely water, and for good reason. Water is involved in a multitude of bodily functions, which makes it all the more important to ensure that your body stays hydrated so it can perform to its fullest. Most adults do not drink enough water, so take care to make intentional choices to grab a glass whenever you can.
From stress-relieving endorphins to increased muscle tone and strength, movement benefits your health in both the short and long term. Those who exercise are more likely to avoid muscular atrophy, bone and joint deterioration and face obesity. Simply getting 20-30 minutes per day of moderate exercise can go a long way in promoting your overall health.
Times of increased tension or worry are not only psychologically uncomfortable, but they can wreak havoc on your physical body. Cortisol, your body’s response to stress, is unhealthy when released during periods of chronic stress. Take time to create relaxing rituals designed to diffuse some of the physical and mental pressures by meditating, journaling, exercising or talking it out with a friend or family member.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and functions as a protective layer that shields your internal systems from harmful microbes, regulates your temperature and allows tactile sensations that help you to navigate the world. Damage from unprotected exposure to UV rays puts your skin at risk of developing potentially serious illnesses. Always apply sunscreen before leaving the house, and contact your dermatologist for periodic checkups.
Enjoy occasional indulgences
While some indulgences should be avoided entirely, like smoking, some are okay as long as they’re in moderation. Alcohol, processed foods and sugary foods are certainly not the healthiest substances to give your body, but in small doses they won’t exactly shave years off of your life.
It’s far better to place emphasis on healthful, beneficial habits over a few unhealthy luxuries, but if your occasional bowl of sugary ice cream is important to you, it’s all about balance and moderation.
Get enough rest
When it comes to restful sleep, there are a myriad of reasons why it’s so elusive to so many. For the most part, falling and staying asleep is the result of good sleep hygiene, consistent habits and healthy choices made in other realms of life, such as good nutrition and plenty of exercise. In order to maintain a balanced sleep-wake cycle, stick to a consistent sleep schedule–even on weekends and vacations.
Seek regular checkups
Many health issues are made apparent by obvious symptoms, but others are more covert. Any unusual symptoms or signs that something in your body seems a little off should prompt a call to your doctor. Aside from acute illness, be sure to schedule an annual checkup to ensure everything in your body is functioning well. Your body’s needs may change as you get older, and the more aware you are of your overall health, the more informed you will be when making decisions to protect it.
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