We all want to live as healthy as possible, but life seems to get in the way. It’s easy to get caught up in a busy schedule as you try to balance a work, home, and social life. There just never seem to be enough hours in the day.
Years down the line you may not remember taking on that extra job task or a movie you watched with friends, but you will feel the effects of poor health. It may seem complex, but really as long as you focus on the health essentials you can make huge strides towards living as healthy as possible.
We need to move more! Sitting syndrome is sweeping the nation, and some medical experts believe it’s as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes.
There are so many upsides to working out beyond slimming your waistline. Getting adequate physical activity has been shown to boost mood, improve the immune system and can provide social interaction. And if you choose a workout like Pure Barre you can get both physical and mental health benefits in one fail swoop.
The Department of Health and Human Services suggests those over 18 years of age get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. The good news is walking counts as moderate exercise, so hitting that target is possible no matter what your fitness level currently is.
Protect Your Mental Health
Our cognitive health is just as important as our physical health. Concerns over Alzheimer’s and dementia are at the forefront of most people’s minds, but there are many other reasons cognitive health is important.
Cognitive function declines with age. This can impact how mentally sharp a person is over time. There can also be serious psychological repercussions connected to cognitive health.
One way you can protect your mental health is to stress yourself less. Stress produces a hormone called cortisol. New research has shown that chronic exposure to cortisol can wreak havoc in the brain. It’s so damaging it can reduce the size of the brain and kill brain cells. Try to find healthy relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation if you deal with stress on a regular basis.
Another simple fix is to get more sleep.
Nutritious Diet Full of Fruits and Vegetables
The Centers for Disease Control has determined that most of us eat far too much-refined sugar and salt but not nearly enough fruits and vegetables. Studies from 2015 showed that only 9% of Americans eat the recommended amount of vegetables daily. Fruits and vegetables are vital to our health because they provide antioxidants. These molecules help keep harmful, cancer-causing free radicals in check.
Working more fruits and vegetables into your diet doesn’t have to be a chore. Juicing is an easy and delicious way to get your fill of fruits and veggies. Plus, some juicing recipes boost your immune system.
Water intake is another huge dietary factor. Some studies have shown that up to 75% of American adults are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to serious medical complications, but even mild chronic dehydration can affect physical and cognitive health.
Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep
Are you sleeping at least seven hours every night? If not, you may be chronically sleep deprived.
Doctors don’t fully understand all the mechanisms of sleep, but they do know it’s the time when your body goes into repair mode. It’s also essential for cognitive health. Sleep is when our brain basically filters and stores information from the day.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you’re having trouble sleeping turn your attention first to your nighttime routine. Creating a regular routine and consistent sleep schedule helps prime the body for rest.
Volunteer More Often
Few people realize the health benefits that come with helping others. Anyone who’s volunteered will understand the feel-good psychological boost that comes from giving back, but The Corporation for National & Community Service points out that volunteering has many other perks.
The personal sense of accomplishment can have positive effects on mental and physical health, including a decrease in stress levels. For older adults, volunteering can also provide a sense of purpose, which further boosts mental health. Decreased risk of depression is another health benefit that’s associated with volunteering.
Choose a volunteer program that combines physical activity and you’ll see even more health benefits!