Americans are becoming more attuned to the fact that it is beneficial to adopt health-conscious behaviors to maintain general wellness. In some cases, lifestyle changes can help support life-long wellness habits. These four strategies can help support a healthy lifestyle.
1. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. According to the CDC, you should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. While that may seem overwhelming, breaking it down into more manageable portions lets you see how easy it is to do. For example, setting a primary goal of spending more time on your feet instead of sitting is a great place to start.
Before you start dreading the idea, take some time to understand what counts are exercise for health purposes. You do not have to sign up at a gym — although you can if that is something you enjoy — but instead can choose simple ways to move a little more each day. For example, you could:
- March in place or use a stepper while watching television
- Park a little further away from stores or your office entrance
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator
- Take a brief walk during your lunch break
2. Follow Health Eating Guidelines
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, establish goals for health-supporting eating habits. The most recent report promotes adopting lifetime habits for the best results, limiting added sugars and ultra-processed foods and choosing nutrient-dense foods.
Following these recommendations can help you get the nutrients your body needs from whole food sources. However, if you are concerned about meeting nutritional requirements, you might consider adding supplements to your routine. For example, many people opt to take Omega 3 or prostate health supplements to support a health-conscious lifestyle.
3. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep hygiene is essential because adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Without it, you may experience symptoms of sleep deprivation, such as irritability, memory loss, weight gain, and trouble fighting infections.
Sleep hygiene is the pattern of behaviors and actions you take to support good sleep habits and may include several things, such as:
- Establishing a nighttime routine — Doing the same actions every evening may help alert your body that bedtime is approaching, making falling asleep easier.
- Setting a standard bedtime — Established bedtimes aren’t just for little kids. Falling asleep around the same time every night may help your body develop a routine to make the process easier.
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake — Both of these can disrupt normal sleep patterns and should be avoided later in the day if possible.
- Adjusting the thermostat — Lowering the temperature in your bedroom can signal your body that it is time to slow down and prepare for sleep.
- Turning electronics off — Try to avoid using electronic devices in the hours before bedtime unless necessary. If you absolutely must use them, use blue light filters to help limit the impact on your circadian rhythm.
4. Maintain Health Weight
Health experts at the National Institute of Health have established standard guidelines for normal weights. While it isn’t a magic pill, working to keep your weight in the normal range may help you avoid some common health conditions.
Unfortunately, excess pounds can creep up gradually so that, before you know what happened, you are pushing normal limits or have slipped into the obese range. Instead of falling victim to body shamers and resorting to a cycle of dieting, consider what led to the weight gain in the first place. Talk to your doctor if you have questions or want advice on better managing your weight.
Healthy lifestyle habits can help support overall wellness goals. These may include eating a balanced diet that meets nutritional goals, moving more and sitting less and getting enough sleep each night.