It’s one of the most common searches online: “health.” People always want to know what the latest health fad is or what they can do to live a healthy life. But living healthy isn’t about following the fads, new diets, or the latest crazy workouts. It’s about sticking to the basic and important needs everyone has. Here are the four most important factors in living a healthy life both mentally and physically:
Nutrition, or diet, is key to living a healthy life physically. Every human has basic nutritional needs their body requires to function properly and stay healthy. That’s why from kindergarten age, people are taught which foods their body needs, such as protein, and fruits and vegetables, and which foods they should limit, such as those high in sugar and unhealthy fat. Here are some basic good nutrition tips for people of all ages:
- Plan for three healthy meals a day
- Control portion sizes, overeating not only leads to weight gain but can contribute to other health problems
- Incorporate foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and added sugars
- Lean meats, fruits, and vegetables, and whole grains are healthy staples
- Home gardening is a great way to get organic produce and can improve your mental health as well
- Consider incorporating a multivitamin into your daily routine to assist in getting the vitamins and minerals you might miss with your food
The US is one of the top countries in the world as far as medical advancement, and as such is also the number one consumer for prescription drugs and medical devices and technology. If you have a certain health issue that requires medication or the use of a medical device for your health, use it on the prescribed schedule.
Next to nutrition, physical activity is extremely important for your physical health. If you are eating a well-balanced diet but never getting off your couch, your physical health will surely suffer. Even exercising for 10 minutes a day can improve your mobility and ultimately help you live longer.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity spread out throughout the week for good physical health. That’s an average of just over 21 minutes a day. That could be a short walk or job around your neighborhood, an online exercise video, or 21 minutes on an elliptical at the gym. There are plenty of options to get your heart beating and get your body moving for good physical health.
Don’t forget your muscles. Include some resistance or weight training a few days a week. Lifting weights isn’t just about gaining muscle. This kind of exercise has great health benefits such as better sleep, stronger bone density, boosted metabolism, and lower inflammation.
While physical health is extremely important, many people often put it above their mental health. But mental health should not be pushed to the side. You can be extremely physically fit but still very unhealthy if you don’t keep your mental health in check.
Suffering from depression or anxiety are cues that your mental health could use some strengthening. However, if you don’t have clear signs of depression or anxiety, you may assume that your mental health is good to go. That’s not always the case. Here are a few things you can do to consistently build up and strengthen your mental health:
- Talk through your feelings with someone you trust: Talking through what you’re feeling can help you work through any issues or challenges you’re facing.
- Stay active: Physical activity releases endorphins that make you feel happier
- Eat a well-balanced died: Making sure you have the right vitamins and minerals in your system will help you sleep better, and make sure the hormones in your brain are balanced.
- Take a break every now and then: Whether it’s work, school, or just the demands of life, taking a break to step away and do something that you enjoy will help you reset and have the energy to get back to your duties.
- Ask for help when you need it: It’s hard to ask for help sometimes, but struggling on your own won’t get you to where you need to be. Your friends and family are there to support you and give you the assistance you need. Don’t force yourself to do it all.
Mental health is different for everyone. But if you apply a few of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to strengthening your mental health.
Preparing For The Future
While this may not seem to directly affect your health, preparing for the future is a great way to ease your mind and strengthen your mental health. For many people, the unknown of the future can be overwhelming. While there is no way to know how the future will turn out, there are a few things everyone can do to plan and prepare:
- Have a will: Many people don’t start thinking about creating a will until they are much older. It’s almost never too early to start preparing. If you’re under 40 years old can improve your mobility and ultimately help you live longer. and haven’t written a will, do it now. You may have to make edits to it as the years go on, but having a basic will written up will help to ease your mind for the unknown.
- Make smart investments: Investing money wisely is a great way to prepare yourself for the unknown of the future. Investing in bonds or real estate is a great option. Even performing home improvement projects on the home you own now will raise it’s value in case you ever intend to sell.
Your mental and physical health should be one of your top priorities in life. By applying these tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting and maintaining strong health, both mentally and physically.