August is National Wellness Month and we are encouraging everyone to challenge themselves to create new, healthier habits so you can live a better and longer life. We’ve researched and found a number of ways to help you live your best life and here are our top ten ways for a healthier you!
As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you skip a morning meal it can throw off your metabolism for the rest of the day. When you wake up, your body needs a good blood sugar level to make your muscles and brain work throughout the day. If your body doesn’t get what it needs, you will have less energy and it throws off your body’s rhythm of fasting and eating. Plus, if you don’t eat healthy foods in the morning, you may end up snacking on unhealthy foods before your next good meal. So, be sure to eat a good breakfast like yogurts, fruits and grains to start the day off right!
The list of the benefits of exercising every day is long. Not only does daily exercise help control weight, it also helps reduce your risk of heart disease, manages your blood sugar and insulin levels, and strengthens your muscles and bones. But did you know that exercise can help you quit smoking? Exercise helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit. It also will improve your mood and mental health! Exercise is shown to reduce your risk of certain types of cancers, helps improve your sleeps, and increases your chances of living longer.
Reading benefits your brain health and improves cognitive functions in your brain. A 2013 study conducted by Rush University Medical Center found that people who’ve engaged in mentally stimulating activities all their lives were less likely to develop the plaques, lesions, and tau-protein tangles found in the brains of people with dementia. Reading can also help reduce stress, help you sleep better, increases your ability to empathize with others, and alleviates depressive symptoms.
Research has shown that only 10-15% of people are truly self-aware. The good news is that self-awareness is something that we all can work toward achieving. Being genuinely self-aware is key to higher personal and professional success. It helps you deal better with people who are different from you in terms of culture, religion, and values, etc. When you are able to recognize what you do well and what you need to improve, it raises the internal understanding of yourself and helps you align your actions with your ideals. Self-awareness is key to a healthy relationship with others whether at home or in the workplace which in turn, can help relieve stress.
The simple act of helping others not only helps the person on the receiving end, but also benefits you! Volunteering is shown to decrease risk of depression, give you a sense of purpose, helps you stay physically active, increases brain function, and reduces stress. During the pandemic, it’s been a little more challenging to volunteer with some organizations, but check with local agencies like Meals on Wheels, or a local pet shelter. Local churches and other civic groups often need an extra set of hands so they continue providing services that are in even greater demand now.
Whether you’re hanging out with friends, or watching a funny video, finding time to have a little fun and take a break from the stresses of life improves your overall health and well-being. Having fun is shown to reduce stress, increase the ability to cope, boosts your energy, makes you more productive, improves sleep patterns and improves connection with others. When we are stressed, we can negatively affect our weight and our physical ability for our bodies to fight infection and heal itself. So, take time everyday to do what brings your joy and have some fun.
Eat colorful food
Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables helps keep your blood sugar down. Colorful fruits and vegetables can keep your blood sugar down, provide you with folic acid and fiber, and provide you with vitamins and minerals that you can’t get just from taking a multivitamin supplement. You can help prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, and even reduce swelling and indigestion. Limiting the number of times you go out to eat, and increase the meals prepared at home will help your overall health and well-being.
Sleep plays a critical role in immune functions, memory, metabolism, learning and other vital functions. Overtime, if you skimp on sleep, it can not only negatively impact your mood, but also blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and the ability to fight off illness. A lack of sleep is also a factor in gaining weight because when you are well-rested, you are less hungry.
Take the stairs
It may sound simple, but taking the stairs is an easy way to help keep the pounds off. Stair climbing burns more calories per minute than jogging, helps control weight and builds muscle tone, reduces cairo risk by more than 30 percent and helps the environment by cutting carbon. Just consider it part of your regular routine and you’ll see the benefit!
Routine checkups with your doctor can help you identify your risk of disease and conditions for which you may not be aware. Early detection of diseases helps you manage the treatment of the disease which decreases the risk of complications and increases the chance for a positive outcome. Age, lifestyle and family history are contributing factors to your overall health and well-being, so annual check-ups with your doctor are a key factor in staying healthy. Depending Depending on lifestyle, recommended tests could include blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, mammograms, osteoporosis, pap smears, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and STDs. Talk to your doctor about recommended tests for your age.