Taking care of your own health is the best investment you can make. It is not just a monetary investment, but the devotion of the time and effort required to manage your lifestyle. Here are 11 simple options for investing in your physical and emotional health.
Sleep is an investment that all too often gets short-changed. For a variety of reasons, many people do not get the proper amount of nightly sleep. It is important to establish a routine at bedtime and wake up at about the same time each day. Irregular sleep affects your ability to function well during waking hours and sometimes can be life-threatening. For example, driving a car without sufficient sleep can result in a serious accident. Nothing beats the restorative effect of proper sleep, but vehicle camera systems can alert individuals who start to nod off while driving.
Diet fads come and go, but eating a balanced, nourishing selection of foods is an essential way to invest in your health. Plan out your meals in advance. Make sure you have healthy snacks on hand, so there is less chance of binging on processed junk food. Include plenty of whole grains, fruit, and vegetables in your daily meals.
Regular exercise is another critical aspect of investing in your own health. You do not need to be a marathon runner. Getting moderate exercise on a regular basis not only improves your overall health but helps boost your mood and can be preventative when it comes to risk for heart disease, strokes, and cognitive issues. Joining a gym may not be for everyone. Find an exercise activity you enjoy and work it into your schedule at least three times per week.
Make it part of your plan to get preventive healthcare checkups on a regular schedule. This may seem like a big investment of time and money, but it will pay off in the long run. Discovering potential medical issues before they blossom into life-threatening concerns is worthwhile.
Invest in friendships. Humans need companionship. Having people to turn to during stressful or sad times keeps you mentally fit and improves your general outlook.
Minimize Bad Habits
Most people know the ill effects of bad habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, or doing drugs, but it is not always easy to just eliminate these behaviors. Try minimizing the vices that you know have negative health consequences.
Limit Screen Time
If you are spending hours and hours on social media or playing video games, then you are likely not getting exercise, socializing, or sleeping enough. Set a limit for how much time you use devices during a given period. Too much screen time has a negative impact on emotional and mental health.
The simplest health investment is to drink more water. Water aids with the proper functioning of nearly all our body systems. Replace sugary sodas with water. Try flavored or sparkling water if you need to mix it up. Add a lemon or lime to your drink.
Get a Pet
According to the CDC, owning a pet provides many health benefits. You are more likely to get exercise if you own a pet. Animals provide companionship which can avert feelings of loneliness and may increase your opportunities for meeting other people. Pet ownership may even lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Challenge Your Mind
Cognitive decline is a part of aging, but there are ways to slow the process. The brain needs new stimuli to prevent it from stagnating. Challenge your mind by trying something different to keep the brain stimulated. Read a book or take a class on a new subject you know little about. Try doing brain puzzles or performing a novel task.
There is evidence that being outdoors can have a positive effect on your physical and mental well-being. The natural light helps you de-stress and feel happier. Exposure to sunlight provides your body with vitamin D, which is important for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles.
You and your body will reap the rewards by investing in these healthy options.