According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about half of the global population does not have adequate access to essential health care. Coupled with a sedentary lifestyle characterized by long hours spent sitting or lying down, people around the world are at greater risk of developing chronic health conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
However, all of this can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle. You don’t need to make drastic changes; minor tweaks here and there can have a significant impact down the road. Check out the tips below for some easy ways to get started on your journey to better health.
1. Take care of your oral health.
Your mouth is the gateway to your body, so taking care of your teeth and gums is essential. This means brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting trusted dental clinics regularly. Not only will this help you avoid cavities and gum disease, but it can also help you spot other health problems early on.
For example, did you know that bleeding gums can be a sign of diabetes? Or that mouth sores can indicate certain types of cancer? By keeping up with your oral health, you’re protecting not only your smile but your overall health as well.
So, brush up on your dental hygiene and make sure to see a dentist or hygienist every six months. Your mouth will thank you!
2. Eat and drink healthier.
What you put into your body directly impacts your health, so it’s important to choose wisely when it comes to food and drink. Cut down on sugary drinks, processed foods, and red meat, and make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for good health. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t eat enough of them. A simple way to change that is to incorporate them into your breakfast cereal or oatmeal, pack them as snacks, or use them as sides at lunch and dinner.
Processed foods or foods that have been through some processing before they reach the grocery store shelves (think frozen dinners, chips, crackers, etc.) are also non-advisable. They tend to be high in calories, fat, sodium, and sugar while being low in nutrient content.
Cutting out sugary drinks is likewise one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your diet and start seeing results. Sodas, energy drinks, and even fruit juices are loaded with sugar and empty calories that can sabotage your weight loss goals. Instead, quench your thirst with water or unsweetened tea/coffee. Not only will you save calories, but you’ll also save money in the long run!
3. Get active for 30 minutes every day.
You don’t have to go to the gym or become a marathon runner to get active and improve your health. Just making a point of getting up and moving for 30 minutes each day can make a big difference. Take a brisk walk around the block, go for a swim, ride your bike…anything that gets your heart rate up will do!
Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. It can also help with weight control, improve mental health and mood, reduce stress, and increase energy levels. In other words, there are plenty of good reasons to get moving!
If you’re not used to being active, start slowly and gradually build up to 30 minutes a day. You can also break it up into smaller chunks of time if that’s more manageable. Just make sure you’re doing some form of physical activity most days of the week.
4. Reduce stress.
Chronic stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health, so it’s crucial to find ways to manage it. Exercise, relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, and spending time with loved ones are all great ways to reduce stress.
You should also make an effort to simplify your life and let go of anything that’s causing you unnecessary anxiety. This might mean saying no to social engagements, cutting back on work hours, or delegating tasks to other people. Reducing stress will not only make you feel better in the short term, but it can also improve your overall health in the long term.
Small changes in your daily routine can significantly impact your overall health in the long run. By following these four tips, you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle that will benefit your mind and body!