9 Simple Ways to Improve Your Overall Health

Committing to a healthy lifestyle has a wide range of physical and mental benefits. While improving your health can seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. There are all kinds of simple, effective ways to improve your health with small changes in your everyday routine.

1. Drink More Water
It’s important to stay hydrated, as water makes up the majority of your body. Drinking water is refreshing and healthy, and as an added bonus, it makes you feel full, helping you eat less. Get in the habit of drinking water regularly throughout the day. Many people drink a gallon of water or more per day, which is a great way to stay healthy.

2. Eat Natural Foods
You don’t have to follow the latest fad diet to eat healthy, just focus on eating natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, and eggs. Swap out one or two processed food items every day with a natural alternative. For example, instead of getting French fries with your lunch, try steamed vegetables, instead.

3. Get Active
Daily physical activity is crucial for staying healthy, as a sedentary lifestyle is a major health risk, according to True Health and Wholeness. Even something as simple as a brisk 20-minute walk is beneficial; you don’t need to perform high-intensity exercises every day.

4. Relax
Stress, and the hormones it releases, take their toll on the body. Reduce your stress by taking time to relax every day. Meditation is an excellent way to forget about your worries and appreciate the present moment. You can also try a yoga class, reading a book, or just spending some quiet time alone. The key is that you make your relaxation time a stress-free zone. No matter what is stressing you out, you don’t think about it for 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Stimulate Your Mind
Your brain, just like your body, is something that deteriorates when you don’t use it. That’s why it’s important that you do something every day that provides mental stimulation.

Reading is one option, as are puzzle games, such as Sudoku and crossword puzzles. Board games, especially chess, provide entertainment while making the mind work. This is one area where your smartphone can be a big help, as there is no shortage of apps where you can play puzzle games or board games against the computer.

6. Improve Your Posture
Not only does good posture improve your physical appearance, it’s also good for you. Poor posture increases the likelihood of cardiovascular and pulmonary issues, and one study even found that women with poor posture were 1.4 times more likely to die than women with proper posture.

No one is born with poor posture. Instead, people develop bad habits that result in postural issues. The way to correct it is to replace those bad habits with good habits, which requires you to constantly remind yourself to stand and sit up straight. After a couple weeks of this, your posture will improve dramatically.

7. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is crucial for your body to get the rest and recovery it needs. While not everyone needs a full 8 hours of sleep every night, any less than 6 hours could lead to health problems. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid alcohol and stimulants within a few hours of going to bed. You can also try deep breathing exercises in bed to help you relax.

8. Reduce Salt and Sugar
Salt and sugar are both unhealthy, so you should limit yourself to small amounts and try to avoid adding either to your foods. Look for healthier alternatives to each, as you may find you like the flavors more, anyway. For example, instead of seasoning meat with salt, try garlic, peppers, or lime juice.

9. Be Positive
A positive outlook on life reduces your stress and makes life more enjoyable. One easy way to maintain a positive mindset is by writing down a few things that you’re grateful for every day. You can also try talking more to friends and family who make you feel happy.