It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and not be aware of how much we do or don’t take care of ourselves. The good news is that there are only five things that you actually need to do to stay in optimal health! In this post, we’ll go over these five steps and give some tips on how you can improve your overall well-being with just a few simple changes.
#1 Go for annual checkups
The first thing you need to do in order to stay healthy is going for annual checkups, which include more than just your general doctor’s visit. Your kidneys are important for filtering out toxins and waste from the bloodstream; if they aren’t working properly, you could be at risk of kidney disease! Make sure that you get a yearly renal ultrasound done so that any issues can be caught early on with treatment.
Also, make sure that you have regular hearing tests so you can learn more if there are any problems that need sorting out. Eye exams are also necessary, with an optometrist confirming whether or not there has been any change in vision since the last time. When was your last blood test? If it has already been a year, it’s time to schedule an appointment.
#2 Eat healthily
The second thing you need to do in order to stay healthy is eat healthily. So often we find ourselves saying that we don’t have time for a meal, but there are options out there! For example, batch cooking can be your saving grace – if done right, it will save you hours of time throughout the week and also help with portion control.
Make sure that you’re getting enough protein daily, too, because this helps regulate many bodily functions, including metabolism, which means burning more calories. Good sources include fish or chicken breast. Aim for at least two servings per day!
Include a source of protein at every meal – eggs, nuts, or yogurt. Eat small snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism going strong! A good idea is a handful of almonds and an apple with peanut butter. That’s a great snack for between meals that have plenty of nutrients and won’t leave you feeling hungry again too soon.
#3 Remember to socialize
The third thing you need to do in order to stay healthy is to remember to socialize. Our health can be greatly improved by having a strong support network of friends and family around us, with whom we talk regularly. When was the last time that you held an old-fashioned face-to-face conversation?
It’s good for your mental state too! So the next time you find yourself at home on a weekend night instead of out with friends or staying late at work, try cooking up some dinner and inviting them over. If they’re not available, there are plenty of other ways that you can still engage socially, like joining local groups (like sports teams) or even just seeing if any neighbors would like help setting up their wireless printer!
#4 Drink lots of water
The fourth thing you need to do in order to stay healthy is to drink lots of water. Keeping hydrated helps improve cognitive function and keeps your blood volume at normal levels, which can decrease the risk of heart attack or stroke.
How much should you be drinking? Aim for half our body weight (in ounces) plus one! So if you weigh 150 pounds, aim for about 75 ounces a day on top of any additional liquids such as milk or juice. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding some lemon to make it more refreshing!
Or you can play around with different types of fruit infusions, which will keep your hydration interesting and tasty too. Finally, remember that even though coffee or soda may quench thirst at the moment, they are not good substitutes for drinking actual water throughout the day because their diuretic properties cause increased urination. This means that all of those extra cups you’re drinking wind up just dehydrating you instead!
#5 Practice mindfulness
The last – but definitely not least – thing you need to do in order to stay healthy is practice mindfulness. Research shows that practicing meditation regularly can effectively lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, which are both key aspects of a healthier lifestyle.
There are plenty of ways for beginners to get started with this simple habit, even if it feels intimidating at first. Try starting by setting aside just five minutes every day as your ‘meditation timer’ and working up from there! Apps like Headspace or Insight Timer make this easy by providing guided meditations too so that newbies don’t have to fumble around trying to figure out what they should be doing alone.