See if this sounds familiar: you wake up in the morning feeling sluggish, tired, and more rundown than you did the day before. If you can relate to that feeling, you’re not alone. A 2020 study found that most people want to lead a healthier lifestyle, but don’t know where to start.
It’s understandable. With so many conflicting ideas on attaining better health, it’s hard to find reliable information.
Tips for Improve your Health and Wellness
1. Eat Real Food
Each of your cells and your body, by extension, is built from what you feed it. So you should be conscious of the materials you’re giving yourself to work with.
Fresh, whole foods should be the cornerstone of your diet. Ultra-processed foods like canned goods, frozen meals, and fast food, are all designed to be convenient and palatable. But that flavor and convenience come at the cost of additives like sugar, refined oils, excess salt, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings, and flavors.
Taken together, all of those additives can increase the risk of chronic health conditions.
In their place, your diet should include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you can manage. Many of them are packed with the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs.
You should likewise opt for high-quality proteins wherever possible. Protein is the fundamental building block of every part of the body. Your body needs an adequate supply of it to replace damaged or aged cells and keep you in prime condition.
Not all proteins are created equal, however. A fast-food hamburger may indeed have plenty of the stuff, but it’s also loaded with many of those harmful additives we touched on.
Instead, try to focus on lean meats, fatty fish, or plant-based proteins like nuts and seeds.
2. Make Water Your Beverage of Choice
That water is crucial to health should be a given, considering that about 70% of each cell in the body is made up of the stuff. But when we’re thirsty, how many of us reach for a soda or other sugary beverage instead?
Soft drinks, juices, sweet teas, and the like are major sources of added sugar in the American diet. All that extra sweetness may taste good, but it can contribute to several negative health outcomes.
When you eat sugar, your body tries to burn it as a source of quick energy. That’s one reason why you may feel a bit of a pick-me-up after having your sweet drink of choice.
The problem is that most people don’t engage in enough high-intensity activity to make use of that energy burst. So those sugar calories are metabolized into fat.
Over time, excess sugar contributes to the accumulation of belly fat and an increased risk of problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
So instead of a sugary drink, reach for a glass of water instead.
3. Spend Time In Nature
Nurturing the mind is as important as nurturing the body, and spending more time outdoors is one of the best ways to do that.
A cross-examination of several studies showed that spending time out in nature is linked to multiple benefits. Having green spaces near homes, schools, and workplaces are linked with positive cognitive development and can help “refresh” a tired brain, for example. Nature is also linked to positive mental health outcomes.
4. Achieve Better Health Through Controlled Weight Loss
Maintaining an exercise routine is one of the best things you can do to boost your physical and mental health. The act of getting up and moving releases feel-good endorphins that help boost our mood. And it’s one of the only sure ways to lose unhealthy belly fat.
Everyone needs to have some body fat, and extreme weight loss measures can be even more dangerous than obesity. At the same time, excessive belly fat poses a unique risk because it surrounds the vital organs. Because of this close proximity, having too much belly fat increases the risk of certain health issues, like heart disease, diabetes, and liver problems.
So the question then is how to strike a balance. Carrying too much weight around the midsection is bad for your health, but crash diets and weight-loss fads are ineffective at best, and can further damage your health at worst.
The solution is to cultivate habits that help you lose weight in a safe, controlled manner. To help learn these habits, a fitness retreat like the ones offered by Weight Crafters can be a great tool.
These experiences are different from the standard boot camps you often see ads for. Instead of trying to accomplish as much weight loss as possible in a compact timeframe, they take a holistic approach that will help you take what you learn and apply it to your life going forward.
5. Listen to Yourself
A phrase that you’ll sometimes hear is “you don’t have a body, you are a body”. It’s an idea that can be hard to conceptualize because of the way conversations about the body tend to be phrased. Bodies are treated as something we possess instead of a core part of our beings.
That mindset creates a sort of internal disconnect that makes it easy for us to ignore the information our bodies give us. That tendency is also rewarded by a culture that incentivizes us to ignore our well-being in the service of productivity.
Hence, one of the best ways of improving your health and wellness is relearning to listen to yourself. Pay attention to when stress and overexertion set in. Be mindful of which habits, activities, and people make you feel better or worse.
When you make listening to yourself a daily practice, it gets easier to prioritize your well-being and make positive choices.
Maintaining Good Health Is a Lifelong Endeavor
Achieving better health isn’t a one-and-done proposition. You can’t accomplish it over the course of a weekend and then never worry about it again. That’s why so many of these tips focus on cultivating good habits that can serve as the basis of a healthy lifestyle.
For more healthy living ideas to help you further your wellness journey, be sure to follow our latest fitness and lifestyle news and guides.
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