Having healthy habits can help you thrive throughout your life. However, it can be hard to find the time and energy to exercise regularly and prepare nutritious meals.
Other health-related activities include visiting your doctor for regular checkups and screenings and avoiding substances like alcohol and tobacco that can cause damage to your body and mind.
Whether you want to trim your waistline, increase your energy or add years to your life, exercise is key. It doesn’t matter your age, sex or physical ability – everyone can reap the benefits of regular physical activity. But don’t think it has to involve sweating at the gym or pounding monotonous miles on the treadmill — it can be as simple as walking in the mall while you shop, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or joining a dance class.
Exercise isn’t just good for your body; it’s also great for your mind. Research has shown that exercising regularly boosts self-esteem and mood, and improves learning and memory. And it helps to lower your risk of many diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
To experience these mental and physical health benefits, try to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day — or break it down into two 15-minute sessions. Getting a workout buddy can help keep you motivated, so consider asking your friends and family to join you for a walk or dance class. And be sure to stretch when you’re done with your endurance or strength exercises — this can help prevent injuries and muscle soreness.
Turn your “sit time” into “fit time” by doing activities that combine cardiovascular and strengthening exercises — like gardening, walking the dog or playing basketball. And don’t be afraid to try something new — if you find a workout that you love, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Healthy eating is one of the most important ways to maintain your health. It gives your body the nutrients it needs and helps you manage your weight. It also lowers your risk for certain chronic (long-term) diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
When trying to eat healthier, make sure you’re replacing unhealthy foods with the right ones. For example, replacing fried chicken with grilled salmon is a good way to start. Avoiding fatty meats and processed junk food, however, is the best way to stay healthy.
Eat a variety of nutritious foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins. Eat less sugar and saturated fat, and try to limit trans fats. Choose water and unsweetened drinks over soda and caffeinated beverages. Make sure you’re getting enough calcium and folic acid.
Try to plan and cook meals at home. This way you can control the ingredients and avoid excess kilojoules (energy). You may find it easier to choose healthily if you plan your meals ahead of time and keep healthy options at hand. If you’re struggling to eat healthy, seek support from friends and family, and search for online support groups. You can even use our physician referral line to connect with a physician who can help.
Get Enough Sleep
While we are asleep, our bodies and minds are very active, performing a number of vital tasks to keep us healthy and functioning at our best. A lack of sleep can have serious health consequences, including decreased productivity, weight gain, and depression. It can also lead to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
It is recommended to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night, which will give your body enough time to repair itself at the cellular level. Studies have shown that a good night’s rest can improve our cognitive ability, mood, and emotional regulation.
Getting the right amount of sleep can be difficult for many people, but there are a few things you can do to help. Be consistent with your sleep schedule and try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on weekends. Having a routine can help your brain “know” that it is time for sleep and it will respond accordingly. Avoid large meals and caffeine before going to bed, and turn off your phone and computer at least an hour before bedtime to reduce the artificial light that suppresses melatonin.
If you find yourself tossing and turning or waking up frequently throughout the night, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss possible underlying causes, such as depression, anxiety, or other medical conditions like obstructive sleep apnea. Treating these problems can greatly improve your chances of a restful nights’ sleep.
Trying new strategies for getting more quality sleep can be beneficial, but consistency and determination are key. Don’t give up if you don’t immediately feel results, as the process of resetting your sleep cycle can take weeks to complete. Try listening to music, meditating, taking a warm bath or shower, and reading before sleeping as simple techniques to help you fall asleep more quickly. And don’t forget to sign up for CNN’s Sleep, But Better newsletter for tips on how to upgrade your sleep. You may just surprise yourself how well you’re able to function after a few simple changes!
The internet is a great source of health information and news stories. However, it can also be a source of misinformation and rumors. Take time to check out the source of a story or to look at a fact-checking website.
People who are socially connected have better health outcomes. Try to spend some time each day connecting with loved ones. This could mean calling your grandchildren, an old friend or simply reminiscing with an associate from the past.
If you buy a pay monthly phone, SIM, tablet, laptop or mobile broadband plan with us from 17 August 2022, we’ll let you stay online and available even after your data allowance has run out, with our Stay Connected Data service. You can top up with a daily or monthly data add-on to return to full plan speeds.