There are many simple changes you can make to start living a healthier lifestyle. Every day, new reports are published advising different kinds of exercise, diets, and routines for better well-being. Even if you consider yourself to be a relatively healthy person overall, it can be difficult to figure out what you should actually be doing to preserve your good health.
Fortunately, living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated.
On World Health Day this year (April 7th, 2022), commit to better health by following one of the simple tips for a healthier lifestyle below. Each of the following tips for wellness are backed by scientific research, and guaranteed to make a difference in your health:
1. Reduce Your Sugar and Salt Intake
Sugar and salt might taste good, but they’re not great for your health. Sugar increases your chances of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. On the other hand, too much salt in your diet can lead to an enlarged heart muscle, higher blood pressure, kidney stones, and stomach cancer.
To reduce your sugar intake almost instantly, try switching sugary drinks such as sodas and sweet lattes with unsweetened tea, and lemon water. It’s also worth looking at the amount of sugar and salt in the condiments you use each day. Soy sauce and ketchup contain surprising amounts of added salt and sugar.
If you’re having a hard time conquering your sugar addiction, you can consider looking at Yacon syrup or stevia instead. To replace salt, look for other ways to add flavor to your food. There are tons of amazing herbs and spices out there with great benefits. For instance, turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
2. Add More Variety to Your Meals
Most people assume being healthy means cutting out large portions of their diet. However, you can also look to add more variety to your food too.
First, it’s worth looking for ways to cut down on the artificial trans fats you get from countless snack foods and takeaways. Try making your own “fakeaways” at home and freezing them so you always have a delicious meal on-hand when you’re craving a guilty pleasure.
Next, examine your weekly menu and ask yourself if you’re eating the same foods too often. Maybe you could try adding a vegetarian day into your routine, or a gluten-free meal, so you can experiment with different recipes?
3. Drink More Water and Less Alcohol
Drinking plenty of water every day is one of the most valuable things you can do to improve your health and happiness. Your body is made up of around 80% water, and it relies on water for virtually everything it does, from processing bowel movements, to ensuring your muscles and skin can perform as they should.
You’ll need around 8 glasses of water a day to avoid issues ranging from dehydration to fatigue, and dry skin. While you’re stocking up on your water intake, it’s worth looking at whether you could benefit from cutting down on other drinks.
Alcohol can be fun, but it also dehydrates your body, puts your organs under significant pressure, and makes it harder to get a good night’s sleep. If you think you may have an issue with alcohol, look into taking advantage of the resources in your local community to get back on track.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Have you ever noticed how everything just seems easier when you’re well-rested? This is because your body and mind thrive on a good night’s sleep. Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, disrupt your appetite, and even lead to problems with your mental and physical performance.
With a good night’s sleep, you’ll be more prepared to tackle common stresses and challenges you face in day-to-day life, whether it’s a difficult task at work, or a tough workout. You’ll also be better equipped to fight back against weight gain and obesity.
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, try shaking up your sleep hygiene, by making your bedroom more comfortable, and following an evening routine.
5. Feed Your Gut Bacteria
Research increasingly suggests a strong connection between our overall health and the health of your gut. Your gut microbiota, made up of various forms of different bacteria, is crucial to ensuring you have a strong immune system.
Disruption in gut bacteria is linked to a range of chronic conditions, including various digestive problems and obesity. Some scientists even believe your gut health might influence your mental health too.
Feed your gut bacteria by eating more probiotic-rich and fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and yogurt. You can also consider looking into probiotic supplements, and increasing your intake of fiber, so your stomach has the tools to process food more effectively.
6. Find Ways to Exercise More Regularly
Exercise and regular movement are some of the most important components of good health. Unfortunately, many of us spend a huge portion of our lives sitting down. This is particularly true in the world of remote work, where we’re sitting in countless video meetings.
Finding ways to exercise more regularly can make a significant difference to your overall health. If you don’t have a lot of time in your day, consider trying some “micro workouts”, whenever you have a spare moment. For instance, you could perform some squats while you’re responding to emails on your phone or lift dumbbells during a video meeting.
If nothing else, make sure you’re getting up and moving around as frequently as possible, to avoid the negative side-effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
7. Find Coping Strategies For Stress
Stress is a known trigger of countless illnesses and ailments, both long-term and short-term. Constant exposure to stress can influence your blood sugar levels, immune system, and more. Yet most of us don’t know how to deal with stress effectively.
One option could be to start adding some meditation to your day. Scientific evidence shows meditation can help with improving mental health and mindfulness. Exercise can assist with stress too, by boosting your endorphins and helping you to overcome tension.
If your stress becomes too much for you to handle alone, consider reaching out to a loved one for assistance, or speak to a doctor about steps you can take to manage. Sometimes it takes time to find the strategy best for you.
8. Consider Taking Supplements
While some supplements might not be necessary for everyone, others can be extremely useful when you want a convenient way to improve your health. Ideally, you should be getting the majority of the nutrition you need in your diet, but this isn’t possible with every substance.
For instance, most people don’t get nearly enough vitamin D. While a deficiency in vitamin D might not be severely harmful, taking a supplement can improve your health by boosting bone strength, reducing your risk of depression, and strengthening your immune system.
If you’re getting a little older, you could even look into taking collagen supplements as a way of fighting back against joint problems and replacing some of the natural substances that start to diminish as we age.
9. Nurture Your Relationships
Healthy relationships are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. As human beings, we’re naturally social creatures who thrive around others. If we feel alone or isolated, we’re more likely to suffer from a range of problems, from depression and anxiety to poor health.
Studies show people with close friends and family connections are generally healthier, and even live much longer than people who don’t.
Though it can be difficult to find the time to nurture your relationships in a fast-paced world, scheduling moments of important interaction with the people you love could have a resounding impact on your health. There’s a good chance these relationships will make you happier too.
10. Be More Mindful
Mindfulness isn’t just a popular trend right now, it’s actually one of the most valuable ways to improve your health and wellbeing. When you’re mindful, you’re more aware of everything you think and feel each day, which can help you to manage a range of common problems.
Being mindful about what you eat with a food journal or diary helps you to determine whether you have any negative relationships with food, and whether you may have bad reactions to certain ingredients you need to avoid in future.
Alternatively, being mindful with your emotions can help you to understand how you feel and what triggers certain responses, so you can control feelings of stress, fear, and anger in the future.
Bonus Tip: Get to Know Yourself
One of the best ways to improve your health and dedicate more time to your wel-being is to get to know yourself a little better. Understanding your body, how it responds to certain triggers, and what it might need to perform at its best will help you to create a more customized strategy for good health.
This World Health Day, invest in your relationship with yourself with a quick at-home CircleDNA test, and receive over 500 reports about your health and wellness. You may be surprised by what you discover.