How do we interpret the word “health”? Is it simply being free from illness or is there more to it than that? True well-being goes deeper than just being able to escape discomfort: feeling healthy means experiencing harmony in your body and mind, enjoying high levels of energy and vitality, and maintaining a positive mindset.
In this guide, we’ll explore the critical steps to take control of your health, enjoy an invigorating 2024, and build the foundations of long-term well-being. Let’s dive in!
Starting Your Journey With Better Food Choices
Nutrition plays a vital role in the equation that is our overall health. It can help us maintain a healthy weight, fight inflammation, boost our energy levels, decrease the risk of diseases, and fine-tune our immune system.
Nonetheless, it is often too easy to overlook this aspect – especially if you live a hectic, stressful lifestyle! So, when it comes to improving your health, the first step to take is to make better food choices. Although your first port of call in this journey should be a specialized nutritionist, you can start making a positive impact by reducing the consumption of processed foods, refined sugars, and red meat, while planning a diet rich in vegetables, legumes, fruit, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Making Movement A Daily Habit
Next up, let’s talk about physical activity. “Going to the gym more” is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions among adults of all ages – but how many of them give up after just a few weeks? The answer won’t surprise you: gym drop out rates within the first months range between 50% and 80%!
So, how can you make movement a more natural and consistent part of your daily routine? The answer is relatively simple: you just need to find a type of workout you truly enjoy. Think, for example, of daily walks. Or, alternatively, you could take up swimming, jumping rope, climbing, or even sailing.
Also, don’t forget to move more during your day! You can do so by commuting by bike, taking active breaks at work, using the stairs instead of the lift, and choosing to walk to the grocery store instead of driving there!
Finding Peace And Stress-Relief With Mindfulness Practices
Stress can negatively impact your health. It can increase inflammation and oxidative stress, while also increasing your perception of pain. To manage stress, one of the most effective strategies is to incorporate meditation, breathing exercises, and other mindfulness practices into your life. Doing so can build self-awareness and calm, reducing anxiety and allowing you to better manage the challenges of everyday life.
Prioritizing Restful Sleep
When you have a busy schedule to manage, rest and sleep can seem like non-essential luxuries. However, when you are focusing on improving your health, it is crucial to understand that sleep and rest are actually primary functions of the body, needed to better manage energy, boost healing, optimize brain function, and strengthen the immune system. Be sure to sleep at least 7-9 hours each night and make rest an essential part of your day.
According to estimations, around three-quarters of adults are chronically dehydrated. Not getting enough fluids can have a profound impact on multiple aspects of your health, including energy levels, digestions, fatigue, productivity, stress, and pain perception. As a consequence of dehydration, you may not be able to focus during your day at work, and you may notice that you are irritable, uncomfortable, and plagued by fatigue. To prevent these complications, make sure you are drinking enough water.
Limiting Smoking And Alcohol
Smoking and drinking alcohol can have a detrimental impact on your overall health and well-being, and even have a toxic effect on your nervous system. Even if you are not able to drop these habits immediately and “go cold turkey”, be sure to take the necessary steps to reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
Taking Care Of Your Mental Health
Mental health is an important aspect of your overall well-being. Although, over the past years, awareness surrounding mental healthcare increased, many still overlook the help that going to therapy and introducing mindfulness practices may bring. Don’t forget that your mind and body are interrelated, and if you suffer from depression or anxiety, your body will reflect your state of mind – and vice versa!
Working With A Specialist
It is only normal to not know which are the right steps to take to improve your health – that’s what specialists are for! For example, if you struggle with your diet, a nutritionist can help. On the other hand, a personal trainer can help you better understand how to move your body in an efficient and safe way.
Healthcare specialists can also offer guidance and support in multiple ways, such as provisioning you with guidelines to follow, medications, and ad hoc treatments plans. For example, if you struggle with weight loss, you may benefit from appetite-suppressant medications like wegovy injections, which should be prescribed and monitored by your healthcare provider.
Choosing The Right Vitamins And Mineral Supplements
When it comes to managing your health more effectively, the vitamins and supplements you take can make a difference. Not only can these help you prevent nutritional deficiencies and boost your overall health, but they can also have a beneficial effect on inflammation, energy levels, and immune health. Be sure to follow the guidance of a healthcare provider when taking nutraceuticals and herbal remedies: while these are generally considered safe, they can have side effects.
Stepping Outdoors For Natural Health Boosts
Spending time in nature can benefit your mental and physical health alike. According to a study published in Nature magazine, spending at least 120 minutes in a natural environment a week can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety and improve overall mental health – as well as the comorbidities associated with these conditions, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes.
Spending time in nature is easier than you’d think! Just opt for walks at the seaside or the local park, or plan weekend camping trips and hikes!
Bringing It All Together For A Healthier 2024
Refocusing on health in 2024 is an excellent resolution, and a great way to live a healthier, longer life. Don’t worry if you can’t change your life around in a matter of days: small, consistent changes are what will lead to success eventually!
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