We all know that our health and wellbeing should be one of our biggest priorities. But all too often, we let it slip to the wayside. We prioritize convenience over wellbeing as we try to stuff our calendars with work commitments, social commitments, and more. But, of course, without our health, we wouldn’t be able to do any of these things. So, it’s essential to take some time to analyze your lifestyle and to look for ways to improve it. There are countless things you could do to achieve this, but here are just a few areas to consider as you get started!
A balanced diet will improve your health and wellbeing
All too many people make the mistake of believing that to eat healthily, cut out certain food groups and purely pack your diet with fruit and vegetables. But this isn’t the case. Sure, fruit and vegetables are vital, and you should make sure that you’re getting your recommended five a day. But to eat healthily, you need a balanced diet, which means eating from each food group in moderation. This will help your body to get all the nutrients it needs to function well.
One area that people struggle to get right is portion control. Now, it’s essential that you don’t micromanage the size of your portions or the number of calories you eat – unless your doctor has requested that you do so to gain or lose weight. Instead, you should have a rough idea of a healthy amount to eat throughout the day. Now, calories are a unit of measurement for the amount of energy you get from fresh foods, and there’s a recommended amount that every person should get on a day-to-day basis. Of course, the amount recommended to you can vary based on factors such as sex, age, and activity levels. For a specific recommendation based on you as an individual, consult your doctor, who will make specific recommendations. However, for a vague idea, you can follow the guide below.
- Children aged 2 to 8 – 1000 to 1400 calories
- Girls aged 9 to 13 – 1400 to 1600 calories
- Boys aged 9 to 13 – 1600 to 2000 calories
- Active women aged 14 to 30 – 2400 calories
- Sedentary women aged 14 to 30 – 1800 to 2000 calories
- Active men aged 14 to 30 – 2800 to 3200 calories
- Sedentary men aged 14 to 30 – 2000 to 2600 calories
- Active adults over 30 – 2000 to 3000 calories
- Sedentary adults over 30 – 1600 to 2400 calories
You may have heard the term superfood being used a lot lately. A superfood is any nutritionally dense food that has been found to have notable benefits for your overall health and wellbeing. Therefore, add as many of them into your diet as possible to feel the benefits. Some examples of great superfoods include:
- Blueberries – these small blueberries are packed with antioxidants and can give you a good dose of vitamins, phytochemicals, and soluble fiber. They’re easy to find – being available in most supermarkets – and can be eaten in smoothies, on porridge or cereal, accounted for in muffins or pancakes as a treat, or eaten as they are.
- Green tea – green tea is growing in popularity. It contains many bioactive compounds, such as catechins, which prevent cell damage in the body. Of course, green tea can have a pretty bitter flavor that can take some getting used to. If you find it hard to drink, you might add honey for sweetness.
- Kale – kale has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years. This leafy green is packed with vitamins A, C, and K and provides an easy way to get plenty of them into your diet. If you’re vegan or looking for an additional source of calcium, kale contains an excellent plant-based dose of calcium too!
Gut Healthy Foods
We forget we need to take good care of our gut. A simple way to achieve this is to eat plenty of gut-friendly foods. The best foods for your digestive system and gut are fermented foods, so this is a superb place to start. Fermented foods contain many microorganisms (such as bacteria, yeast, and fungi) to convert organic compounds (like sugars and starch) into alcohol or acids. This preserves the food itself and provides good bacteria for your gut when you consume them. You may have heard these bacteria referred to as probiotics. Some popular fermented foods include:
- Kefir – Kefir was initially popular in the North Caucasus, Eastern Europe, and Russia. However, it is becoming increasingly available in Western society. It is a dairy drink that contains up to 61 different strains of bacteria and yeasts. Available in a variety of flavors, there are plenty to try!
- Kombucha – Kombucha is a fermented drink created in China. It has a much thinner and more liquid consistency than Kefir and is suitable for vegans. It is a form of fermented tea that traditionally combines yeast, bacteria, and sugars. Try a few different flavors until you find one that you enjoy.
- Kimchi – Kimchi is a Korean dish of fermented vegetables. It contains a lot of probiotics. Traditionally, kimchi is made using fermented napa cabbage with onion, radish, or garlic. For a spicy kick, many add chilies. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’re in luck, as kimchi will be suitable for you!
Exercise will improve your health and wellbeing
Exercise is also essential for your health and wellbeing. Did you know that it’s recommended that the average adult get one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week, or seventy-five minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week? This is achievable, but all too many people fall short of this target. Why? Well, key reasons include failing to schedule exercise in your calendar or pursuing forms of exercise that you don’t enjoy. With so many types of exercise out there, there’s no point forcing yourself to do something you hate when you could achieve the same results doing something you find fun and rewarding. For some inspiration, you can learn more how Shay Mitchell stays fit. Let’s look at some different exercises that might tick your boxes!
The gym is, by far, one of the most popular ways to exercise – and it’s easy to see why. The gym offers a safe, indoor environment filled with all the equipment you could need to exercise any part of your body that you want to focus on. So if you wish to build your stamina, strength, flexibility, balance, or anything else, you’ll be able to find tools for the job. In addition, you may find that your chosen gym also offers classes, guiding you through exercises and adding a social element to your fitness routine.
Enjoy the gym, but find yourself not going? Do you get to the gym and feel unsure of what you need to do to meet your fitness goals? This is where personal training can come in useful. When you use a personal trainer, they will develop a fitness routine that meets all of your needs and requirements. You will also spend money on their services, encouraging you to attend, as you don’t want to waste this cash. On top of this, if you don’t go, you’ll know you’re letting someone down, which can encourage you to attend. Finally, you will gain confidence in what you’re doing, knowing that you’re safely, correctly, and effectively using the gym equipment.
Like spending time in the water? Swimming could be another option for you. Not only is swimming an essential life skill, but it’s an easy way to exercise that is gentle on your joints and ideal for those who may experience friction or chafe when exercising on land. In addition, you’ll find that the water supports some of your weight, making it a good option for those who may be overweight. Believe it or not, swimming:
- Can keep your heart rate up
- It is a low-impact exercise that takes stress off the body
- Builds stamina, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness
- It helps maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart, and lungs
- It tones muscles and builds your strength
- Provides an all-over body workout
If you like a natural social element to your fitness, or if you’re competitive, team sports are another excellent option. There are countless forms of team sports out there, from football to rugby, lacrosse, hockey, pairs of tennis, and more. Trial and error a few options until you find what works for you!
While further steps you can take to maximize your health and wellbeing, these should serve as some good starting points. Keep them in mind and incorporate them into your day-to-day routine. You’ll feel the benefits before you know it!