7 health tips for your physical and mental well-being
In today’s society, everything moves very fast and sometimes we don’t have time to think about whether our lifestyle and habits help us feel better. In this blog we try to give you some health tips that will help you reflect and improve your lifestyle habits, always adapting them to your tastes and preferences. And is that, staying healthy goes far beyond the absence of disease and has a lot to do with simple actions that are under our control, such as habits related to food, sports, sleep, or hygiene.
What do we understand by health?
Being healthy is not only not having diseases but also enjoying a certain quality of life in relation to various areas. This is how the WHO (World Health Organization) expressed it in its definition of health :
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not just the absence of diseases or illnesses.”
The power of self-care
As the saying goes, and as we already explained in the article Meet preventive and personalized medicine of the 21st century, “prevention is better than cure”. In this sense, each of us has a great responsibility in the preservation of our own health and the prevention of diseases.
For this reason, the first concept that we are going to see is that of self-care, which has to do with participating actively in promoting our health. We turn again to the WHO definition:
“(Self-care) is the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with disease and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
In short, self-care refers to all those habits and attitudes with which all of us, every day, can preserve and improve our health.
Let’s see how to do it with the following 7 health tips!
1 Watch your diet
We have already seen it in articles such as ” The beneficial health effects of a balanced diet:” We are what we eat.
And it is that feeding ourselves properly has a great impact on our quality of life: it means providing our body with all the nutrients it needs for its optimal functioning and, in addition, it helps us to maintain our weight, which reduces the risk of diseases such as obesity, and the risks associated with it such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.
Take note of these simple habits that will help you eat healthily:
- Make a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains the base of your diet. Remember that it is advisable to consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. It is possible to do it with innovative and simple recipes that make healthy food rich and fun.
- Always eat at the same time. We know that nowadays this can be complicated due to our pace of life, but it is convenient that you make an effort to achieve it. Skipping a meal often creates a yo-yo effect, causing much more food to be consumed than necessary at the next meal.
- Eat breakfast every day: it has to do with the previous point. Breakfast provides our body with the energy it needs to be active in the morning and, in addition, it helps prevent excessive food intake throughout the day.
- Avoid snacking between meals and, if you do, choose healthy snacks, such as non-fried nuts or a piece of fruit that, in addition to filling you up, provide essential nutrients for your body.
- Reduce the consumption of salt and sugar: both substances are found in excess in ultra-processed foods, so avoid them, as they considerably increase the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
- Keep your body hydrated: it is recommended to drink two liters of water daily. Drinking water helps you eliminate toxins, aids in digestion, and prevents constipation. One tip that may be useful is to add a few slices of cucumber or lemon to your water bottle, which will flavor the water and make it easier to drink.
- Replace saturated and trans fats with polyunsaturated ones: minimize the consumption of ultra-processed ones, which are rich in the former, and opt for foods with polyunsaturated fats such as salmon, vegetable oils, nuts, or some types of seeds.
2 With alcohol, be careful!
Do you know that alcohol causes 3 million deaths every year around the world? This figure, collected in WHO reports, attests to the harmful effects of the abuse of this substance, which is also associated with more than 200 pathologies and the development of mental and behavioral disorders.
If you consume alcohol, it is best to do it in a moderate way, that is, do not take more than one unit a day if you are an adult woman or a man over 65 years old, or more than two if you are an adult man under 65 years old. One unit of the drink is equivalent to a medium-sized glass of beer or a glass of wine.
3 Stop smoking
Smoking is linked to numerous pathologies, from ocular cataracts to cancer, the risk of which is doubled in those who have this habit, and even quadrupled in heavy smokers.
In addition, it is responsible for more than 90% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and increases the risk of heart disease and cerebrovascular problems.
If you smoke, you must be aware that, in addition to seriously damaging your health, you are also damaging that of those around you, as they inhale cigarette smoke and all its toxic substances passively.
Quitting smoking is always a good decision for your health and that of yours. Did you know…?
- After 20 minutes without smoking, blood pressure decreases.
- After 12 hours the carbon monoxide in the blood reaches a normal level.
- At 3 months, blood circulation and lung capacity improve.
- At 9 months the risk of infections, the feeling of shortness of breath, and coughing decrease.
- After one year, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.
- At 5 years the risk of neck cancer and stroke is the same as that of non-smokers, and the risk of throat, esophagus, mouth, and bladder cancer is cut in half.
- By age 10, the risk of lung cancer drops by half.
- By age 15, the risk of heart disease is similar to that of a non-smoker.
As you can see, it is very worth quitting smoking. Also, do you know that the appearance of your skin will also improve? Climbing stairs will not exhaust you either, the smell of your clothes will be much more pleasant, and it will improve your sense of taste and smell.
4 Play sports, get moving!
Sport is one of the pillars of healthy lifestyles. If you think that you don’t have time or that your physical form is not adequate, do not worry. Sport is available to anyone. Practicing moderate and long-term physical activity on a daily basis, such as walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes, has numerous health benefits:
- Helps you stay at your weight
- Helps control blood sugar level and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Promotes the quality of sleep.
- Reduces the risk of premature death.
- Increases self-esteem and improves depression.
Take note of these tips to include sport in your self-care routine:
- Take the opportunity to play sports with small changes in your routine: for example, go upstairs instead of taking the elevator.
- If you sit for long hours, get up every 60 minutes and take a short walk to keep your muscles active.
- Gradually increase the intensity of the sport you practice. Learn to listen to your body, and try not to force it.
- Breathe through your nose to prevent flatus.
- Choose suitable equipment for the sport you practice. Good footwear is essential, as well as breathable clothing.
5 Take care of your hygiene
Even if you cannot see them, everything around you is full of microorganisms and some of them are capable of causing diseases. That is why it is very important to maintain good personal hygiene and home cleanliness. Some basic tips are:
- Wash your hands when you get home, before eating and when you have been in contact with animals.
- Take a daily shower to control germs that may affect your skin. Specifically, it is important that you do it after practicing physical exercise since this favors sweating and contact with bacteria present on the surfaces with which our skin comes into contact.
6 sleep well
All the functions of our body are affected by lack of sleep: from the hormonal, immune or respiratory systems to blood pressure or cardiovascular health.
In addition, several investigations indicate that not sleeping properly can increase the risk of obesity, infections, and coronary heart disease.
Well, what hours of sleep are adequate? General recommendations depend on age and are as follows:
- Newborns up to 3 months: 14-17 hours.
- Babies up to 11 months: 12-15 hours.
- Children up to 2 years: 9-15 hours.
- Children up to 5 years: 10-13 hours.
- Children up to 13 years: 9-11 hours.
- Adolescents up to 17 years old: 10 hours a day.
- Adults: 7-9 hours a day.
- Seniors over 65: 7-8 hours a day.
To be able to sleep better, we recommend that you implant these habits:
- Have a regular time to go to bed and get up.
- Link a routine when you go to sleep. They can be simple actions like brushing your teeth, taking a bath, or reading.
- Practice physical exercise, but try not to do it right before you go to sleep.
- Do not drink stimulants such as coffee or other caffeinated beverages after 4 in the afternoon.
- Sleep in comfortable clothing, in a dark, quiet room.
7 Don’t forget about your mental health!
As we saw at the beginning of this article, mental well-being is a fundamental part of health, as the WHO itself indicates in its definition.
Mental and physical health are closely linked because if one is not good it will have a negative impact on the other and vice versa.
Today we know that stress is associated with a less healthy lifestyle, leading to addictions to tobacco and alcohol, and a worse diet.
It is very important that you worry about taking care of your mind as well as your body. Here are some tips that can help you:
- Humans are social beings, so encourage and take care of your interpersonal relationships with family and friends.
- Learn to ask for help when you need it.
- Rest, eat well, and do sports, for all the benefits that, as we have already explained, they entail.
- Value yourself and accept yourself as you are.
- Take a few minutes a day. Meditation is a good resource to improve mental well-being.
- Set one or more vital purposes, as having a long-term motivation favors the health of the mind.
Take charge of your health
As you have seen, there are many steps you can take to maintain good health. The most important thing is that it is up to you to implement them or not. At Veritas we believe that it is essential to have a proactive attitude in health care. Therefore, in addition to encouraging you to follow all the advice in this article, we offer you different tests that allow you to know your risk of diseases, fundamental information with which you can take personalized care, as well as control or avoid those pathologies to which you are more prone. Do you want more information? Don’t hesitate to contact Veritas!