The decisions you make now will impact your future. You only get one body, and being vigilant of your well-being protects your future. If you neglect to maintain your health, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to physical ailments later in life.
It’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits, such as putting off doctor’s appointments and running on no sleep. You can get away with it for a while, but you’ll feel the effects as you get older, and your body isn’t as resilient. Pains and irritations you could once shake off can become debilitating.
We’re not saying this to frighten or demoralize you. We want to show you just how urgent this message is. The time to start is now. It’s never too late to create a lifestyle that will preserve your health. Work hard to establish these habits in your life, and your body will thank you. This is the first day of becoming the best version of yourself.
1. Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Going to the doctor is no fun. It makes you anxious, and many people have a fear of needles. Because of this, we often avoid it, especially if we don’t think we need it. However, a doctor can detect things you can’t. Some underlying issues may only show up in bloodwork or scans.
If you see a professional regularly and have a condition that needs attention, you’re more likely to catch it early. If there is a problem, it will only get worse the longer you put it off.
It is recommended that you get a general checkup once a year. Clear your schedule on these days. Many health providers have implemented an EHR practice management system, which will remind you of an upcoming appointment. This will make it hassle-free for you.
2. Get Active
It’s great to be in shape and look better, but that’s only one of the benefits of exercise. When you work out, you also boost your energy levels and your body’s ability to fight infections. A body that moves is stronger in the long run. It also helps maintain cognitive function.
However, it must be done right to work. Don’t try to start with more than you can realistically do. If you run for an hour out of the blue, you’ll come back exhausted. The next day, you’ll be too sore to do anything. That’ll give you an aversion to exercise, putting you back at square one.
Start with a walk around the block or a 15-minute yoga video. As this becomes easier, do a second lap, or find a yoga video that’s 30 minutes. Building your activity up in increments will yield the best and longest-lasting results.
3. Manage Your Stress
Have you ever felt these symptoms?
- Feeling tired
- Unable to eat
- Clenching your teeth
- Your heart is pounding faster than it should.
That’s stress. And if you feel this way often, you need some emergency self-care. Find out what this means for you. What works for one person may not for another. Maybe you feel better after talking things out with a friend. Perhaps you need an evening alone. Self-care could even be watching a television program that comforts you or playing with a pet.
If you’re at work and can’t leave right away, you can still do one thing: mindful grounding. When you start worrying about an argument you had or an upcoming bill, focus on your immediate surroundings using all five senses. This will pull you back into the present and lessen that thudding in your chest.
4. Be Careful About What You Consume
Toxins like tobacco should be eliminated. Alcohol can be a good thing, but it’s best in moderation. It’s time to throw away the junk food and eat things with nutritional value. If you’re not sure where to start, invest in fresh herbs. You won’t find a richer reservoir of nutrients. For example, cilantro alone has benefits, including:
- Help boost immunity
- Fight infections
- Soothe skin conditions
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Fight anxiety
- Ease sleep disorders
- Improve brain function
Keep in mind that eating right is only half the battle. Begin to plan your meals from week to week so you can stick to this new habit.
It’s also best to take your time. Most people eat too fast because their mind is on their next responsibility. This results in problems with digestion, which can lead to stomach pain. Eat slowly and conscientiously.
5. Rework Your Bedtime Ritual
A good night of sleep is difficult for many, so it becomes tempting to turn to sleeping pills for help. The problem with this solution is your tolerance will build up over time. You’ll eventually need more for the same results, causing you to become groggy the next day.
Here are a few natural ways to cut sleep problems off from where they begin.
- Turn the lights off.
- Put your phone somewhere out of reach.
- Finish your last meal at least two hours before bed.
- Turn off the news and opt for relaxing music instead.
- Take a hot bath or shower.
You also need to be mindful of the company you keep. If conversations with a particular person tend to be distressing, your sleep will be inhibited. If there is someone you often talk to far into the night, it’s time to set some boundaries. Create a cutoff time where you’re no longer available. If it hasn’t been discussed by bedtime, it can wait until tomorrow. Very few things in life are actual emergencies.
It’s All About Little Habits
Living a more health-conscious life doesn’t have to be an upheaval in your life. It’s about making smaller commitments that provide long-term gains:
- “I’m not going to cancel my annual checkup.” “
- I’m going to do my morning jog even though I’m tired.”
- “I’m going to snack on a salad instead of chips.”
Every day that you make these small choices, they will further solidify as habits. Eventually, they’ll be your natural go-to, and you’ll feel healthier as a result.