5 Simple Actions You Can Take to Be Healthier
- Start each morning with physical activity.
Even light physical activity will do the trick. A walk, yoga, strength training, housework, gardening, grocery shopping. Whatever you choose, physical activity has a myriad of health benefits, ranging from lower risk of cardiovascular disease to healthy BMI to improved mental health.
Besides, unless you work the night shift or are a chronic insomniac, you spent all night sleeping in an anabolic state.
Anabolism is the metabolic state characterized by constructing, or synthesizing, molecules — putting things together. Catabolism, on the other hand, breaks things apart. Anabolic processes are constructive, while catabolic processes are destructive.
While both play crucial roles in human body function, balance is essential. When you ingest food and begin the digestion process, catabolism is triggered, making it extremely important to eat breakfast in the morning.
Doing so allows your body to transition smoothly from an anabolic sleep state to a catabolic waking state.
Which brings me to number two.
2. Don’t skip breakfast!
As discussed above, eating breakfast upon waking in the morning serves an important metabolic purpose.
Choose wholesome, healthy foods — like whole grains, protein, and fresh fruit. Greek yogurt, whole wheat toast with peanut butter, granola with milk, or a smoothie are excellent choices.
Carbohydrates are essential for brain and body performance, so set yourself up for success by starting the day off right.
3. Evaluate your hydration habits and adjust accordingly.
Most people know that drinking water throughout the day is essential to staying hydrated. But far fewer actually exhibit healthy drinking habits in their daily lives.
By the time you feel the pangs of thirst, you are already dehydrated. Keep that in mind and make it your goal to avoid getting to that point where you feel thirsty.
Fruits like watermelon have high water content, and soup broth also hydrates effectively.
4. Do an emotional self check-in.
How are you feeling? What emotions are you feeling today? Are they negative, positive, or neutral? Can you identify why you are feeling the way you do, and what triggers occurred?
Emotional well-being is crucial to overall good health. Check in with yourself regularly to make sure you are attuned to your emotions, their triggers, and your responses to negative emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, and anxiety.
Using a smartphone app like Moodpath allows you to track your mood throughout the day, receive assessments and mood summaries, and evaluate your overall emotional wellbeing. Writing in a journal would work, too, if you prefer good old-fashioned pen and paper.
Incorporating regular emotional check-ins into your routine is an excellent way to hone your emotional intelligence skills. Emotional intelligence is a broad skill-set that encompasses your ability to recognize, label, and interpret the various emotions, as well as evaluate your ability to respond to them in a healthy manner.
Notice that I said respond, not react. When you respond, you do so deliberately. It entails taking time to logically and maturely interpret your emotions before acting on them. When you react, on the other hand, you act impulsively, driven exclusively by emotion devoid of logic.
5. Nurture your relationships with loved ones.
In no way does this apply exclusively to romantic relationships. Parental, sibling, friend, and colleague relationships all play an important role in our well-being. Prioritize those close to you, because life isn’t nearly as meaningful without them. Accomplishments can only take you so far; it’s the connections we make that truly give live meaning.
Take time to reach out to those close to you. Give them a phone call. Pay them a visit. Make time for a lunch date. It’s these moments that matter, that help foster strong, healthy relationships that will support you through life’s ups and downs. Don’t neglect those who are important to you.
While there are a myriad of actions you can take to support your overall health and wellness each day, it doesn’t have to be a drastic lifestyle change or a time-consuming affair. Simple steps like the ones above will go a long way toward building lifelong healthy habits and improving your quality of life.