5 Simple Steps To Improve Your Health Regimen
Everyone knows that diet and exercise are an important part of staying healthy. Sometimes we lack the time or energy to do either, but there's a lot more that improves your overall health, and much of it can be done with little extra effort—like breathing better, sleeping enough, staying hydrated, exercising your brain, and keeping stress levels down. Learn these five simple tips you can implement in your life, and you'll be on track to a healthier life even if you can't make it to the gym every week.
Sleep doesn’t just make you beautiful, but healthier too. While you sleep, your body goes to work restoring and replacing cells. Sleep also allows your brain to repair passageways critical to memory and cognitive function. If you feel dopey the day after getting little to no sleep, that’s why! Your brain is actually slower and less efficient when tired than when it’s well rested.
Sleep also protects you from a variety of health issues. People who don’t sleep enough have been found to have higher rates of depression, suicide, and other mental illness. The same goes for heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and stroke. Even more interesting, some studies have found that patients exposed to the common cold virus who had less than six hours of sleep per night compared to those who got more than that were four times more likely to contract a cold.
To keep your body healthy, it’s recommended adults get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Children and teens need even more. Just remember that between your juice cleansing, cardio, and weight lifting routine to fit in some good old fashioned zzz’s. Sleep will keep your body much healthier and help you make those gains you’re looking for.
2. Air Quality
The average adult takes 23,000+ breaths per day. But is every breath you take healthy? Second-hand smoke, VOC’s, particulate pollution, pollen, mold, and other harmful chemicals are floating around in the air at all times. Unless you have an air purifier, air purifying plants, and a carefully calibrated home ecosystem, you could be breathing in a ton of stuff that could make you sick.
Air pollution doesn’t just cause a running nose, itchy eyes, and allergy-like symptoms—it also worsens and causes asthma, compromises fertility, hurts your neurological system, and may even cause cancer. Since air quality is at a dangerous level for half of Americans, it’s important to take care with your air in your home and whenever you can.
3. Water Consumption
You’ve probably read that the human body is made of about 60 percent water, but are you drinking enough? It’s critical to replenish your body with water throughout the day because water helps regulate body temperature, deliver nutrients to different cells and organs, aid in digestion, balance appetite, and so much more.
It’s long been said that you should drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day. However, there’s a lot more to it, like your gender, age, weight, activity level, and surrounding temperature and humidity. To make sure you’re getting enough water, calculate your specific recommendation. Not to get too graphic, but if your urine is ever a dark yellow, drink water! Urine should always be a light honey color—any more transparent and your body is passing too much water and any darker and it’s not getting enough H2O.
Just listen to your body, drink extra when exercising and on hot days, and drink a glass every time you’re hungry; sometimes the brain gets thirst and hunger confused!
4. Cognitive Function
Your brain isn’t technically a muscle—but it is in charge of everything that happens in your body! Don’t let your brain get lazy. Instead, improve your cognitive function by playing brain games. Brain games have been theorized to improve memory, increase sharpness, and stave off memory loss diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. While we’re waiting for firm evidence, it won’t hurt to try some brain games to keep your brain occupied.
What is scientifically shown to keep your brain and body healthy is music. Playing and reading music was discovered to reduce rates of dementia in twins by 30 percent! No matter how old you are, consider taking up guitar, piano, or another instrument that interests you; it could very well keep your brain healthy for longer.
5. Stress Management
Stress is a major health killer. Not only does it make you break out and lose sleep, but stress and anxiety actually contribute to you getting sick. Stress may lead to chronic headaches, diarrhea, higher rates of contracting a cold, stomach aches, and more. That’s because when your brain is on alert and stressed out, your body secretes all sorts of hormones and neurological reactions that tell your system to protect itself. Living in a constant state of fight or flight is really bad for you!
If you’re feeling stressed, you can practice cognitive behavioral therapy to learn how to combat counterproductive thought processes. You can also practice mindfulness through meditation to gain control over your thoughts and keep stress levels at bay. Exercise is another great way to release happy endorphins to chase off stress (which you’re probably already doing if you’re reading this article!) . Just find what works for you and keep calm. You body will thank you.