Easy, Underrated Health Strategies You Can Start Today
By Jennifer McGregor
If you’re in the habit of exercising and eating right, you’ve already got a handle on healthy living basics. As important as these habits are, some of us focus so much on diet and exercise that we overlook other key health strategies. There are times when we all need to stop and take an honest look at our routines to see if we’re really making time for these essential health habits.
Easy But Overlooked Necessities
Some of the most basic health strategies are those little things we know we should be doing but tend to slip through the cracks. One example is maintaining good oral health. Along with brushing and flossing every day, you should see your dentist twice a year for cleaning.
Don’t wait until you have a problem to call your dentist! Getting regular cleanings can help prevent problems like toothaches or gum disease. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a checkup, the easiest way to find a dentist in your area is by searching an online dentist locator.
Like dental care, sleep is another one of those habits that many of us fail to make a priority. Getting enough rest isn’t a luxury — it’s a daily habit that has a major impact on everything else you do, including your overall health. If you know you could do better, start with some of these easy tips from Mind Body Green for creating a better bedtime routine, including turning off blue lights at night and getting the day’s worries off your mind.
Along with oral health and sound sleep, pay special attention to your diet. Find healthier ways to prepare the foods you love. Instead of cooking with oil and butter, you can grill your food. Another idea is to eat jasmine or wild rice, which is far more nutritious than its white counterpart. A rice cooker can help you prepare rice dishes, and some quality models have different settings depending on the type of rice you’re cooking. Healthy and affordable recipes include rice with black beans and bell peppers and wild rice salad.
Take a Break
It’s easy to think about health strategies in terms of what we should be doing, but what about our downtime? We live in a culture that is so focused on productivity that many of us don’t take enough time for ourselves. Whether it’s 30 minutes each day to enjoy a hobby or taking a vacation, giving yourself a mental break is an essential health habit.
Taking a break doesn’t always mean getting away. Even taking a “staycation” can give you the time you need to unwind and rejuvenate. To make it easier to stay on top of your other health goals, forgo the hotel and instead opt for a vacation rental with a fully equipped kitchen so you can make healthy meals. Use this opportunity to explore a different area in your own city, and pick activities that expand your horizons without straying from your health goals.
Expand Your Fitness Horizons
Whether you’re on vacation, staycation, or it’s just your regular routine, make exercise a habit that benefits your entire body and mind. Even some easy stretches like neck rolls and ankle circles can release tension. Yoga is an amazing mind-body practice that promotes balance, calm and helps tone muscles. It’s easy on your joints and can help ease back pain, so it’s a workout that’s perfectly suited for all bodies. Charge up your practice by using apps like Down Dog and Daily Yoga. At the same time, you can also be active in other ways throughout your day, like dancing or walking. Doing this ups your fitness game while also giving your mood and your mind a boost. What’s more, seniors who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage program can take advantage of Silver Sneakers, which grants them access to fitness centers and gyms across the United States.
Try to keep yourself motivated by bringing some tech to your routine. You can use a fitness tracker to record how many steps you take and calories you burn each day. You can also stream instructional videos to your tablet, which you can set on a table and follow along to during your workout. It might seem a little extravagant to splurge on a tablet to boost your workout, but these devices can definitely help you up your game.
It’s easy for any of us to get stuck in a rut with our routines. However, even when you’re already doing the right things, you may still overlook some of these other strategies that are just as essential for your overall wellness. Thankfully, all it takes is a small tweak to what you’re already doing to truly maximize your health and happiness.
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