SALT LAKE CITY — From flashy headlines telling you to “eat this, not that” to reading how kale might save lives or seeing sugar vilified yet again, it can be so difficult to wade through the muck to find out what actually helps improve your health.
The World Health Organization says “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The reality? Health can mean different things to each of us. It encompasses not only physical health, but also mental and social health.
That said, here are five things that you can to do to actually help improve your health:
1. Sleep 7-9 hours
When was the last time you got 7-9 hours of sleep? If you can’t remember, that’s probably a good sign that sleep is something you could improve on. For adults, sleeping 7-9 hours each night is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. A lack of sleep increases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It also decreases immune function and may contribute to psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression. The cure? Adequate and consistent amounts of sleep. For more tips on how to improve your sleep quality, click here.
2. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner most days
Eating consistently throughout the day will help keep your blood sugar stable. This means your energy levels will be higher, your mood more consistent and your ability to think will be elevated. You likely won’t be thinking about food all the time and will be able to concentrate on the tasks that need your brainpower. If you can, try to include protein, fat and carbs at each meal for extra staying power.
3. Drink fluids consistently throughout the day
Fluids help carry nutrients to your cells, prevent constipation, help your muscles work efficiently and keep your body temperature regulated. So, how can you tell if you’re hydrated? By the color of your urine. Look for a light yellow color to indicate you are properly hydrated. Try keeping a water bottle with you to remind yourself to drink throughout the day.
4. Move your body
You probably know that physical activity is good for your brain, muscles, heart and so much more. The key to sustainability? Enjoyment! If you’re someone who likes going to the gym or workout classes, awesome. If not, can you squeeze in a short walk or a hike, get up every so often from your desk, dance, take the stairs, play with your kids or do something else to move? Your body and mind will thank you.
5. Spend time with loved ones
Did you know that having strong social connections may increase life expectancy? Maybe you need to say “no” to something at work, plan a weekend getaway with a loved one, or take time away from electronic devices so that you can be truly present with the people in your life. Either way, taking time every day to strengthen social connections may make you a happier, more fulfilled human.
What else do you do to practice health in your life? Let us know in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: Anything in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended, nor should it be interpreted, to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition; Any opinions, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and not of KSL. KSL does not endorse nor is it responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, information, or statement made in this article. KSL expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the content of this article.