Getting healthy is something many Americans are looking to do in the new year, but this is often easier said than done. For some, finding a way to get good rest, exercise daily, and cope with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can be difficult at best, turning healthy goals into seemingly impossible dreams.
When this happens, motivation can wane, making those goals seem even further away. That’s why it’s crucial to create a good plan for your physical and mental health over the next several months so you can stay on the right path.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can achieve any goal you set your mind to. Think about the details and how everything is connected, such as your oral hygiene and heart health, in order to make a plan that will suit your needs. Getting healthy isn’t just about one type of change; it takes a lifestyle change to truly make sure that your body and mind are in good shape.
Drink Lots of Water
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, and by going to the bathroom. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by drinking lots of water and eating hydrating foods. Follow the “8×8 rule“, aiming for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water, herbal tea (great in the winter time), or decaffeinated drinks per day.
Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Many people don’t realize that their mouth health is connected to other aspects of their body, but it’s true: Your gums and teeth play a huge role in the way you feel and can affect everything from your mental health to your heart. In fact, there is research that has linked depression and oral hygiene. It’s crucial that you make sure you’re taking good care of your mouth every day. Get regular checkups at the dentist, brush and floss often, and create a diet plan that will keep your mouth in good shape.
Eat Real Food
Generally speaking, if it comes in a box or a bag, try to avoid it. Vegetables come in a bag sometimes, that’s obviously okay. At cancer.org they recommend to just focus on eating more one-ingredient natural foods, along with reducing intake of things that require a long list of additives. Too many packaged foods can increase intestinal permeability (also called “leaky gut“) which kicks off a chain reaction of inflammation.
The average American eats only 1-2 servings of vegetables each day, but ideally we should get about 4-5 servings. Veggies fill you up, providing fiber and loads of nutrients such as antioxidants, all for very little calories. Variety is key, so try to “eat the rainbow” by choosing different kinds.
Learn How to Cope with Stress
Stress can negatively impact your mental and physical health in quite a big way, so it’s important to look for ways to reduce those feelings and cope with them in the moment. You might learn meditation — which involves mindful thinking and can help you focus on the present — or take up a form of therapy to help you get past the negativity. Art therapy is one such activity, but you can also look for a support group online or talk to a counselor.
Consider Using a Supplement
There are many different types of supplements on the market today, including those that target fat such as Nutôn Ketone Oil and help you burn it more easily. While there’s no “magic pill” that will take off extra weight without work, there are some that have a thermogenic effect and will make your diet and exercise routine much more effective. Do some research to figure out the best supplement for your needs.
Get some fresh air and a healthy dose of Vitamin D by spending time outside every day, including in the sun, is a recommendation from mayoclinic.org. Sunlight gets a bad rap, but it’s the single best way to get the vitamin D you desperately need (your skin actually produces vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight for about 15-20 minutes). Time spent in nature, along with getting enough sunlight, has been linked with the prevention of diabetes, auto immune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease. A high percentage of adults are believed to be vitamin D deficient, which is one reason getting outside can also lessen the impact of stress, improve eye health, sleep quality and your mood.
Get Better Sleep
Better rest is something many people need, but it’s not always easy to find, notes npr.org. Chronic pain, depression, stress, and anxiety can all play a part in the quality and quantity of sleep we get, which can, in turn, affect our mood and the way we perform daily activities. Getting better sleep is rarely easy, but there are some things you can do to help things along. Creating a good bedtime routine is key, and this should include relaxing with a hot shower or turning off your electronics at least an hour beforehand. You can also change your diet by making sure you exercise daily, and reflect on habits that may not be best for your body’s overall health, then choose new habits to replace or eliminate them.
The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors, like how much you exercise, your age and even genetics. Adults should try to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night to feel their best, but many consistently fall short of this goal. Poor sleep habits can lower immune function and put you at greater risk for health problems, including weight gain or obesity, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes just to name a few.