Are you looking for ways to stay healthy that don’t involve making a huge change to your life? You can spend some time on the couch, that’s good news. Even better news is making a few changes to your diet and moving around more can go a long way to improving your health.
Get up off the couch more often. Better yet, get up off the couch and walk around the block. Crush it by walking your dog around the neighborhood.
I walk my dogs every day, and I feel better every time we arrive back home. There’s no better way to clear your head. You can start with a trip around the block without taxing yourself and work your way up from there.
Your dog will love it and be in better shape, too. That reduces visits to the vet. You and your dog will appreciate that.
Watch What You Eat
Concentrate on eating a balanced diet. I thought I ate healthy until our personal trainer recommended a certain number of calories per day and smaller meals. I began counting calories to comply.
Oh my goodness, my healthy eating was not as healthy as I thought. I admit changing your diet can be a struggle. But it’s worth it. My heartburn problems disappeared.
Fruits and Vegetables
Most experts can’t dispute the health of a plant-based diet. If you’re a meat lover, you don’t have to give it up. An adequate protein intake is essential.
Increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption will make a difference. Many fruits and vegetables add fiber, and plenty of people don’t eat enough fiber. Most vegetables are low in calories, so you won’t add extra weight.
Lose the Sugary Fizz
Do you need a good reason to give up drinking soda, also known as soft drinks? How about kidney damage, cancer, or high blood pressure? Do you only drink diet soda?
The news isn’t any better. You’re still at higher risk for chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and depression. What is it about soda that causes problems?
High fructose corn syrup used in many sodas doesn’t abate your hunger, and it heads right to your belly, where it becomes fat. More belly fat increases the greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. All that sugar and phosphoric and carbonic acid additives do a number on your teeth and gums.
Get Enough Sleep
While you’re asleep, your body addresses deficiencies to keep your brain and physical health at optimum levels. When you don’t get seven to eight hours a night, your body does not have time to address and repair problems. A few naps during the day do not make up for lost sleep, although you will feel a bit better.
A good night’s sleep boosts your ability to learn. You’re more creative and more decisive when you’ve slept well. Your immune system optimizes to ward off infections.
Getting less than seven to eight hours of sleep regularly per night can cause a host of problems. It’s shown less than adequate sleep links to an increased chance of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. You’re also more likely to become obese.
Deal with Stress
Our busy lifestyle activates our stress hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol more often than necessary. Designed to save us in short-term situations, the effect of constant activation is unhealthy. Chronic stress can cause headaches, heartburn, insomnia, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and other unpleasant side effects.
We can’t get rid of stress entirely, and a small amount is helpful for you. But it’s essential to manage it to stay healthy. Recommendations include eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, regular exercise, not drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, set aside time to relax, and learn mindfulness or meditation techniques.
Limit your Alcohol
We’ve all heard this, limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. One drink is twelve ounces of beer, eight ounces of malt liquor, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits.
But what is excessive drinking? You can drink to excess but not be an alcoholic. Binge drinking is four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men per occasion.
Heavy drinking is eight or more drinks for women or at least 15 drinks per week for men. Both binge and heavy drinking are excessive drinking. Long-term excessive drinking leads to chronic health problems, such as cancer, heart disease, dementia, stroke, and depression.
See Your Doctor Consistently
Getting to know your doctor and keeping up with routine screenings leads to catching problems early. Earlier diagnosis often leads to better outcomes and management of any health problems.
I’m prone to skin cancer, so I see my dermatologist once a year. I noticed the first spot on my shoulder. I didn’t notice the second spot on my face, but my dermatologist did.
Friends Can Help Each Other
Yes, having friends improves your health. You don’t need lots. Only a few close friends will make a difference.
Research reveals people with robust social support have less risk of depression, high blood pressure, and obesity. Life expectancy increases, too. Cherish your friendships and nurture them. It’s easy and good for your health.