5 Simple Ways to Boost Your HealthJanuary 11, 2018
By now, we all know how important habits like exercise and good nutrition are to a healthy lifestyle, but you may not know how some other simple actions can improve your health. Adopting (or improving) some of the following behaviors can help you enjoy a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Here are a four surprising benefits of walking that’ll get you lacing up your sneakers.
- Hang out with friends: It seems almost too simple to be true, but nurturing your close relationships is good for both your mental and physical health. In fact, a 2010 study showed that making new friends can be as good for your health as quitting smoking.
- Breathe in the fresh air: Your mom was right: Sometimes, the best thing to do is just get out of the house. Nature has an immediate effect on our physical and emotional health, and multiple studies have shown that it can reduce anxiety and boost feelings of well-being. Being in nature also reduces blood pressure, can lower our heart rate, and even regulate stress hormones.
- Sleep it off: Catching your zzz’s is crucial to maintaining good health but, if you're like many of us, you're probably cutting yourself short in the sleep department. While experts recommend getting seven to nine hours a night, only about 40 percent of us are actually accomplishing that. Why does that matter? Because sleep recharges parts of the brain that help stave off anxiety and depression, and it also is linked to better memory. Still need more reasons to shut off the TV and call it a day? Researchers have found that getting a good night's sleep can make you feel as good as winning the lottery!
- Take a breath: Deep breathing is great for reducing stress, but practicing it regularly — even when you're not under stress — is one of the simplest ways you can overhaul your health practices. Not only does it slow down your heart rate and relax your muscles, it also helps your lymphatic system release toxins. That translates to more energy and better overall health for you.
- Go on the offensive: All of these healthy habits are a form of preventative health, but remember to also practice preventive care with an annual doctor's visit. This is a great time to go over any changes in your health and discuss what immunizations or screenings you might want to consider. Most health plans cover preventive visits, so schedule yours to stay on the road to great health.