People want to live a long and healthy life, yet sometimes it feels as though there is a lot of conflicting advice about how best to look after ourselves. Every week there’s a new fad diet on social media, while newspapers print contradictory stories about whether certain activities or foods are good for us or not. Luckily, you can follow a few simple principles to maintain your physical and mental health without studying scientific papers or spending lots of money on trendy new superfoods. Here are four top tips.
1. Take regular exercise
Staying active is beneficial for us in so many ways. Most obviously, it can help us lose weight and tone up, and boost our strength and stamina. However, that’s not all. Exercise can reduce stress levels, improve our mood, and support key brain functions such as memory and learning. Studies even suggest that exercise can work wonders on your creativity and productivity. So, it doesn’t matter whether you prefer to go for a run in the beautiful outdoors, go to the gym for some strength training, or unwind with a yoga class –get moving!
2. Eat healthily
It’s no secret that what we put into our bodies makes a big difference to our health. The good news is that you do not need to follow a complicated diet to be healthy. Instead, sticking to simple principles such as eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, cutting down on processed meat and salty snacks, and avoiding having too much sugar can have a surprisingly large benefit on both your health and your physical appearance. Another top tip is to avoid sodas and alcohol, drinking plenty of water and green tea instead.
3. Visit the doctor regularly
In addition to taking care of your body, it is also important that we attend regular medical checkups to keep an eye on our health. For example, you should be having eye tests and hearing tests every couple of years, cancer screenings when you reach the appropriate age or if you are at high risk, and if you have a sports injury, then visit a clinic such as Express MRI for a quick and low-cost scan so you can get it seen to immediately. It’s always best to catch medical issues as early as possible, to give yourself the best chance of successful treatment.
4. Focus on your mental health
It’s not just your physical health that impacts your life, and it’s also your mental health. So be sure to take regular time out to relax and destress, whether that’s through meditation, breathing exercises, keeping a gratitude journal, or indulging in a spa day. Getting out in nature can also do wonders for your wellbeing because sunlight boosts serotonin, and exposure to the natural environment increases creativity, happiness, and cognitive function. Social contact is also critical for our health, mood, and longevity – as we’ve realized more than ever thanks to COVID restrictions – so ensure that you spend quality time with friends and family when possible, too.