From health admin to your daily lifestyle. Here are ten of the most important things you can do for your health to hopefully live a long and healthy lifestyle with less risk of health complaints.
We’re going to start this article with some of the basics which you all should know, but which many regularly fail to do!
Check out this article to learn the benefits of exercise in more depth and why it’s so important for your overall health. From building strength to heart health, improved sleep and reduced depression… there are numerous benefits to regular exercise for your wellbeing and body.
Some people might find it hard to exercise because they have other responsibilities and don’t have the time for it, and some people think that they don’t need to exercise because they are already in good physical shape, but that’s not the only reason exercise can be good for your health!
Exercising doesn’t need to be hard, and there are many different exercises that we can do such as walking, swimming, cycling, playing sports or gardening which will help us achieve our health goals.
Exercise is just one of the many things that we can do to improve our health. The drawback of not exercising is that it might not be easy to exercise at a later point.
2. Eat healthy plant-based foods
As a vegan, I advocate a healthy plant-based diet with no animal products, but there is also a lot of scientific studies to prove how beneficial a healthy plant-based whole food diet can be for our health. From reversing angina in a patient to preventing and reversing skin ageing, the health benefits of choosing a whole food plant-based diet are far-reaching.
3. Stop smoking
You don’t need me to tell you smoking is bad. We all know it is. If you’re smoking and you think you love it, then the reality is you probably don’t really love it, but you’re actually addicted and only think you like it. It has devastating consequences to your health from premature skin ageing to increased risks of all sorts of nasty cancers. Plus it doesn’t do much for your hygiene as you will stink of smoke on a regular basis from your clothes to your skin to your breath. There are so many reasons to quit smoking and all sorts of methods so you can find the one that works for you.
4. Stop drinking alcohol
‘Drinking alcohol increases the risk of mouth, upper throat (pharyngeal), oesophageal, voice box (laryngeal), breast, bowel and liver cancer’ according to research, yet many people don’t realise that alcohol can have just as many cancer consequences as cigarettes. Drinking alcohol is not good for us. It is a poison and it poisons us when we drink it. It’s kind of obvious when we stop and think about how bad a hangover is and that’s the proof of the damage we inflict on ourselves when we drink. To reduce your risk of cancer and many other health complaints caused by alcohol such as high blood pressure, stroke, liver damage and even depression or alcohol dependency, stop drinking. Replace your favourite tipple with a new healthier obsession like a delicious fruity kombucha or kefir with many gut-friendly benefits.
5. Reduce sugar consumption
So many foods contain added sugar nowadays. It’s become a common ingredient. It’s not just bad for your teeth though, but consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and even non-alcoholic fatty liver disease!
Yep, as I explain in my article about why you should reduce your intake of added sugar ‘It is possible to get non-alcoholic fatty liver disease from eating too much sugar (and fat). As the sugar is converted to fat if excess amounts are consumed and not used, as explained above, this can put your internal organs at risk as they become surrounded by fat and even contain fat when they shouldn’t. The liver should contain zero or very little fat. It’s estimated that up to 1 in every 3 people in the UK has early stages of NAFLD with small amounts of fat in their liver.’
6. Ensure you have adequate health cover
You can also help to protect your health by ensuring you have the right level of health cover to suit your needs. Why do I need health insurance coverage? Well, for a variety of reasons. You may not live in a country with healthcare as standard, so it could be up to you to pay for health insurance in order to access healthcare when needed. Even if you are in a country with national healthcare service, there can be long waiting lists or a lack of treatment options applicable to your individual health needs. This can be detrimental to your health and you may need to consider taking out a private health plan to safeguard your own health.
As well as ensuring you can access the healthcare you need, you also need to think about your health if you are in an accident. For example, health insurance won’t cover car accident injuries in all circumstances as the car insurance itself may be expected to cover this. So if you drive a car then you need to ensure your car insurance has cover for your medical costs due to any injuries.
We may not immediately think of our car insurance when caring for our health, but if we are in a car accident then our health can suffer, so it’s important we are adequately covered to prevent any detriment to our health as a result of a car crash. Ideally, you should check what your car insurance provides in the event of an accident and also the terms of any health insurance you may have, just in case.
Not only do you need your overall health to be covered, but you may need private dental insurance too. It’s important to have regular checkups when it comes to your teeth, gums and overall oral health to spot any problems and address them in a timely manner. The mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body and very often, problems in the mouth such as gum disease have been linked to other health issues in the rest of the body.
7. Go to your checkups
There are several checkups that are really important for your health such as dentist checkups which I already mentioned above, but also optician appointments which not only check your eyesight but look for any health issues within the eye.
Also, there are female health checks such as cervical smear tests which can spot abnormal cells before they develop into something deadly like cancer. Such important tests shouldn’t be avoided.
Your doctor may call you for health assessments once you reach a certain age which, again, can spot if anything health-wise is becoming a concern or might.
8. Practice self-care
Self-care isn’t just a buzzword or a luxury. It is important for everyone to take time out for themselves in order to maintain their health. Self-care can be anything from engaging in a hobby or activity you enjoy, to taking time for yourself every day.
Self-care can be a difficult concept to understand because it means something different to everyone, but the most important thing to remember is that you have to find what works best for you. Self-care includes anything from meditation and journaling to going for a run or taking time off work.
It’s important to take time for self-care because it can increase your overall productivity and decrease your stress levels.
9. Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is also something that so many of us regard as a luxury in our overworked, fast-paced lives, but actually, it is an absolute necessity for good health and wellbeing and should not be skimped on.
We are all aware of how a lack of sleep can cause us lower levels of focus and reduced productivity the next day, but it can also affect many other health-related things such as our weight, blood pressure and mental health.
There are lots of natural remedies for improved sleep that you can try if you struggle with insomnia or getting a high-quality night’s rest.
10. Explore nature
Finally, do not underestimate the power of nature! Especially if you live in a city surrounded by grey buildings and concrete. Make time to get into natural environments and explore woods, lakes, forests, mountains and the beautiful coastline.
Exposure to nature has benefits to our emotional, mental and physical health. It can lower stress levels, improve our physical fitness if we choose to walk, run or cycle through nature, and even help us catch some more natural sunlight to help our bodies produce enough vitamin D.
Phew! There are ten amazing ways you can ensure you are taking care of your health and doing the best you can to lead a healthy lifestyle.