Yes, even just sleeping more can improve your overall health
The demands and pressure of daily living make us forget what is most important in life – our health. With too much time spent in front of screens and a general lack of physical activity, it’s no wonder chronic diseases are on the rise. But keep in mind that it’s the simple everyday things that impact our health the most. To help you out, here are some things you can do every day to become healthier.
1. Get enough sleep
Getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a day is the most important aspect of leading a healthy life. According to an article published in Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing, many people are unaware of the consequences of sleep restriction such as hypertension, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease. To develop a healthy sleep hygiene, make sure to go to sleep at the same time each night, and seek professional help if you suffer from chronic insomnia.
2. Walk whenever you can
The human body is designed to move. Even if you work at the office for eight hours a day, just one hour of simple physical activity such as walking will offset the consequences of your work according to a recent study published in The Lancet. Walking will strengthen your leg and lower back muscles, improve your posture, preserve joint flexibility, increase your stamina, improve rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and help keep your weight in check.
3. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages
Studies show that Americans consume 171 calories a day just from sweet beverages such as soda, fruit juice, coffee, tea, energy drinks, and flavored milk. The problem with these types of drinks is that they don’t cause the same amount of satiety as other carb sources and also lead to a spike in blood glucose levels making you feel even more hungry. By replacing soft drinks with water every day, you’ll significantly reduce your risk of diabetes.
4. Take a deep breath
Stressful situations are unavoidable in most cases, but how we react to these situations is what is really important. One way you can reduce the intensity of your stress response once you get into a difficult situation is by taking deep breaths. In this way, you’ll trick your body into thinking that it is in a safe place as slow, and deep breathing can induce a relaxed state of mind. Make sure you practice this every day as stress is a known risk factor for a great number of diseases.
5. Reassure yourself
Self-affirmation is a skill that everyone is wanting to make major changes in life should learn. According to a study published in Health Psychology, self-affirmation has positive effects on a person’s willingness to make healthy changes in their life. Our brain and thinking patterns are known to have a strong effect on the choices we make. Training your brain and getting your thought process under control may be your first step to making healthier choices.
6. Spend time with others
When you’re not in the mood, socializing can seem like too much to bear, but studies show that this essential feature of humanity is great for your health. Socializing was even found in one study to improve all aspects of cognitive functioning in all age groups. So, if you’ve wondered how to improve memory, have a chat with your coworker and you’ll notice an instant brain boost.
7. Cancel out the noise
While everyone is now aware of the health consequences of air pollution, not everyone is as familiar with noise pollution. A growing body of research shows that noise pollution is causing more cardiovascular diseases than previously thought. So, for the sake of your health, make sure to give your body a break from traffic noise, loud music, and crowded places by spending more time in nature or other tranquil areas.
8. Eat an apple a day
A diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in meat and dairy products is sure to improve every aspect of your health. This type of diet is also now known to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. This is because such a diet is high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants all of which offer not just cancer fighting benefits, but improve your general health as well.
9. Listen to some music
Music improves your mood, reduces anxiety levels, and enhances your sense of well-being according to an article published in the Southern Medical Journal. The same article explains that music in the medical care setting is equally beneficial for patients and caregivers. It helps patients deal with the stress and pain of illness, while it helps caregivers develop more patience and compassion.
10. Be empathetic
Altruism, compassion, and empathy are characteristics that come naturally to some people while others need to develop them through life. Studies show that these characteristics are associated with greater levels of well-being, good health, and longevity.
It’s the simple things in life that matter, and as research shows, the little choices we make have a huge impact on our health. Make sure to follow these ten easy tips, and you’ll soon notice a change in your health.