We often take our good health for granted, but the importance of making positive lifestyle choices should never be underestimated. It’s not always possible to avoid illness, but there are a number of simple ways to give your health a boost, which in turn can reduce the risk of certain health conditions. Here are 10 top tips to help you enjoy better health:
Focus on your food
Your diet is very important for your health. It plays a significant part in providing your body with minerals and nutrients, so it’s essential to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. It should represent all the major food groups to allow you to reap the nutritional benefits. Aim to hit the 5 a day target every day, and choose wholegrains where possible. It is also best to avoid foods that are high in fat, processed or contain a lot of salt, as well as keeping your sugar intake as low as possible. For men, the recommended calorie intake is 2,500 per day, whilst for women it is 2,000. This said, the exact amount you need to consume depends on your height, weight and day to day activity levels. If your job is physically demanding, your body will need more calories to act as fuel.
Get enough shut-eye!
Many of us are aware that a lack of sleep makes us feel grizzly and irritable, but it can also cause a lot of harm to our health as well. Sleep deprivation increased the risk of mental and physical health problems as well as contributing to problems affecting the way you work. These include lack of concentration, reduction in cognitive function and fatigue. When you sleep, your body allows itself to rest and recover and your brain goes through essential processes of regeneration. The ideal amount of sleep an adult should get is six to eight hours each night. If you struggle to get to sleep or find yourself waking up during the night, make adjustments to your sleep routine. For example, make sure your room is completely dark and spend some time winding down before you go to bed to prepare your body and mind for sleep.
Keep your teeth in check
The importance of taking care of your teeth doesn’t just stop at having a healthy mouth. Oral health is connected to general health and by looking after your teeth and gums, you can also reduce the risk of experiences several serious medical problems such as strokes and heart attacks. Dentists such as those at Freshdental recommend a dental check-up every six months. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your mouth and look out for warning signs of oral infections, tooth decay and gum disease. Symptoms to check for include bad breath, toothache, tooth sensitivity and swollen or bleeding gums.
Practice good personal hygiene
Good personal hygiene helps reduce the risk of infections and illnesses. It’s essential to wash regularly, particularly your hands as these come into contact with countless germs on a day to day basis. It’s also important to keep the home clean and regularly wash bed linen, dishcloths, towels and clothing on a regular basis.
Physical exercise is so advantageous for our health that it’s difficult to know where to begin singing its praises! Regular exercise promotes physical changes such as weight loss and improved muscle tone, and is super beneficial for our cholesterol levels, blood pressure and circulation. Exercise also helps to increase flexibility, endurance and strength. And it’s not just amazing for your physical health, it has fantastic advantages for your mental health and wellbeing, too. Working out will lift your mood, increase your confidence and lower your stress levels. It can even help you sleep better. An ideal amount of exercise is 30 minutes of activity, 5 times a week.
Protect your skin
The skin is the largest organ on our bodies and it acts as a protective barrier against the environment and its elements. Our skin is often exposed to hazards, so it’s very important to look after it. Sunscreen should always be worn in bright daylight, and drinking plenty of water will keep the skin hydrated. Eating healthily also helps to keep the skin in great condition. Skin-loving foods include:
- Citrus fruits
- Oily fish
- Leafy vegetables
There are also a vast number of skincare products you can use to nourish and moisturise your skin.
Hydration is mega important, especially during the warm summer months. Dehydration causes aches and pains in the muscles, headaches, confusion and dizziness. Drinking plenty of water will help to prevent these grievances and make you feel more alert, as well as making you look healthy and youthful.
Drink in moderation
Many of us like to indulge in an alcoholic drink from time to time and it’s acceptable to drink in moderation. This said, drinking excessively on a regular basis can be very harmful to the body, the liver in particular. Experts recommend that the daily intake should be 3-4 units for men and 2-3 units for women.
Smoking causes damage to almost all of the body’s organs and increases the risk of many potentially fatal illnesses including respiratory illnesses, strokes, heart disease and cancer. Kicking the habit will also save you money and keep you looking fresh; smoking contributes to stained teeth and nails as well as premature skin ageing.
Bust that stress!
One of the most common problems faced by adults and teenagers in this day and age is stress. Finding ways to cope with stress can really help to boost your health and wellbeing. Stress can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Financial troubles
- Relationship difficulties
- Peer pressure
- Work deadlines
- Time pressures
Coping mechanisms for stress include:
- Time management strategies
- Talking therapies
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Massage therapy
Often, stress can be relieved just by making small changes, such as taking time out to relax or sharing your workload.