Physical health is important. There are, of course, lots of important things in life. But at the end of the day, your body is what keeps you going and allows you not only to live, but can determine the quality of life you enjoy. The good news? With many aspects of your physical health, you are fully in control.
Your actions can determine how healthy you are or how unhealthy you are. Often, the actions you take towards improving your health can be pretty simple and aren’t all too demanding.
So, let’s take a moment to take a look through some of the simple steps you can take to change your physical wellbeing for the better!
Try a Home Workout
When people think of exercise, they think of heading to the gym for an intense workout. But this doesn’t suit all of us. Some of us don’t like the social setting. Some of us feel intimidated when we first enter a gym and feel silly getting used to the machines and equipment. Some of us, put simply, are a little lazy and don’t want to leave the house once we’ve got settled in after a long day at work or time out socializing with friends. But don’t worry. The gym isn’t your only option and you don’t even have to leave the house to reach your recommended daily amounts of exercise.
It’s recommended that the average adult gets one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise and this is completely achievable within most homes. No being exposed to the elements. No traveling. No membership fees.
Instead, it’s generally recommended that you just invest in some good quality home gym equipment and create a nice clear work out space somewhere within your own property. Of course, you need to consult a doctor before doing any home workout if you have any underlying medical conditions or if you are pregnant. You will also have to be extremely careful, read instructions on all equipment you purchase, practice proper technique and remember not to push yourself too far.
Some equipment you might want to invest in can include a yoga mat, resistance bands, exercise balls, dumbbells, kettlebells and more.
Monitor Your Portion Sizes
For a healthy body, we also need a healthy diet. Now, if you have a healthy BMI, you probably don’t need to take as much notice of this step, as you probably have portion sizes under control. But if you’re underweight or overweight, it may be time to start looking at your portion sizes. It’s recommended that the average adult man gets 2,500 calories a day and the average adult woman gets 2,000 calories a day. Very few of us actually know what this represents and how much food will total these amounts. So, monitor your portion sizes.
Note the food you’re eating and calculate how many calories are in it. Soon, you will know how much you should be serving yourself out of habit rather than having to rigidly calculate everything.
Get Your Five a Day
All kids are taught that they need to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. But as adults, many of us don’t take heed of this advice ourselves. We know that fruit and vegetables are good for us, but we often forget exactly why. When it comes down to it, fruit and vegetables tend to have a high nutritional content with relatively few negative elements to them.
They’re packed with vitamins and minerals and often have a low fat content and salt content. Of course, fruit can have a high sugar content, but they generally contain natural sugars which (when the fruit is eaten whole) aren’t released until later in the digestive process and they can be processed without causing too much of a peak in your blood sugar levels.
One portion of fruit or vegetables is equivalent to a serving the size of one handful. You have to eat five different fruits and vegetables to reach your target—you can’t simply eat five apples, five portions of strawberries, or five portions of carrots. Each fruit or vegetable counts as one portion per day, no matter how much of it you eat.
This variety ensures that you maximize the number of different vitamins and minerals you consume!
We’re told time and time again that we need to drink eight glasses of water a day. But this isn’t just for the fun of it. Our body really relies on water for proper functioning. It keeps us hydrated and allows us to complete basic processes, such as digestion and transmitting signals between our nerves and organs.
Drinking sufficient water really can be simple. Just carry a refillable water bottle around with you wherever you go. This way, you always have water to hand as soon as you grow a little thirsty. Most restaurants and cafes will refill your bottle for free if you ask.
Of course, water is the best option, but other drinks can hydrate you too. These can include hot drinks, squash, juice, coconut water, and more. Just be wary of the sugar content in these other drinks you may choose, as frequently drinking sugary beverages could cause damage to your teeth!
Conduct Regular Health Checks
You should be pretty familiar with your own body by now, so keep an eye on it and conduct regular health checks. If you notice any changes to your body, or see any negative symptoms emerging, you should do a little research (such as identifying rashes on your skin, determining the difference between genital warts vs herpes, or understanding why you may be losing hair, for example) and reaching out for medical help as soon as possible.
There are a number of routine checks you can try out too. If you’re a woman, you should regularly check your breasts for lumps. If you feel your eyesight is deteriorating, you can try reading things you’re used to and determining whether it’s a struggle now. If you think your hearing is being impacted, you can check if you’re experiencing changes by altering the volume on your television or radio to see if you can still hear as well as you used to.
These simple checks can help you to monitor change and create a clear timescale and report of changes and symptoms to your doctor when you attend.
Consider Supplements if Necessary
It’s always better to get all of your vitamins, minerals, and other essentials directly from the foods that you eat. Many foods contain fiber or other elements that help you to properly digest the nutrients within them. However, if you find you’re running short or struggling to get your recommended amounts for some reason, supplements can be a good top up.
Take, for example, vegans. While vitamin B12 can be found in certain plant-based foods, such as nutritional yeast, it can be difficult to get the full recommended amount through diet alone, so B12 supplements could be a good addition to your diet.
Get Sufficient Sleep
We tend to forget the important role that sleep plays in our health and wellbeing. But it really is important that you get your eight hours’ sleep a night! This gives your body a chance to recover and recuperate from the day you’ve had. It will help you to be alert and lively the next day, too.
There are a few things you can do to improve your sleep if you find that you’re struggling to get your eight hours’. First, cut out caffeine before bed. Try not to have caffeine after midday, as it is a stimulant and can cause problems with drifting off when the right time comes. Next, put away technology in the lead up to bed time. Phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices all emit a blue light that can impact our circadian rhythms—the rhythms in our body that determine when it’s time to get up and when it’s time to go to sleep. Put simply, the blue light mimics day light and fools us into thinking we should be up and alert.
Another tip you can use to help improve your sleep is to create an ideal sleeping environment around you. Replace your mattress once every eight years to make sure it’s as comfortable and supportive as possible. Clear your room so that it isn’t cluttered and can provide a pleasant, calming atmosphere that isn’t overwhelming. Close your blinds or curtains to block out as much light as possible, whether that’s street lights at night or natural light in the morning. If you’re easily disturbed by noise, consider earplugs.
If all of this doesn’t work, you may need to seek support from a doctor or other medical professional, who will be able to diagnose any sleep conditions and guide you on the right path to a good night’s sleep through treatment, medication, or a combination of the two.
These are just a few steps you might want to work into your routine for the sake of your physical health and fitness. They’re simple, often don’t take too much time and effort, and can really make a difference. So, give them a go! You have nothing to lose!