We don’t have anything if we don’t have our health—–good health makes every aspect of our lives more enjoyable. With recent events sending us all back home, many of us find ourselves without resources, locations, and support that we had previously drawn on for support. How can we take charge of our health once more, and use this gift of extra time at home to uncover our best selves?
Put down that container of ice cream, turn off Netflix for a while, and listen up. No matter what your current age or state of health, there are some steps that you can begin to implement now to lose weight, gain energy, and improve your mental health—all from the comfort of your home! Resolve to do better, be better, and live better with these strategies for optimal health and wellness:
- Know where you are starting
There are several ways that you can get knowledge about your health without having to see a physician. Of course, if you haven’t seen a physician in several years, now is the perfect time to schedule a physical. Getting some simple tests done that assess your systemic health, digestive health, and even your sexual health is as simple as ordering a home test kit online and sending it to a local medical laboratory for testing. Get yourself a comprehensive kit that breaks down your microbiome, or even an at home HIV test if needed, and find out where you rank in all aspects of your health. Knowing where you are starting is a perfect place to be, for it allows you to make changes needed to improve all aspects of mental, physical, and even sexual health.
- Eat well
You don’t have to sit on the couch and finish all the bags of chips that you had in the pantry when we hit quarantine; those will still be there in the coming months. You may have additional time on your hands for planning and cooking meals now; get in that kitchen and dust off some of your cookware. Pick up one or two new recipes a week to try and experiment with different flavors—-and various utensils, ones you may not have used before. You might discover that you have a penchant for Asian cuisine or talent for poaching eggs that rivals any master chef. Even if you don’t desire to improve your culinary skills, there are a variety of meal prep services that create, prepare, and ship gourmet meals right to your door. Choose your plan, pick your meals, and eat like royalty when your package arrives. You’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy, and who knows? You may end up looking better as a result of eating better quality food.
- Change up your exercise routine
So your gym is closed. Now what? It’s time to get creative; you have many options at your disposal that don’t involve binge-watching anything. How about walks with your kids? Biking for fun? Any number of workout streaming services is at your disposal, waiting to make your buns just a bit tighter and helping you stay fit. Don’t use not going to the gym as an excuse for becoming sedentary; change up the way you view exercise and keep that body moving all day long.
Chronic dehydration sets the stage for illness and fatigue. Most of us are walking around, chronically dehydrated. Did you know that you need to consume at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day to prevent dehydration? As your body is composed of 60-80 percent water, it would stand to reason that keeping yourself well hydrated is the key to better health and extremely beneficial to your long-term oral health. Replace your adult beverages, soda, and juice with a few more glasses of H2O each day, and watch the magic happen.
- Get some rest, for Pete’s sake!
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep….or, even a 20-minute power nap. Sleep is restorative to body, mind, and spirit. The consequences of poor sleep are long-reaching, and they can result in mental stress, physical disease, and chronic conditions that require medical intervention. If you are someone that struggles with getting quality sleep, try these quick and accessible interventions for stress”less” sleep:
- Limit the use of electronics at least one hour before bedtime
- Spend more time outdoors, as it encourages the resetting of circadian rhythms that govern wake and sleep cycles
- Take a melatonin supplement to promote melatonin production in the brain
- Consider meditation or yoga as part of a stress reduction program
- Lower the temperature in your room to a cool 68 degrees; studies show that sleeping in a cold room promotes healthier, more restful sleep
We may be living in challenging times, but they’re interesting as well. Prioritizing your health and looking forward to uncovering your best self is a gift; the more you can focus on creating healthier habits for yourself and those around you, the more you’ll stand to increase your quality of life. Start creating!