Health is important to you, right? You might spend a few days a week exercising (a mixture of cardio and strength training if you really want the maximum benefits!), you eat a balanced diet, and try to take care of yourself in every way possible.
But, many people spend too much time focusing on the major aspects of health and wellness, and not enough time on the “little things.” After all, as the old saying goes, they are often the things that mean the most!
While you should absolutely keep exercising and maintaining a healthy diet, there are small things you can do every day to stay healthy. Some of them are small habitual changes or swaps, while others are practices and “tricks” you can use to keep your mental and physical health where they need to be. A recent survey found that 60% of Americans want to feel healthier. If that sounds like you, even if you’re already doing the basics, we’ve got a few helpful tips for you.
Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
If you’re eating well and exercising, you’re only dealing with two of the three most important components of health. If your sleep hygiene leaves something to be desired, you could be sabotaging your other healthy endeavors.
Getting enough sleep is crucial to the health of your mind and body. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 adults doesn’t get enough regularly. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you could be putting yourself at an increased risk of:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Getting adequate sleep will reduce your stress levels, boost your immune system, improve your memory and reduce inflammation. It’s necessary to heal your body properly, especially if you work out frequently.
You can improve your sleep hygiene by developing a nighttime routine. Go to bed at the same time each night, avoid using electronics, and use your bedroom only for sleeping. Your sleep quality might also be impacted by the position you’re in. For example, if you’re a side sleeper, it could be causing pain in your shoulder, which could get exacerbated when you’re exercising. As a stomach sleeper, you might put too much pressure on your joints, which can make you feel stiff and sore.
Pay attention to your sleep habits and the way you fall asleep. Making small changes can make it easier to get the right amount of sleep each night. Your mind and body will thank you.
Beware of Your Beverages
You might be proud of your healthy diet and the things you eat each day, but do you keep track of the things you’re drinking? Hydration is crucial to your health, and you may be more dehydrated than you think. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Some of the most common signs of thirst include:
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Dry mouth and lips
- Feeling tired
- Dark urine
Water should always be your top choice when it comes to staying hydrated. No matter how many healthy foods you eat, it doesn’t matter if you’re not getting enough water. If you don’t drink a lot of water because you’re worried about the quality in your area, contact a certified water testing service near you to determine whether your water is safe to drink.
Aside from water, there are certain beverages you should drink more of and certain ones you should avoid. Some of the worst drinks you can choose for your body include sodas, energy drinks, and even fruit juice. These are made mostly of sugar and additives, and soda can dehydrate you even more. Instead, opt for healthy beverage choices like green tea, black coffee, soy or almond milk, or a homemade smoothie.
There are plenty of healthy ways to stay hydrated. The most important thing is to avoid drinks that can do more harm than good, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Maintain Your Mental Health in Minutes
Staying healthy isn’t just about taking care of your body. It’s about maintaining your mental health, too. Thankfully, there are small things you can do each day to give yourself a mental boost, de-stress, and reduce feelings of anxiety.
One of the best ways to calm your mind and reduce stress is to practice mindfulness. It’s become a popular term nowadays, but that’s mostly due to how effective it is. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing and let thoughts pass you by like clouds.
Even just a few moments of mindfulness can reduce stress levels almost right away and bring you back to a state of calm.
Self-care is also crucial for your mental health. The best part? You don’t need to “treat yourself” to anything expensive or luxurious to practice self-care each day. Everything from journaling and cooking to taking a warm bath and reading a good book is considered a form of self-care. Find at least one thing to do each day that is solely for your mental well-being, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Staying healthy doesn’t have to be overwhelming or difficult. Stay on top of your current health and fitness regimen, but consider adding some of these small daily tips, too. You might be surprised at how much of a difference they can make.