Everyday Tips for Better Overall Health in Your Busy Life
Written By: Travis White
Proper head-to-toe health involves improving mental health and physical health. The two are intertwined, so improving one oftentimes helps to improve the other. Taking time to do something beneficial for your mind and body may seem like something you just can’t afford, timewise. People lead busy lives, and making changes in those lives to improve overall health may fall to the bottom of the list of priorities.
But it doesn’t have to. From boosting your mental health to making your body run like a fine-tuned (or at least finer-tuned) machine, simple steps taken daily are within reach. Here are some tips.
Take time to give your brain some downtime
Don’t feel lazy or unproductive if you need to take a break. In reality, your brainpower will suffer and your mental health will decline if you don’t take some time to chill out. Taking some ‘you’ time will actually make you more productive.
“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration – it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done,” Tim Kreider writes for the New York Times.
Whether you’re busy at work or at home, there are daily exercises that you can incorporate into your life that will give your mind the proper recharge. Make your home a stress-free space so you can unwind and relax. Meditation, whether freeform or guided, can be done in just 20 minutes. If you’re not the meditating type, simple take time to go outside and walk or sit and focus on slow, deliberate breathing. If you’re a religious person, take some time to pray. Proper mental health will trickle down to the rest of your body.
Get creative and squeeze in some extra exercise
Nothing can improve your health from head to toe more than getting your whole body moving. Squeezing in exercise whenever and wherever you can is one way to incorporate better health strategies into your everyday life.
The good news is that short, targeted, intense workouts that combine strength exercises with cardio have been scientifically proven to work. The classic 7-minute workout is an example of this. You don’t even need any equipment – it all relies on body weight. You can do this on a break at work or even during commercials at home.
Park and walk. If you drive to work or the grocery, park further away and get some extra walking in. If you take a bus or subway, get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Doing this every day will help more than you realize in the long run.
When it comes to improving literally every part of your body, there’s really nothing like adopting a healthier diet that is rich in vitamins and nutrients that improve brain health, reduce inflammation, improve circulatory function, and more. A lot of research points to the Mediterranean diet as one way you can do this.
As the Mayo Clinic puts it, “Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. The diet has been associated with a lower level of … ‘bad’ cholesterol that’s more likely to build up deposits in your arteries.In fact, a meta-analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality as well as overall mortality. The Mediterranean diet is also associated with a reduced incidence of cancer, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.”
To adhere to the Mediterranean diet, you need to build a solid base of fruits a vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and legumes. After that, increase intake of fish and other seafood. Dairy and poultry are eaten less and red meat and sugar is consumed even less frequently.