It’s 2021 and although the ‘new year, new me’ slogan is quite cliché, the new year is a good opportunity to evaluate our health and attempt to lead a healthier lifestyle. Given that 2020 hasn’t been the best of years, it is inevitable that it has taken a toll on our physical and mental wellbeing. So although New Year resolutions may not be your thing, it is always a good time to care a bit more about your health and inculcate healthy habits in order to lead a longer and better life. Here are just a few tips on how you can improve the quality of your life and prioritize your health.
- Keeping active
One of the major struggles for most people is finding the motivation to remain consistently active. Especially given the circumstances of the pandemic, our usual ways of exercise cannot be continued. Therefore it is very important to ensure that we don’t get into the slump of staying in our room all day. We need to take that extra step and be conscious about our fitness as movement is quite critical for maintaining bone and muscle density. Regular exercise has many health benefits such as lowering heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lowers your risk of early death by up to 30%. A 30-minute walk each day does more good than you can imagine, as it not only helps you feel energized but has many long term benefits on your physical health as well.
- Reduce the use of alcohol and smoking
Smoking and excessive use of alcohol are habits that are hard to rid yourself of. But, it also is one of the most rewarding habits as the benefit to your body is immense. If you struggle with an alcohol or smoking addiction, it might be hard to completely quit immediately as that target might be too high to achieve. However small steps of reducing the quantity of consumption and the degree to which you rely on it could really prove to be one of the healthiest habits you could inculcate. Research has indicated that smoking has been directly linked to seven types of cancer. Smoking and alcohol consumption are significant factors that can lead to poor health by triggering chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. One small step at a time goes a long way.
- Eat well
As kids, eating well was never a problem. Our parents assured we would not miss a meal and greens would be forced on us. But as we grew older and became responsible for our own meal plans most of us, quite frankly, slacked. Healthy breakfasts are of utmost importance even though that is what most of us forego for the sake of ease. Research indicates that it jump-starts your metabolism and stops you from overeating later while also giving you the boost to do better at university or work. Additionally, fruits and vegetables which are high in vitamins, minerals antioxidants work together to protect your body from many cancers. Therefore a better and healthier diet, in general, might mean you spend a bit more time trying to prepare your meals, but it will also ensure a healthier mind and body.
- Healthy sleeping pattern
Getting a good night’s sleep might be as hard as preparing a healthy breakfast. But it is no myth that you need your adequate hours of sleep to function well and remain healthy. A good night’s sleep has proved to keep you in a better mood, sharpen memory and focus and also helps you learn new things. Sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity, increased alcohol and tobacco use, hormone imbalances, higher incidence of diabetes and high blood pressure, weaker immune system, erratic behaviour and significant mood swings. UK’s National Health Service states that lack of sleep shortens your life expectancy and makes you prone to serious health conditions. So get into the habit of going to sleep at a specific time so your body gets the hours of sleep it needs and deserves.
- Drink water
This may sound like the simplest tip that anyone can give you. But nevertheless, it is still quite important. Staying hydrated is important for many reasons. The most obvious is that our body requires a certain quantity of H2O each day otherwise you can become dehydrated resulting in unclear thinking, mood changes and the emergence of kidney stones. Having a habit of drinking water helps your body keep a normal temperature, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues and also gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements. So next time you see yourself reaching for a fizzy drink, have a glass of water instead. It can do you a lot of good.