As the old saying goes “When you have your health, you have everything” and it is so true. And improving your overall health is not that hard. Here are five easy-to-implement ways to better health:
Laugh More, Stress Less
- Do Yoga
- Work Up a Sweat
- Know Your Health Numbers
- Avoid Fad Diets
Many people overlook yoga and that is a big mistake. Yoga not only relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, and slows heart rate, but it also increases flexibility. By working through a series of exercises called poses, you loosen up your muscles and make them more adaptable, lessening your risk of physical injury. Yoga works muscles in ways no other exercise routines can. One yoga routine favored by many yoga followers is the sun salutation.
Work Up a Sweat
Working up a sweat just one hour per week will reduce your risk of heart attack, improve your mood, and lower your blood pressure. Two to three times per week will reap even more benefits. Try interval training like walking on an elliptical trainer or treadmill for 10 minutes, then doing 15 pull-ups and 15 crunches. Repeat this cycle three times for a great half-hour workout. If you start getting bored with the pull-ups and crunches, swap them out for other exercises like dips and push-ups. In no time, your muscles will start to become more efficient, you’ll start to lose weight, have more energy, and enjoy other physical activities more.
Know Your Health Numbers
As part of your annual physical check-up (you are getting an annual check-up right?), your doctor will check certain readings like blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Ideally, your readings should be around 115 over 75 for blood pressure, under 100 for LDL cholesterol, under 70 for resting heart rate, as well as a fasting blood sugar level of under 100. If your numbers aren’t close to these numbers, ask your doctor what you can do to change them for the better. Most likely s/he will recommend getting more exercise and eating healthier – something you should have been doing all along.
Avoid Fad Diets
Fad diets don’t work … period, so don’t put yourself through that torture just to have the weight come back once you go off of the diet. Most of these diets are so extreme that you can’t stay on them for very long. Instead, learn to eat healthy, something you can live with for life. Start by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and good fats (olive oil, canola oil, and the poly and mono-unsaturated fats).
Laugh More, Stress Less
Laughing not only eases stress and lowers blood pressure, but it may also boost your immune system. So regardless of how you do it, bring more laughter into your life, whether that is communing with friends or watching a comedy on TV. Giving in to stress can be detrimental to your health because it drives people to give into cravings like, smoking, drinking, or bingeing on unhealthy food.
Improving your health doesn’t have to involve spending hours in a gym or eating like a bird. Use these five ways to start improving your overall health today.