When you’re seeking improved overall health it’s easy to turn to your health care providers for pharmaceutical help or surgical interventions.
But it’s even easier to pursue simple, nature-based actions and remedies to build a solid foundation for your body to function.
You always have the option to pursue habits like these:
Consume a balanced diet
Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, choosing whole food ingredients whenever possible. Strive to cover half of your plate with vegetables.
Limit your consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks and excessive intake of saturated fats while avoiding all trans fats.
Pay attention to portion sizes and eat slowly to savor your food.
Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues and learn what they’re telling you while assessing your body’s reaction to specific foods.
Assess where the ingredients came from, how they were harvested and the distance they may have traveled to your plate.
Food as medicine
Specific foods are worth incorporating into your diet for their potential to improve your health, including probiotic foods like yogurt for gut health. Herbs and spices like turmeric and ginger have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Herbal teas are known to promote relaxation.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated; recommendations can vary and depend on whether it’s accounting for plain water or all fluids.
Two of the most commonly used guidelines for drinking water alone are six to eight cups a day or to consume half your weight in ounces (so 150 pounds = 75 ounces).
Engage in regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, swimming or yoga. Daily is best, but at a minimum, find time for 30 minutes five days out of the week. Choose activities you enjoy to make exercise a sustainable part of your routine.
Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night, and do everything you can to create an optimal sleep environment by keeping your bedroom dark, removing all devices with screens and maintaining a cool but comfortable atmosphere.
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
Practicing such stress-reducing techniques as deep breathing, meditation or mindfulness can make a remarkable difference with how your body responds to interior and exterior sources of stress.
Outside of your time devoted to these types of practices, take breaks and engage in activities you enjoy.
Exposure to sunlight
Prioritize moderate sunlight exposure for vitamin D synthesis and the benefits it has for your body, which include stronger bones, teeth and muscles, increased insulin sensitivity, reduced blood pressure and better cognitive function and mood. Use sunscreen to protect your skin when necessary.
Maintaining contact with family, friends and neighbors is integral to mental and physical health. Loneliness has been tied to higher risk of mental illness, dementia and heart disease by the U.S. surgeon general.
Share your feelings and concerns with friends or family and participate often in face-to-face socializing.