Are your brain and body begging for change? Have you not been feeling the best you could be? You’ve come to the perfect place!
It can be overwhelming to know where to start when parts of your life feel like they need improvement. We’ve compiled a list of where to begin and how to approach making changes to improve your overall wellness.
You only have one body, so taking care of it is important. This can look different for each person; where one person can have healthy dairy and takes pilates classes, someone else needs gluten-free and does yoga. There are general guidelines on having an overall healthy lifestyle, but it’s not one size fits all.
Everybody has different preferences, risk factors, and goals. You may have to do some trial and error to figure out what healthy diets or exercises make you feel the best but starting that shift is an awesome place to start.
There’s a large discourse about the “proper” diet, eat this, not that, limit this and that. It’s frustrating trying to figure out what you should be eating. Food is meant to give you proper nutrition so your body can function at its best.
When you start ensuring you’re eating healthy meals, you will see a shift in how your body feels. If we aren’t receiving the right nutrition, our immune system, GI tract, and energy may all be affected. You also might not be able to focus on getting your work done.
A healthy diet includes appropriate calories, proteins, carbs, and healthy fats. Eating quality food should also give you all your vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you are deficient in a certain vitamin (you should speak to your doctor if you are worried about this), there are supplements you may need to add.
An easy place to start if you’re unsure how to begin healthy eating is adding vegetables and fruits to each meal. Also, try cutting back or limiting fast food and sugar (like soda, desserts, or candy); you can quickly improve your diet, and you may start to notice your body feeling better.
It’s important to note that a healthy diet includes water. Most of us need to drink more water, so start tracking how much you drink to ensure you get enough. Your body will thank you.
If you don’t like plain water, try infusing it with fruits such as strawberries, lemon, or pineapple. You could even add some mint or rosemary leaves to make the water more enticing.
It can be difficult to get into a daily routine of exercising. This doesn’t mean you have to be stuck on a treadmill for an hour at the gym. Adding at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise does wonders for your wellness.
If you’re more into lowkey exercises, you could go biking, hiking, walking, or even try yoga. Some of us like more intense exercise like boxing, HIIT, or running.
You may have to try different types of exercise to see which one fits best for you. In a picture-perfect world, adding strength training a few times a week and a day or two of cardio is the gold standard.
But if you are brand new to exercising and it’s still a new habit, just remember that the best exercise is the one that you will do! Eventually, you will get to a point where you’ll want to add in different kinds of exercises.
Routine exercise has an array of benefits, from your head to your toes! Exercise helps keep your bones, joints, and heart stay healthy. It helps manage stress levels, mental health issues, balance glucose(blood sugar) in your body, and decrease inflammation. It can be a tool to utilize when trying for weight loss if that is necessary or recommended.
Exercise is an important part to add if you are making healthy lifestyle changes. Try not to go too hard too fast; habits and routines take a bit to solidify, so be patient with yourself. If you slip up and don’t exercise for a day, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just make sure to do it the next day and keep moving forward.
If fitness is something you are passionate about and would like to evaluate your habits to ensure they are the most beneficial to you, read this article. It can highlight ways to change some habits for your fitness goals.
Maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult in today’s society. You may not fit into the “perfect” body type that society pushes, and that’s okay! What is more important is your health. Some of us can carry a bit more weight and still feel energetic and vibrant, while others carry an extra 10 pounds and feel sluggish.
Keeping your weight healthy will depend on your height and age. It’s important to discuss that there is a line (again, dependent on the individual) regarding weight; when you cross over the threshold into obesity, it opens the door to a magnitude of health problems.
Obesity increases your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, organ dysfunction, bone and joint issues, and type 2 diabetes. Overall there is a risk that your quality of life may decline if you are obese.
You most likely won’t be able to do all the things you want (and need) to do. You may not have good energy or feel well physically, which can deeply affect your mental health.
Working to stay within a healthy weight range includes the above information: A healthy diet and exercise, managing stress levels, and addressing medical issues.
Adequate, quality sleep is very important to improving your health and well-being. You need good sleep to rejuvenate muscles and tissues, regulate hormones, eliminate waste, and allow your brain to complete the work it needs to do, such as storing information and making memories.
Sleeping seven to eight hours in a dark, cool room is recommended. Avoid screens at a minimum of 15 minutes, but ideally, 30 minutes to an hour before bed. Remember not to drink caffeine late in the day and keep a consistent sleep and wake time.
Not all of us love going to the doctor, but that can be a very important lifestyle change to improve our wellness. Getting a yearly physical is recommended to evaluate your current health; your doctor may be able to even catch the beginnings of something important such as skin cancer, blood pressure, or even heart changes.
Depending on your anatomy or body parts, you may need additional doctors and testing, so be sure to ask your doctor during your physical if other tests are recommended. For example, a PAP smear to screen for cervical cancer may be indicated if you have a cervix.
Or if you have a prostate, you may also need that checked for changes. These tests are important to ensure your good health. So be sure to seek professional health care to ensure you aren’t ignorant of something that should be addressed.
Mental health and wellness are equally important to your physical health. Suffering from mental stress or disorders can affect your quality of life and even your body.
Stress can ravage your mind and body. Having a system in place to combat the amount of stress you’re faced with is a priority.
This can include exercise, talking to friends, meditation, taking a bath, or all of the above. Utilize whatever makes you feel relaxed; this could be writing, reading, or watching a movie.
Turning away from social media for a while each day to let yourself connect deeper to your thoughts and feelings is always a good idea. This can help bring stress to the surface, and as you process it, you can let it go. This may be a recurrent thing as stress occurs all the time and every day in varying degrees for most of us.
Having people you can rely on is key to helping with stress. It allows you to vent your frustrations, talk over ideas or problems you are faced with, and get advice. It also makes you feel less alone.
Spending time with other people can help you further destress, whether going to a movie or hiking. It can be so helpful to have your people in your corner; they can get you out of your usual routine and help keep you from falling off track with the new habits you’ve implemented.
Another way to improve your life is by letting yourself learn again. Many of us push it aside once we graduate or get used to our jobs. But learning can improve your life and open doors for you.
You can learn a new hobby or take a class on something you are interested in. Even reading a good book or article can teach you something! Your brain will thank you for the stimulation that is not from your phone!
How To Start Changing
So now that you’ve learned how to change your lifestyle, how do you start?
We touched on it earlier, but starting small and slow is a great way. When you force yourself into a new rigid routine, you can quickly feel overwhelmed and burn yourself out.
Set goals you’ll be able to do when you first start, such as a walk a few times a week and drinking a glass of water when you first wake up. Once you can do that for a week or two, add in another change. Soon you will be building new habits on top of set practices.
Don’t take away things you love; if you love a piece of chocolate on Sundays, keep that routine! Just make it a healthier and smaller portion! You can even journal your progress or map out what habits you want to start first with.
This way, you can look back and see how far you’ve come. One of the most important parts is to not tear yourself down if you mess up. No one is perfect, and you can always get back on track! Check out this article for additional habits that can change your life.
Changes for Your Well-Being
It can be a long and bumpy road when you start changing your lifestyle, but it will be so worth it! Your mind and body will thank you; you will soon live your best life, enjoying things you previously never even thought of. You may also influence those around you to try improving themselves too!