Individual health has become a more important topic in the coronavirus era. It seems everywhere you go people are more attuned to how their daily habits affect their health. In light of that, one of the best things that could come from the coronavirus crisis is a new commitment to making positive health changes.
It goes without saying that there are many benefits to be derived from lifestyle changes. Changing bad habits can be slow and challenging, but the inevitable benefits of doing so will eventually be clear.
Are you intrigued? If so, below are five ways you can begin making positive health changes today. Each one offers health benefits on its own. Doing all five could make a real difference in your life.
1. Develop Healthy Eating Habits
There is no denying that we are what we eat. Our bodies can only do what they do based on the fuel we provide. Thus, one of the easiest and most important things you can do to improve your health is to develop healthy eating habits. Eat the right kinds of foods in moderation and it will pay off.
Experts generally recommend a wide variety of nutritious foods covering the five major food groups. They recommend plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables along with whole grains, reduced fat dairy, and lean meats, fish, and poultry. They also recommend drinking plenty of water.
2. Get Daily Exercise
Just as the body needs healthy food, it also needs moderate exercise to function properly. You can make a positive health change today by committing to just 10 minutes of exercise daily. It doesn’t have to be a heavy-duty workout that leaves you covered in sweat and with aching muscles. Heavy-duty exercise is not inherently bad, but serious workouts are not necessary for good health.
A 10-minute walk around the neighbourhood is great exercise. So is yoga, cycling, running, and any other exercise that gets your body moving and your heart pumping. Remember that the goal is more cardio than building muscle mass – although bulking up is not a bad idea either.
You might find regular exercise easier if you can do it with someone else. Ask a family member or friend to be your exercise partner. You can hold one another accountable and be an encouragement on those days when exercising is the last thing you want to do.
3. Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol
If you currently smoke, the best thing you can do for your health is quit. You might want to try vaping if you don’t think you can leave the habit behind entirely. At any rate, avoiding tobacco means you are also avoiding inhaling dozens of toxic chemicals.
Where alcohol is concerned, moderation is the key. Keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum has been linked to lower cholesterol, healthier blood glucose levels, a lower risk of liver disease, better sleep, better weight management, and more.
4. Take Technology Breaks
Technology has overtaken our lives to a fair extent. Specifically, internet-based technologies involving screens. You can make a positive health change by committing to taking regular breaks from technology. Shut down your screens; turn off your phone; disconnect from the internet for a while.
Constant screen time isn’t good for us. We need to take time to get outdoors and take in the fresh air and sunshine. We need to give our eyes and brains a break so that we can think about other things. Too much technology can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and mental fatigue, neither of which is good.
As a side note, taking technology breaks is equally important for adults and children alike. If you have children, limit their screen time. Encourage them to do other things that provide physical exercise, encourage imagination, and teach them to interact with one another face-to-face.
5. Connect with Others
Finally, mental health should not be ignored either. In fact, mental and physical health go hand-in-hand. A good way to improve mental health is to make a concerted effort to connect with others. Get out of the house and go meet friends. Spend time with extended family members. Join community groups that centre around a shared purpose.
Connections with others have a unique way of improving one’s outlook on life. When we connect, we tend to have a more relational view of the world. We can encourage and support one another along the way. And of course, developing healthy relationships with friends and family members is a healthy antidote to the negative feelings and thoughts that sometimes lead to mental health issues.
Improving your health will not occur by accident. Better health requires making conscious choices and then following through on them. Hopefully, the suggestions made in this post will help you. If you are willing to make positive health changes, the benefits will be self-evident in time. You will feel better, have fewer medical problems, and enjoy a better outlook on life.