Being healthy doesn’t have to mean hardcore workouts and strict diets. While these activities can help you lose weight and gain muscle quickly, they may be difficult to maintain in the long term. Instead, try to adopt daily healthy habits that you can incorporate into your everyday life. These are much easier to keep up, and they will still have a significant impact on your head-to-toe health over time. Below are some tips to keep in mind.
Review Your Health Insurance
Before you do anything, take a moment to go over your healthcare coverage. Good health insurance ensures you get preventive care, early intervention, and quick treatments. Since plans can change every year, get in the habit of reviewing your coverage. You may come across new plans that provide better benefits. For example, seniors may be able to get more out of their coverage by switching to a Medicare Advantage plan — plans offered by Humana include dental and vision coverage, as well as access to fitness centers! Whether you’re a senior or not, make sure your health insurance gives you access to the health services you need.
Find an Exercise You Enjoy
Too many of us struggle through workouts we hate because we think they’re good for us. But if you’re not enjoying your exercise routine, you’re going to have a tough time keeping it up. Choose a fun exercise that you like, whether it’s running, hiking, cycling, swimming, or bodyweight training — the healthiest exercise is the one you’re motivated to stick with. Everyday Health recommends lowering your expectations with a manageable fitness plan. Start slow and don’t push yourself so hard that your lungs are screaming and you wake up sore every day.
Keep Your Home Clean
It might sound like pointless busywork, but keeping your house clean and decluttered will go a very long way toward improving your mental and physical health. A decluttered home has shown to decrease feelings of anxiety and stress, while giving your space a good scrubbing will help keep allergens and irritants to a minimum. If you simply don’t have the time in your schedule to devote to maintaining your home the way you’d like, bring in reinforcements. In Fairfax, you can bring in a maid service for around $129 and $221, though that number largely depends on the size of your home and the amount of work they need to accomplish.
Eat More Protein
Regardless of whether you’re building muscle, protein should play a key role in your diet. Protein is especially important around the age of 50 when significant muscle mass loss becomes more common. Fortunately, eating enough protein to support muscle maintenance and growth is fairly easy. Limit the amount of nutrient-void processed foods and simple carbohydrates you’re consuming — these can fill you up without providing the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Instead, try these tricks to get more protein in your diet.
Choose Foods Low in Sugar
Cutting out the simple carbs is one of the best things you can do for your diet. Refined carbohydrates lack the nutrients and fiber present in unprocessed carbs. Since they’re digested much more quickly, they cause rapid fluctuations in blood sugar, increasing your risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Just make sure you’re prepared with some healthy substitutes so you can tackle sugar cravings without reaching for a sugary treat. For example, you can satisfy a sweet tooth with some fresh berries or whip up a healthy fruit smoothie — frozen fruit from the grocery store is packed full of vitamins and minerals. If you’re used to eating a lot of processed foods, pick just one meal per day to avoid refined carbs completely.
Improve Your Sleep
After healthy eating and exercise, sleep is the next most important thing for your whole-body health. Getting enough quality sleep at night can improve your concentration, boost your immune system, and increase your metabolism. Adults should aim to get about seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Any less than this and you’ll likely have problems with fatigue, mood swings, and cognitive performance. Fortunately, you can sleep better by following these research-based recommendations from the Alaska Sleep Clinic. For example, keep your bedroom dark (you can get blackout curtains by the panel starting at $7.99 at Target) and avoid using your phone or computer before bed.
Getting healthy doesn’t have to feel like an uphill battle. Make small changes to your daily routine by replacing problem foods with healthy substitutes and finding little ways to get more exercise. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you’re having trouble adopting healthy habits. Being healthy is all about being kind to yourself!