With the these six small tips you'll be on track to living a healthier lifestyle
Maybe you’re ticking all the right boxes already – drinking plenty of water, exercising, and getting a rainbow of fruit and veg each day – but there are always some small, additional tweaks you could make to help you get more energy, be healthier and feel happier overall.
The following 6 lifestyle changes may be small at first glance, but they could lead to significant health benefits.
1. Get more fat in your diet
It’s not a license for junk food, but your body needs fat as a major energy source. We’re talking about the good fats, of course – from avocado and olive oil to fatty fish and nuts and seeds – which are all vital to keeping our immune system functioning at its best. According to Harvard Health, fat helps the body absorb vitamins and minerals and is needed to build cell membranes while being essential to blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.
2. Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 8 hours of sleep for people over the age of 64 and 7 to 9 hours for those aged 18 to 64 (kids need even more sleep). More than 50% of us sleep much less than these recommendations, which can be a cause for concern as sleeping less can lead to more cases of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
If you struggle to fall asleep, you could try using calming essential oils, meditating before bedtime, or drinking a calming cup of chamomile tea (or another decaf tea). Why is sleep so important? In recent years, we’ve learned that waste material is flushed out of our brains during sleep (some of which includes the proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease. So, make sure you get a good night’s sleep to keep your wellbeing in check.
3. Drink plenty of water
There is a very long list of health benefits that come from drinking plenty of water daily. Considering that water is your body’s principal chemical component, which makes up about 50%-70% of your body weight, you can be sure that your body literally depends on water to survive. You may have heard the advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day, but most people can maintain their hydration levels by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty.
4. Move your body with a buddy!
Your mind and body are intimately connected, which means how much you move (and the way you move) can ultimately affect the way you think and feel. While you may prefer to do some gentle stretches by yourself or to go outside for a solo meditative walk, keep in mind that research has shown that finding someone to partner up with can have even bigger health benefits to your wellbeing.
Studies have demonstrated that moving in time with other people could result in us feeling better about ourselves, compared to moving to our own rhythm. But even with all the science aside, we all know that going for a stroll with a buddy is way more fun and motivating than going it alone.
5. Get a good gut
Science has been increasingly pointing to how having a good gut can improve our health, which can lead to a stronger immune system and an overall better mood. Probiotics are live microorganisms found in yoghurt and other fermented foods and dietary supplements, and beauty products. According to studies, probiotics can help us digest food, destroy disease-causing cells, and produce vitamins.
In fact, many of the microorganisms in probiotic products are the same ones (or similar) that naturally live in our bodies already. Probiotics can also help if you’ve recently taken a course of antibiotics, as they can help to rebuild your body’s community of microorganisms after they have been disturbed.
6. Protect your skin
Just as we pay attention to healthy ingredients in our food, we should be equally mindful of what our beauty and grooming products are made of before we use them on our skin. Our skin is the largest and one of the most important organs on our body, which performs vital functions such as protecting our organs, bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. The best way to ensure you’re using safe skin products is to look for organic brands that use natural ingredients like coconut and lavender.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that while some cosmetic ingredients are safe when used correctly, they can become unsafe when used the wrong way (ingredients safe for use on hair or nails could be unsafe when used on the skin or near the eyes). The ones to watch out for include phthalates, fragrance, parabens, formaldehyde, and coal tar. Meanwhile, strong sunscreen can protect your skin in the summer months, with SPF levels ranging from 2 to more than 70. The higher the number, the stronger the protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, which raises skin cancer risk, and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which cause sunburn.
This is just an example of the kind of content we deliver to thousands of people every day in the Dialogue platform to help guide them on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. Want to see more? Try our Health and Wellness Software today!