What does it mean to stay healthy?
Staying healthy means ensuring that both mind and body are in good condition, getting all of the nourishment and care that they need and thus working well.
Staying healthy means keeping in good condition. Our health is both physical and mental, and studies have shown that physical and mental health are connected. So, it is important to take care of both.
Staying healthy involves both your physical body and your mind. Physically, staying healthy involves keeping fit and free from illness. Mentally, health involves staying stress free and having a positive outlook on life.
Below, you will find 7 simple tips on how to stay nice and healthy in both body and mind. Many of these tips can be done at home right away – so why not start your journey to better health today?
7 Simple ways to stay healthy.
Exercise makes us stronger, increases our stamina, stimulates better blood flow and digestion and bring with it a whole host of other benefits. There are plenty of different exercises that you can do, and it is good to do a mixture of exercises for core strength (like weight lifting), cardiovascular fitness (like aerobics) and muscle tone (like swimming or running). In addition, exercises like yoga and Pilates improve our flexibility and our joint health.
Find an exercise that you love and use it to improve your heart health, tone your muscles and enhance your well being.
Exercising has a positive impact on the mind as well: we feel great after exercising!
2. Healthy eating.
Eat a balanced diet. Get all of the vitamins and minerals that you need, and it will help you to stay healthy. Vitamin C, for instance, is vital for keeping our immune system healthy and thus warding off disease.
Eating a balanced diet, with plenty of protein, fiber carbohydrate, good fats, fruit, vegetables and carbs as well as dairy (or dairy substitutes) and non saturated fats is key here. Avoid saturated fats and processed foods.
Your diet should also contain various pulses and grains, such as lentils, bulgar wheat, barley and beans. Buy a cook book, and keep things varied from day to day, and you will soon see that eating healthily can be exciting, delicious, and fun too!
3. Getting plenty of sleep.
Getting enough sleep is essential for both a healthy body and a healthy mind. Adults usually need between 7-8 hours of sleep a night in order to function properly. The average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
When we sleep well, our cognitive function is improved, as is our mood. Good sleep is vital for restoring the skin and for the digestion, too. Moreover, when we have slept well, we are less likely to crave foods that are too high in sugar.
Try turning off all electronic devices like smartphones and laptops an hour before bed and settling down with some soothing music and a book to help yourself to wind down at the end of the day and get yourself in the mood for sleep. Lavender oil can help to promote a restful atmosphere as well.
4. Avoiding an overly sedentary lifestyle.
Sitting down for too long can be very bad for our bodies. If you have a sedentary job (for instance, one that involves sitting in front of a computer for several hours at a stretch), consider taking regular breaks to get up and walk around the office.
You can do leg stretches at your desk as you work, too. A related issue is snacking at your desk – which can be very tempting, especially when you feel bored at work.
Try replacing those snacks with glasses of water flavored with mint and lemon, or with healthy combos of nuts and dried fruit.
5. Stay hydrated.
Drinking around eight glasses of water a day – and more when it is very hot – is essential for keeping our body working well. Dehydration can cause headaches and mood swings and in severe cases can affect the functioning of our internal organs.
Be aware that some drinks containing caffeine or alcohol can dehydrate you, too, thus counteracting the effects of the glass of water that you drunk before. You may feel that you are hydrating yourself when you drink a cup of iced coffee but in fact you are not!
Drinking a tumbler of water after downing an espresso in the morning is thus a good idea. A squirt of lemon, lime or orange juice, some slices of cucumber or a sprig of mint or thyme all help a simple glass of water to taste delicious.
6. Quit those stimulants.
A small alcoholic drink can help you to celebrate a special occasion and a coffee or two during the day will help you to improve your focus if you are studying. However, when taken in excess, stimulants such as alcohol and coffee can be very bad for you, damaging your heart and preventing you from getting a good night’s rest.
The same goes for cigarettes: though the nicotine in cigarettes may give you a ‘high’, the tar in them is very damaging to your heart and lungs.
If you are finding it hard to quit caffeine, alcohol or tobacco, you can always go and see your doctor as they will be able to help you out with any addictions that you may have.
7. Practice good dental care.
Brush and floss your teeth regularly and pay regular visits to the dentist, too. Use a fluoride based tooth paste or mouth rinse and ensure that your diet includes plenty of calcium to keep your teeth and bones healthy. If you want to see if you are brushing your teeth thoroughly, you can buy some so called ‘disclosing tablets’ which use a harmless colored dye to indicate areas on your teeth that are being missed by your tooth brush.
8. Look after your mental health.
Remove negativity from your life, reduce stress, keep your mind active and talk through your problems whenever you need to.
Staying healthy is pretty easy. Just make sure to watch what foods you eat, to stay hydrated, and not to over indulge in stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine. Exercise is also key to good health! If you find it hard to motivate yourself when you exercise alone, you can meet your exercise goals by getting a personal trainer, by investing in some exercise DVDs or simply by asking a friend if they would like to work out with you.
Quitting smoking is one of the most positive things that you can do for your health, and there are plenty of services available to help you to make the first step towards achieving that goal. You will find, if you quit smoking, that it is a lot easier to care for your teeth as well.
Mental health and physical health are intimately linked. Sleep, diet and exercise are all key to a healthy body and mind. So smile and stay healthy!