Getting regular exercise and eating a balanced diet, filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, are key strategies to maintaining good overall health. Moderate exercise, for example, can slash your risk of heart disease when performed around three times a week, Healthable explained. And eating a balanced diet can reduce your chances of developing other chronic conditions such as diabetes and certain types of cancer. Additionally, as explained by Shape magazine, exercise can help improve your mood, thanks to the release to endorphins – a chemical that boosts feelings of euphoria.
However, exercise and a healthy diet are the not the only ways you can protect your health. There are a number of simple strategies that you can incorporate into your daily routine to stay as healthy as possible.
Eager to learn more? We’ve got a run down of some the best tips for boosting your overall health:
1. Opt for white meat
A great way to cut down on the amount of saturated fat you eat is to swap out red meat for white meat, Everyday Health explained. For example, when heading out to eat, opt for the turkey burger over the traditional beef patty. And while shopping at the store, consider leaner cuts of turkey or chicken over beef steaks. White meats are far lower in fat and can still provide the essential proteins and B vitamins you need to maintain a balanced diet.
2. Watch out for hidden sources of fat
High levels of saturated fat can also be found in the add-ons to meals that are otherwise nutritious – think dressings for your salad, the skin on certain cuts of meat, cream in your morning coffee and so on, Family Doctor detailed. If you use fuller fat products like these routinely, it could negatively impact your efforts to consume a healthier diet. To avoid this, consider opting for low-fat alternatives where possible. Cutting down on dressings or skipping them altogether, although a small step, can also make a positive difference.
3. Drink alcohol in moderation
Another effective way to protect your health is to keep an eye on how much alcohol you drink. After all, as explained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking excessively on a routine basis can increase one’s risk of developing a number of health problems including liver and heart disease. That’s not to mention the fact that heavy drinking can lead to impaired judgment, which in turn can increase the likelihood of accident and injury.
The CDC defines drinking in moderation as around two drinks per day for men and one for women. Use these guidelines as a benchmark – if you find that you regularly exceed the recommended number of daily drinks for your gender, consider cutting down.
4. Embrace deep breathing
Given how hectic and fast-paced daily life can be, it’s likely that you will experience stress from time to time: Maybe you have a big project at work with the deadline fast approaching, or perhaps you have a big summer party to plan for. Whatever the reason, one way to ease stress and help yourself feel better is by embracing deep breathing. Simply take a couple of minutes to yourself, every few hours or so throughout your day, and breathe in a deep and measured way, exhaling in and out slowly. Care2 explained that this strategy is helpful because it can reduce your levels of stress-inducing hormones that can engender panic and anxiety.
5. Keep your mind active
Playing games on your computer, tackling a crossword, reading a good book and even meeting up routinely with friends – these activities are fun, engaging and good for the soul. They can also help keep your brain healthier, Dr. Dan Rutherford explained, in an interview for The Telegraph. Indeed, the Alzheimer’s Association explained that studies have shown that an active mind is less likely to succumb to cognitive decline and dementia, so daily brain exercise is an important way to stay as sharp and healthy as possible.
6. Drink more water
Humans need water – it is used in every single one of our bodily processes. In fact, our entire physical make-up is around 70 percent water, Care2 reported. That’s why a basic yet crucial way to improve your health is to drink a fair amount of water throughout the day. A simple way to do this is to bring a water bottle with you when you leave the house and then refill it as needed. Some common ailments, such as headaches, can be the consequence of mild dehydration, so drinking more water is a great way to boost how you feel.
7. Eat more fiber
Eating a diet that is rich in fiber can help improve your digestion and reduce your risk of health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and hemorrhoids, Everyday Health explained. Examples of foods with high levels of fiber include various whole grains, beans and a range of vegetables.
8. Quit smoking
It’s no secret that smoking is bad for us. As stated by the CDC, smoking greatly elevates one’s risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer. That’s why it’s important to quit if you do smoke cigarettes. The health benefits of ditching the habit, no matter your age, should not be downplayed. Smoking cessation can significantly lower your previous risks for illnesses like heart disease, and in some cases it is possible to bring your risk level down to what it was before you started the habit.