The importance of staying healthy can’t be understated.
In 2022, we’re learning that mental and physical health are inextricably linked, so you can’t ignore one because the other will suffer. We live in a busy world that demands a lot of our time, but you need to set time aside to worry about your overall health.
There are so many ways to stay healthy, yet heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and anxiety plague our society. If you want to feel better, you sometimes need to take matters into your own hands. Today, we’re going to tell you 5 ways to stay healthy in 2022 and beyond.
Whether you’re 25 or 85, keep reading and we’ll help you get on the right path to improve your mental and physical health.
1. Get Outside and Exercise
Being healthy starts with being active. Regular exercise is proven to improve every part of your physical and mental health. Running, in particular, is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and is among the best ways to stay healthy as you age.
Studies show that running can reduce the risk of serious heart attack by 50%, depression by 19%, and just 5 minutes of running per day will decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease by 45%. Even regular walking can help boost your cardiovascular health – 10,000 steps a day is the general recommendation.
Getting outside, in general, can play a huge role in feeling physically and mentally well. If you’re not into running or walking, join a sports league. The more you can get outside, get your vitamin D, and move around, the better you’re going to feel long-term.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
How much you exercise and the food you eat are probably the two most important factors in determining how you feel. Most Americans eat far too many processed foods that contain ingredients that have no or negative nutritional value. There are countless diets that purport to boost your health, but keeping the right balance is the best way to stay healthy.
You can get almost everything you need by eating lots of fruit and vegetables with a little bit of meat. In 2015, the WHO declared processed meats as a Class 1 carcinogen, due to the strong evidence that they cause cancer.
Saturated fat from processed and red meat will directly lead to higher cholesterol, which results in a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Meat should be eaten in moderation, so try to find new ways to cook vegetables and cut meat out a few times per week.
3. Yoga and Meditation
As we stated earlier, your mental and physical health are closely linked. If one is off, there’s a good chance it will have a drastic effect on the other, so it’s important to take them as seriously as each other.
One of the best and most ancient ways to boost your mental health is with meditation. Yoga and meditation have been practiced in the east for thousands of years by Hindus and Buddhists. For many of us in the west, meditating is counter to everything that our society tells us to do.
If you don’t know where to start with meditation, there are now several smartphone apps that can guide you. This can build the right foundation for continued meditation practice. Studies have shown that meditation can both help you deal with stress and improve overall mental health.
In many ways, yoga practice marries physical activity and the mind-quieting properties of meditation. There are countless types of yoga, whether you want something more meditative or more active. A Hatha class would emphasize meditative qualities, while Gravotonics Yoga is more physically demanding.
4. Develop a Sleep Schedule
According to the Sleep Foundation, 35% of Americans say they get less than 7 hours of sleep per night. This is a huge problem in our society, as lack of sleep is linked to numerous rampant health issues. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep because the body needs that time to heal and regenerate.
The right amount of sleep can help with everything from weight loss to immunity and cognitive ability. A lack of sleep leads to an increase in inflammation, depression, and your ability to socially interact.
If you have trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can do to try and solve it. One is to develop a sleep schedule, meaning, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. We’re creatures of habit, so if your body knows when it’s time to wind down and sleep, you’ll have a far better shot of doing it.
Another thing to try is giving your brain a cooldown period before bedtime. The way we live now, our minds are always engaged with TV, computers, and smartphones. Turn everything off an hour before bed and give your brain some time to ease into sleep.
5. Human Interaction
The last two years have been difficult for our collective mental health. Covid-19 has kept us locked in our houses and human interaction has been non-existent or over a computer screen. Now that the pandemic is in the rearview mirror, we can find new ways to stay healthy socially.
Having a good social life benefits our mental health in untold ways. For older people, it’s one of the best ways to stave off dementia and for younger people, it’s an important part of avoiding depression.
Schedule time with your friends, especially now that you can. Whether it’s a 20-minute walk with a family member or a dinner date with some friends, socialization is crucial.
Keep Finding Ways to Stay Healthy
These are a few of the best ways to stay healthy, but you should never stop searching for answers. Your physical and mental health are the most important things that you need to look after in order to live a long, happy life. Whether it’s changing how you eat or taking more time for exercise, anything that benefits your overall health is worth doing.
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