Want to improve your overall health? Look at These 5 Areas of Your Life

Want to improve your overall health?  Look at These 5 Areas of Your Life

When it comes to health advice, many people have very different opinions. Sometimes you’ll hear people say eat keto and lift weights, while other times people will say you should do cardio and count calories. With a bunch of different suggestions out there, it can be difficult to find a routine that works for you.

Many people want to improve their health and are not sure which areas matter most – should sleep and diet be the main focus or should exercise be? The real answer is focusing on developing a healthy lifestyle and improving various aspects of your life that can have a positive impact on health.

Some of the most obvious, according to Stanford, are sleep, diet, exercise, stress management (and with spring coming, sunlight helps) and relationships. Here’s how you can make a little improvement in each of these areas.

how to improve your sleep

Improving sleep can seem like an impossible task. After you get home from school or work, time can just fly by. There are some things to help you sleep better. First, eliminate blue light before bedtime. As tempting as it is to scroll through social media or text with your friends right before going to bed, exposure to blue light can have a negative effect on your sleep. According to the Cleveland Clinic, scrolling through your phone can also keep your brain active, making it harder to fall asleep.

Try turning off your electronics a few hours before bedtime and doing other activities, like reading a book or meditating before bed, that can help you relax. Make sure to set your alarm before putting your phone down.

Another thing that can improve your sleep, according to the CDC, is avoiding caffeine before bed. Try to stop consuming caffeine in the afternoon each day, so that its effects are gone when you go to sleep. Improving sleep is all about making small changes that will benefit you in the long run. Good sleep is important for hormonal regulation and overall health, and it can prepare you to make better decisions in the long run.

how to improve your diet

Improving your diet can feel like a daunting task. An easy way to make the change is to think of it as making a simple switch. If you eat chips with lunch, consider replacing them with carrots and celery. If you’re cooking pasta dishes, consider substituting white flour pasta for chickpea or red lentil pasta. If you like fried chicken, try making a baked version.

Some of these switches can be helpful in making incremental, positive changes toward health. Also consider what you can add to your favorite foods. Say you really like mashed potatoes – consider doing half potatoes and then half cauliflower. Or think of a pasta dish you love, like baked ziti. Think about how you can add broccoli and spinach to it. While your diet could use some improvement, chances are you won’t be able to make a lasting change if you immediately switch to salads all the time.

You can make even smaller changes. Healthline suggests that you focus on your protein intake and stay hydrated throughout the day. Another tip is to stay away from diet foods. Think about eating whole foods when trying to improve your diet.

how to start exercising

If you’ve stopped exercising, it’s never too late to start again. Real Simple suggests starting small when you’re trying to get back into an exercise routine. Instead of trying to immediately go back to when you were exercising most, get in the habit of doing some movement every day.

The best exercise to do is the one that you will do consistently and that you enjoy. Experiment with fitness classes or go to the gym or exercise at home or outside. Finding a routine you like can be helpful in starting an exercise routine.

Another way to start exercising is to create accountability for yourself. Talk to a friend about getting back into a routine and develop an accountability plan. Even if you start small, adding a little exercise each week can help you feel better.

Why sunlight matters for stress management

Managing stress can be a difficult task. According to the Stanford Lifestyle Medicine Program, stress can be managed by identifying the cause of the stress and then responding accordingly. Sunshine can also be an important part of stress management.

According to The Wellesley News, sunlight can make us feel less stressed. There’s just something about the sun that helps us feel better. According to a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, sunlight boosts the amount of vitamin D you absorb – which many people are deficient in, so getting enough light every day can help your health.

When working a 9 to 5, finding time to go out can be difficult. Consider taking your lunch break outside. This is also a good time to go for a short, brisk walk, which can help you gain some momentum. Spending more time in the sun can also positively affect your mood.

how to focus on relationships

Paying attention to relationships can improve your overall health. If you’re happy with your relationships, you can spend more time improving your health in other ways, too.

Repairing relationships is more of an art than a science. Spending time with the people you love can help you improve your relationships. When you’re with someone you love, take the time to listen to them—really listen to them—and think about what they’re saying. Be sure to let the people in your life know that you value them. It can improve your overall mood and health to build stronger relationships.

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Want to improve your overall health? Look at These 5 Areas of Your Life

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