We all have things we wish we were doing better when it comes to our health. Whether it’s improving our fitness habits, our diet, or our dedication to overall self-care, we spend more time thinking about how we’re going to tackle the big changes than actually doing them. So, here are a few things you can do (or start doing) today to boost your health.
Switch Up Your Workout Routine
If your workouts are starting to feel boring and repetitive, you may be stuck in a rut. Varying your workouts has many benefits, the biggest one being that it keeps you from getting bored with your fitness routine. This helps you stick to it and get better results. On a similar note, you need to make sure you are covering all the different types of exercise: aerobic exercise, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and stretching. You may like a couple of these more than the others, but you need all of them for a complete fitness routine.
Book Your Next Dental Appointment
Many people think of oral health as being purely cosmetic, but taking care of your teeth has a huge impact on your physical and mental health. Visiting the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning is crucial, so take this opportunity to book your next appointment.
Re-Evaluate Your Diet
If you are on a restrictive dieting plan, it might be time to take a step back. Most dieters take up their plans in order to improve their overall health, but healthy eating isn’t always the same thing as dieting. Fad diets can sometimes do more harm than good, so take a trip to the doctor to check whether your current diet is right for you. If you’re over 65 and covered by Medicare, be sure to take advantage of your Annual Wellness Visit. During this appointment, your doctor will assess your overall health and can give you recommendations on how you can improve your diet. One thing you can do right away is start taking a multivitamin. These vitamins fill in gaps in your nutrition and can improve your energy and mood as well.
Start a New Hobby
Hobbies are not just fun ways to pass the time. They have many benefits for your overall life and health. For one, they allow you to develop skills, build a sense of confidence, and challenge your brain. They are also relaxing and sometimes even meditative, thanks to the feeling of “flow” they create. If you feel you don’t have time for hobbies, take a conscious decision to cut back on “passive” downtime activities (such as watching TV) and focus on “active” ones.
Volunteering isn’t just good for your community — it’s good for you. According to Harvard Health, there is increasing evidence that volunteering is beneficial for both mental and physical health. Regular volunteers experience lower levels of stress and loneliness, but they also have reduced blood pressure and may live longer. You don’t even have to go through a long application and training process: many organizations have open volunteering sessions where anyone can just drop in and start helping out.
Go to Bed Early
If you’ve not been catching between seven and nine hours of sleep every night, you need to adjust your routine. Start by deciding on a bedtime you can stick to and that gives you enough time to get all the sleep you need before you need to wake up. If you struggle to stick to a bedtime (most of us do), the Cut recommends thinking of sleep like exercise: it’s easier if you’re not alone. Make a pact with a friend (or your partner) and hold each other accountable for it. Figure out some ways to relax before going off to bed, whether it’s taking a hot bath or enjoying a foot massage (make sure to research the best foot massagers).
Today is a good day to start a new healthy habit, switch up your diet or workouts, or start learning a skill. We have a tendency to think that big changes need to happen at “significant” moments, like the New Year or the start of a month, and that they should happen at the same time. But all this does is keep us from getting started. Just do it today — you won’t regret it.
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Article Credit: Jennifer McGregor