There can be lots of reasons to start on a journey to better health. Some may want to feel more excited every day when they wake up, while others may simply want to lose a little weight and feel more energized.
No matter what your health goals are, working towards them can be a great experience. However, it may feel stressful at times, too, especially if you ever find yourself struggling to get off to a good start or hitting a plateau. While the path to better health may not always feel like an easy one, the good news is that it doesn't have to be unnecessarily difficult and that there are many things you can begin doing today that will help you reach your goals more easily.
Start Setting Meaningful Goals
The first thing you should do when taking steps to improve your health is to make sure that you are setting meaningful goals for yourself. Whether it is a number on the scale or something more complex like making sure you have the energy to chase after career goals. The more that you are clear about what you want to achieve, the more likely you are to achieve it.
Assess and Improve Your Diet
One of the things that makes the biggest difference when you are trying to improve your overall health is making sure that you are eating a healthy diet. Assessing your diet carefully can be important, even if you think that you eat relatively well. This is because many foods that are marketed as health foods may actually contain many additives and extra sugars that can actually be damaging to your overall health. One way to avoid having this issue is to decrease your intake of processed and packaged foods, and instead focus on eating more whole foods, like fresh produce, eggs, and lean meats.
Along with making the effort to avoid processed foods, it can also be beneficial to begin keeping a food journal. When you do this, you can get a better picture of what your daily meals are truly made up of. It can also be a good way to help get to the root of any food sensitivities or allergies that you might have, as the more you record what you eat the easier it will be to tune into how specific foods make you feel.
Stay Properly Hydrated
At the same time that you are working to improve your diet, it can also be a good idea to start working on your hydration levels as well. Some might think that dehydration only has one symptom, thirstiness. The truth is, though, that it can have many more, like headaches, sluggishness, and even hunger.
If you aren't sure where to start with hydration, simply eating more foods that are hydrating can be helpful. Some foods that are high in water content include kiwis, apples, cucumbers, carrots, and grapes. Along with eating more water-dense foods, increasing your water intake until you are drinking approximately half of your body weight in ounces of water can be a good place to begin.
Start a Regular Exercise Routine
Regular exercise isn't just great for your physical health or your muscle tone, it can also be great for your mental and emotional health too. This is due in part to the fact that working out helps boost endorphins and happiness hormones like serotonin, which in turn can help elevate your overall feelings of wellbeing.
Also, the good news is that it doesn't matter what kinds of workouts you are doing, either. Whether you like to power walk, or would rather power lift, many different forms of exercise can be great for getting your body in better shape, and boosting your mood, too.
Get Quality Sleep
If you truly want to feel your best, then you need to make sure that you are getting plenty of quality sleep. When you sleep at night, your body undergoes many reparative processes. If you aren't able to sleep deeply or for long enough, your body might not be able to undergo these processes. This can cause you to feel exhausted during the day in the short term, and in the long term, it can lead to a wide range of more serious health issues, like weight gain, heart disease, and depression.
At first, it may seem difficult to get the sleep you need on a regular basis, but by implementing some sleep-supporting habits, you can start making good sleep the norm. One thing that makes a difference when working to improve your sleep is cutting down on screen time.
Even though scrolling through social media feeds on your phone may seem relaxing, your mobile devices actually emit a light that signals to your brain that you need to stay awake. By limiting your screen time before bed, you can make sure that you aren't impacting your sleep hormones negatively, and make it easier to rest when you do go to bed.
Stay Connected With Friends
Even though you may think that hanging out with friends and family is just about having a good time, the truth is that staying connected with friends and loved ones can also be great for your health. Spending time with those you care about can release a bonding hormone called oxytocin, which can be great for boosting your mood. Being close to loved ones and being able to talk to them when you are under stress can have many benefits as well. When you know that you have people you can talk to and vent to when life feels difficult, it can help reduce feelings of loneliness and stress in a major way.
Take Up a Hobby
Putting some time and effort into your hobbies, or finding a new one if you don't have one already can be beneficial for your health in more ways than you might think. When you have a hobby that you love to do, it can add value to your life and give you something to look forward to. Not only that, but many hobbies like gardening, reading, and fishing all have relaxing qualities that can help you reduce stress, which is great for your health.
There can be a variety of reasons to want to start on a journey to better health, whether you are more focused on your mental health, or your physical health. However, no matter why you want to improve your health, it may feel difficult at times. The good news is that improving your health doesn't have to be hard, and there are many changes you can make to your lifestyle that can help get you closer to your goals today.
Even though good sleep is a major part of maintaining good health, the reality is that many are not getting the sleep that they need to feel their best. While it may not always seem easy to get good sleep, the reality is that there are many simple and natural things you can do to start getting better rest tonight. If you are really tired of feeling tired though, call the Alaska Sleep Clinic today to speak with one of our board-certified sleep specialists.