Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now
Most of us are familiar with the accepted methods of improving our health – exercising, eating more nutritiously, and scheduling regular checkups with our healthcare practitioners, just to name a few. But for many of us, maintaining a healthful regimen can be challenging. A lack of time, energy, money and/or willpower can all be obstacles to cultivating and nurturing a healthy lifestyle. For those who prefer a more graduated approach to living well, here are some easy things you can do to live a more healthful life.
Get off the couch
It’s a big, beautiful world out there, just waiting for you to appreciate it. Getting up off the couch and going outside has all sorts of benefits. It makes exercise feel easier, so you’ll be inclined to do more. It can increase creativity, reduce stress, and may even help us age more gracefully. Those who get out of the house more often have significantly fewer complaints regarding pain, sleep problems, and a decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living.
A study conducted by Robert Emmons, University of California, Davis, and Michael McCullough, University of Miami, discovered that people who practiced gratitude regularly were more optimistic, which led to an increased sense of well-being. By practicing the simple act of becoming aware of what we have to be thankful for, we can drastically improve the quality of our life.
Get a puppy
Studies have shown that pet owners are healthier than those who live without pets – they provide companionship, unconditional love, and a quick pick-me-up after a hard day. The also provide an opportunity play, walk and get off the couch.
Brush your teeth with a dry toothbrush before adding toothpaste
A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that patients who brushed their teeth with a dry toothbrush before adding toothpaste, saw a 63 percent reduction in plaque and a 55 percent reduction in bleeding. And a healthy mouth may decrease your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Take a nap
Studies have shown the sleep – even in the form of a quick nap – helps us do everything from maintaining a healthy weight to improving our memory to spurring our creativity. It may even help us live longer.
We discussed the health benefits of laughter in our last blog post. It may turn out that laughter really is the best medicine. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter reduces stress, strengthens the immune system and improves your mood. It’s also good for the heart and the brain.
Spend times with friends and family
As human beings, we are, by nature, social beings. As we age, socialization continues to be critically important to our overall well-being. Several studies have shown that people who are more social get sick less and have healthier minds. A study from the Rush University Memory and Aging Project concluded that a higher level of social engagement in old age is associated with better cognitive function.
Have a glass of wine
In moderation, red wine has been shown to improve heart health. Red wine is high in antioxidants, raises HDL cholesterol (that’s the good cholesterol), reduces the formation of blood clots, and, according to the Mayo Clinic, may help prevent coronary heart disease.
Take off your shoes
Taking off your shoes before entering your home helps prevent the spread of bacteria that your sneakers, high heels and wingtips have gathered throughout the day.
Make your home more green
Plants help purify indoor air – spider plants, which are one of the easiest houseplants to grow, reduce formaldehyde. Dracaena comes in 40 different varieties and removes benzene and xylene. As a bonus, plants add beauty to almost any space in your home.