7 Health Changes that Have A Big Impact

Most people strive to live healthy and happy lifestyles, but this often proves to be a challenge in a fast-paced world. Even with the best of intentions, workouts may not always happen and mealtime may look far from healthy and balanced. Fortunately, there are a few health changes that can have a huge impact on your overall well-being.

Drink Water
About 70% of the human body is comprised of water, so consuming enough water to stay well hydrated is extremely important. There is no set amount of water a person needs to drink, but drinking enough is important. Sip water throughout the day and make water your beverage of choice, while limiting other drinks such as milk and juice, and potentially eliminating high sugar drinks. Sufficient water consumption helps organs and cells function properly, boosting immunity and energy levels. Drinking plenty of water also helps your skin look young and fresh.

Quality sleep is essential when striving for good health. Many people complain of not getting enough sleep. The average adult should try to get 8 hours of good sleep per night, although this varies with different individuals. As a common rule, sleep satisfaction declines as we age. This does not have to be the case. There is a direct correlation between health and sleep. The better an individual’s overall health, the better they can expect to sleep. At bedtime, eliminate excess noise and light and keep your sleep space at a comfortable temperature to help facilitate a restful atmosphere.

Be Active
Most people acknowledge that regular exercise improves their body and mind, but finding the time and motivation to get moving can often be difficult. Luckily, exercise does not have to be a chore. Find an activity that you enjoy, and start there. Doctors recommend aiming for 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. If you are new to the exercise idea, start with a brisk walk at lunchtime or after work. You will quickly start to reap the benefits.

Watch Your Posture
Proper posture is an extremely important, and often overlooked, aspect of health. Poor posture leads to neck, shoulder, and back pain. This, in turn, leads to a more sedentary lifestyle, potential weight gain, and difficulty sleeping. Sitting all day often leads to slouching. Try to take breaks and get up and move around periodically.

Eat the Rainbow
healthy diet is vital to overall health. There is no set guideline as to what every individual should eat, as factors such as size, age, activity level, and potential food intolerance all play a role when planning meals. A healthy place to start is eating a colorful diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet will help control weight, improve your mood, and prevent many diseases.

Relax and Refocus
Many people lead stress filled lives. The fact is that stress is bad for health, and overall well being is vastly improved by practicing healthy relaxation techniques. Relaxation helps lower blood pressure and protects your heart. It also reduces your risk of stroke, boosts your immunity, improves your sleep, aids your memory, and reduces your risk of depression. Relaxation looks different for different people. Some ideas include yoga, reading, drawing, or just taking time to listen to music. It is also possible to relax while doing something active that you enjoy, such as going for a walk or attending a baseball game with friends.

Limit Screentime
As a society, we are nearly constantly surrounded by technology and screens. Many parents worry about too much screen time for their children, but fail to consider the damage that excess screen time can have on their own health. Too much screen time contributes to a sedentary lifestyle. There have also been studies done that link degeneration of gray matter in the brain being damaged by over exposure to screens. These are the areas of the brain responsible for processing. This has the potential to impact decision making, impulse control, organization, and balancing emotions. Some screen time is fine, but find a healthy balance. Definitely try to turn off the screens and relax at bedtime. Also, make sure to take time to connect to people in real life, and not just on social media. Human interaction is essential to good health.

It may seem overwhelming to try to think of instituting all of these changes at once, but do not be discouraged. A healthy lifestyle is a life long process. Make small changes as you can, and begin to reap the benefits!