Healthy Living Choices You May Be Overlooking
by Jennifer McGregor
When it comes to living our best lives, too many of us focus solely on one or two aspects of wellness. More often than not, this focus leaves us neglecting other areas of health — areas that could make a pretty serious impact. By overlooking these healthy living decisions, we leave ourselves open to serious health issues, or even just feeling generally unwell. Here’s a look at a few of the subtler ways you might be able to boost your health.
Getting Enough Water
Most adults aren’t drinking enough water. The recommended eight cups of H2O a day doesn't just keep you from feeling thirsty: Proper hydration ensures that every single part of your body functions at its best. And that eight-cup figure? That’s a minimum. Your hydration needs go up when you exercise, if you’re sick, if you’re pregnant, and even if you’re taller than average.
Make sure you stay hydrated by keeping a large water bottle with you throughout the day and refilling it as soon as it’s empty. The simple act of having water on hand makes you more likely to recognize and address thirst. It’s harder in the beginning, but once you’re properly hydrated, your body is better at noticing when it needs more liquid.
Give your water an electrolyte boost whenever you’re working out. Sweat causes you to lose more than water, and rehydrating with an electrolyte powder such as Liquid IV or Ultima can help you restore what you need to thrive. Make sure you thoroughly research options online to find the version that covers your needs best.
You might not think of vacation as a healthy move but getting a break from the daily grind is invaluable. Too many people in the US don’t take enough vacations. Time away from your regular routine allows you to refresh and recharge, decreases stress, and improves creativity. Avoid burnout and improve your health with a trip somewhere exciting.
Focus on a destination that will encourage healthy living, such as Miami. And as Turnkey reminds, with lots of outdoor attractions, such as hitting the beach or touring the Miami Design District, there are great opportunities for physical activity. Moreover, if you get a vacation rental rather than a hotel room, you can make your own food and avoid an unhealthy restaurant diet. Be sure to check for features such as a grill so you can make the foods you want.
Nearly a third of US adults have trouble staying or falling asleep. If you’re in this category, you already know how poor sleep can make you feel less than your best. Our bodies need quality rest to be able to function. When you regularly get less sleep than you need, you’re more likely to develop everything from anxiety issues to heart disease.
Fortunately, there are several simple measures you can take to improve sleep quality. For instance, start by trying to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day; getting yourself on a consistent schedule will train you to feel tired when it’s time for bed.
Also, remove any screens from your bedroom, including a TV. The blue light emitted from screens reduces melatonin production, keeping you awake and preventing vital deep sleep cycles. Finally, avoid bringing work into your bedroom during the day. Doing this trains your brain to associate that space with work, which makes it harder to unwind.
If you’ve been overlooking these wellness measures, resolve to value them going forward. Give your body the care and rest it needs, and you’re sure to look, feel, and be healthier.
Jennifer McGregor is a pre-med student, who enjoys writing about health and medical topics and providing reliable health and medical resources. Together with a friend, she co-created PublicHealthLibrary.org as a way to push reputable information on health topics to the forefront, making them easier and quicker to find.