Everyone is always trying to “improve health,” but, what exactly does that mean? To be healthy means different things to different people; typically, however, people are interested in both longevity, and quality of life. The benefits of getting healthier are wide and varied; you’ll live longer, age gracefully, and wake up every morning full of energy, ready to enjoy a more active lifestyle.
But how, exactly, do you achieve these benefits? Some of the methods – like “eat healthy,” – are common sense. Others are a tad more complex. Even the simpler methods of improving health, however, require a little education and research. With all of that in mind, here are our top five ways to improve health:
Drink Lots Of Water
Most people just don’t give a lot of thought to how much water they are drinking, but, this is one of the most basic and important things you can do for your body. Chronic dehydration can leave you tired, cranky, and unable to digest your food properly. On the other hand, drink the recommended 64 ounces of water throughout the day, and you’ll notice a marked improvement in the health of your skin, hair, and energy level. If you are one of the people that struggles to remember to drink water, there are cell phone apps that can help; simply install one on your phone to get a reminder when you need to rehydrate. Or, for a simple low-tech method, put eight rubber bands on your wrist when you leave home in the morning. Each time you drink a glass of water, remove one. By the end of the day, you shouldn’t have any left!
Get More Sleep
This one may seem obvious, but the reality is that the majority of Americans are at least somewhat sleep deprived. In today’s harried, busy world, your sleep schedule is often the first thing that suffers when you start getting overwhelmed with work and other demands. Not only that, in a modern world with smartphones, Netflix, and plenty of media available, some people just don’t go to bed when they should.
Over time, however, a poor sleep schedule can wreak havoc on your health and well-being. One night of sleeplessness can leave you cranky in the morning and tired throughout the day; over time, chronic sleeplessness can lead to bigger problems, such as obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression, and memory loss. Sleep deprivation can even interfere with your body’s ability to heal itself after an injury!
So with sleep playing such a critical role in your health, how, exactly, do you go about improving it? Studies have shown that the soft blue glow that your phone screen emits can actually interfere with your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. That means turn all your devices off – television, phone, computer – an hour before bed. It will also help to ensure that you have a regular “bedtime;” that is, try to go to sleep at the same time each night. Your bed shouldn’t be used for reading, or television viewing, either; this will condition your body to not be tired while in bed. And make sure you keep your bedsheets clean and regularly replace your pillow as soon as it becomes uncomfortable.
One thing to avoid at all costs is becoming dependent on sleeping pills or other medicines; even over-the-counters such as melatonin can have side effects that are less than desirable. If you need a sleep aid, a little CBD oil is your best bet; it will help to mitigate the anxiety that keeps you up at night without being habit-forming or having any damaging side effects.
Exercise For Half An Hour Every Day
Studies have shown that even a small amount of exercise every day can vastly improve your health and well-being. You don’t need to become a professional athlete or health nut to reap the benefits of exercising. Even something as simple as thirty minutes of cardio will provide you with big dividends. If you aren’t able to do anything else, simply going out and walking for a little while every day will lift your mood and improve your cardiovascular health. There are plenty of different activities you can try, too; an occasional bike ride, some yoga, a jog, or even a handful of push-ups every morning will improve your mental and physical health in a big way.
Eat Your Vitamins
“Eat healthy” is another entry that seems obvious, but its importance cannot be overstated; your diet is so important that it is definitely worth mentioning in any article meant to improve health. Even as simple as it sounds, the diet industry is a multi-billion dollar one, and there are dozens of different diet programs out there, all purporting to be the best one. Of course, there isn’t a simple “magic” diet that will work for everyone. For some, the keto diet may be the best; for others, a vegetarian or vegan diet may be what they need.
While there’s no single solution that will work for everyone, improving your health through your diet doesn’t have to be complicated, either. You just have to keep a few things in mind: first, make sure you are consuming the right amount of calories for your energy needs. Eat a surplus of calories, and you’ll gain weight; eat a deficit of calories, and you’ll lose weight. If you increase the amount of energy you’re expending, such as starting a vigorous exercise program, you may need to eat more food than before.
The other necessity is to eat a varied diet. Try for high in fiber, and with an array of different fruits and vegetables. One easy trick is to remember to “eat the rainbow;” that is, foods of all different colors. Plenty of greens, but also occasionally bananas, strawberries, peppers, radishes, sweet potatoes, and others. Your diet should mostly be based around starchy foods that are high in vitamins, such as potatoes and brown rice. A few times a week, you should also include a serving of oily fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, or herring.
Try Natural Medicines
This one’s a little tricky, because you should always take the advice of your doctor when it comes to taking medicine. Many pharmaceutical medicines are lifesavers and are necessary to your health and well-being. However, with that said, people tend to rely too much on over-the-counter medications. They also tend to assume there’s a pill for everything. Certain painkillers, such as acetaminophen, will wreak havoc on your liver if you take them too often. In cases like these, you could potentially mitigate a lot of the potential risk and possibly improve health overall if you switch to more natural products. For example, if you suffer from chronic pain, try using a topical CBD oil instead of an over-the-counter with potentially harmful side effects. CBD, in particular, is a popular option because it can help, according to user reports, with a variety of conditions – from chronic pain, to sleeplessness, to nausea – few users have reported significant side effects that pharmaceuticals have.