When it comes to improving our health and well-being, most of us are guilty of focusing on a specific area. We look at what’s wrong and find ways to fix it, perhaps by reducing stress when we’re having a hard time, losing weight after a period of indulgence, or targeting other concerns like fitness or heart health. While targeting problems is great, it makes sense to also practice preventative care, i.e., taking care of and improving our overall health to keep our bodies and minds fit and strong, preventing illness down the line. Here’s a look at five of the things that you can do to improve your overall health.
Make Small Changes to Your Diet
Small changes to your diet are often more beneficial than trying to significantly reduce calorific intake or removing whole food groups. Simple changes, like drinking a glass of water with meals and trying to eat the rainbow with colorful foods, lots of fruit and vegetables, and plenty of variation can help you to stay hydrated and increase the nutrients in your diet.
Spend More Time Outdoors
We all know that exercise is good for us. We know that we should work out three days a week, and practice both strength and cardio training. But if you don’t like going to the gym, knowing that you should isn’t going to make you more likely to.
Fortunately, the gym isn’t the only place to exercise. Getting outdoors more for runs and jogs, long walks and even things like quick walks to the shops and pottering in your garden will help you to burn calories and strengthen your muscles.
As well as the benefits of exercise, more time outdoors can also improve your mood and mental health, help you to focus, and give you more access to vitamin D — all of which can improve your overall health.
Improve Your Metabolic Health
We’re often guilty of thinking that a healthy weight means a healthy lifestyle. But your weight is just a number on the scale. People we might consider overweight can be fitter, healthier, and certainly happier than those who weigh less.
A metabolic health check, which can be done with a simple blood test and a tape measure, monitors specific markers, putting less emphasis on weight. The five metabolic health markers are blood sugar, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Looking at these markers with a metabolic health assessment gives a much clearer view of your overall health.
It’s thought that by improving metabolic health, instead of simply trying to lose weight, you can increase energy levels, stabilize mood, get better sleep, improve your memory, feel fewer cravings, and hunger pangs, and yes, maintain a healthy weight.
Get into Good Sleep Habits
Sleep is great. It’s a chance for your body and mind to rest, recover and prepare for the next day. It can help you to feel better when you are ill but also boost your immune system preventing illness. But it’s not just the amount of sleep you get that helps; quality is also important. Improve your sleep habits by switching off devices, eating earlier, clearing your bedroom of distractions, and getting more exercise for more restful nights.
Get to Know Yourself
We’re all different, and so one of the best ways to improve your overall health is to get to know yourself and develop self-awareness. Know what’s normal for you, and you’ll know when you should worry or when you need to make changes.
Improving your overall health is often easier if you make small, sustainable changes that bring balance to your lifestyle. Typically trying to make large cuts and changes is unsustainable, removes the joy from our lives, and ultimately fails. Instead, these five tips can help you to stick to a healthier lifestyle that’s still filled with things that you enjoy.