While it might seem like a lot of work at the start, taking care of your health is one of the most important things you can do. Making sure your body is well-nourished and cared for physically sets you up for all-around success since it provides you with more energy and better mental stability, plus it helps prevent illness and disease in the long run.
Setting health goals for 2021
Last year was an odd combination of being hyper-focused on health, while at the same time not living to the best of our abilities because of quarantining and stay-at-home orders. No one is blaming anyone for that, but it’s time to make up for the lost time.
When setting health goals for yourself, you’ll want to make sure your short-term health goals line up with your long-term health goals, and that your goals are specific. While it’s great to want to “eat better,” it can be hard to meet such a vague goal. What does eating better look like? Is it cutting your sugar intake by half? Is it making sure at least one-quarter of the food on your plate is vegetables? Is it eliminating carbs? No matter what health goal you set, make sure it’s specific and measurable so you know how to meet it and whether or not you are meeting it.
Healthy ways to start
Only you know exactly what you need in terms of making the best decisions for your health, but these examples can give you some idea of where to begin.
Get 7-9 hours of sleep
No more of this five, maybe six hours of sleep thing. It’s bad for your body and bad for your mind. National Sleep Foundation Guidelines state that adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night to give their bodies time to recharge. Plus, it’s the time when your body’s systems go to work. Ever wonder why, when you’re constantly exhausted, you also find yourself frequently battling illness? When you don’t sleep enough, your immune system isn’t given the time or strength to fight infection – so less sleep means you’re more prone to infection.
Exercise for 30 minutes
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again. Especially if you work a desk job, you need to be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise in a day. It keeps your blood flowing and transporting oxygen properly throughout your body, works your muscles and joints, clears your mind, can get you out of the house and produces mood-boosting endorphins. The list of why you need to move your body can go on forever, but the main point is, your mental and physical health depends on it.
Eat breakfast every morning
Skipping breakfast is an unfortunate way to start the day because eating in the morning gives you the energy your body needs to carry out the day’s requirements, and it starts your body’s metabolism first thing. This can actually lead to benefits in weight management, including weight loss. When you eat breakfast, you’re less likely to overeat later on and you’ll receive important vitamins and nutrients from meal choices like fruit, yogurt and eggs.
Drink enough water for your body
If you’re thirsty, you’re not drinking enough. It’s important to be drinking water constantly throughout the day, as the fluids help remove toxins from the body, carry nutrients where they need to go, help regulate body temperature, normalize your blood pressure and more. It’s recommended for men to drink 101 ounces of water and women 74 ounces of water per day. Buying a water bottle with a specific number of ounces is an effective and easy way of keeping track of how much water you have left to drink in a day.
Reduce your inflammatory food intake
Inflammation in the body leads to all sorts of aches, pains and an overall feeling of unwellness. It can be the cause of sore muscles and joints, an upset stomach and even red, broken-out skin. By eliminating inflammatory ingredients – added sugar, red meats, mayonnaise, bread and highly processed foods – you can reduce inflammation in the body and feel good about the better foods you’re eating instead.
Read one book every month
If you have a goal to reach, you’ll take the steps to meet that goal. If you’re reading a book a month, you’ll begin eliminating unproductive tasks in order to take the time to read. This might mean spending less time mindlessly scrolling social media or choosing to start or end your day with 30 minutes of reading instead of watching the news. Not only does reading help you unplug while still keeping you entertained, it educates, relaxes and offers a time of peace and silence.
Taking steps towards a healthier you
Prioritizing your health is as simple as knowing your goals and taking the steps to meet them. It’s always good to take a moment to identify what those goals are and how you’re to achieve them, rather than just having good intentions of living a healthy life, mentally and physically. When you take active steps, you can regain control over your health and begin making decisions best for you.
To learn more about healthy living, and how a healthy physical state positively impacts your mental health, contact Pyramid Online Counseling today at 833-525-3077.