How do you define health? Is it an overall sense of contentment with how you feel? Is it a certain weight that should be maintained? Is it keeping track of calories and having balanced nutrition? Is it focusing on keeping your energy levels high? Is it mostly about your mental state?
People have different definitions of well-being, which is what makes it such a complicated subject to discuss. There are generalizations that most people accept as truth, but perfect health is impossible to define consistently because everyone is different.
What most people would agree on is the fact that being in better health typically results in a higher quality of life. If your body and mind are in good condition, it is easier to live a full life. Toward that end, you may need to make some changes to your lifestyle to support your health. Here are five practices you can adopt to pursue well-being.
Nutrition is one of the core principles of health. If your cells are not receiving the supplies they need from the food you eat, their functionality will be affected negatively. A balanced diet is the primary way to ensure your body is getting enough nutrition, but you can take things a step further with dietary supplements. For example, to support bone health, you could take calcium supplements regularly.
These products inject a higher concentration of specific vitamins and minerals into your body, which the cells will then use as energy. Often, people will take supplements to make up for gaps in their diet, though this is not recommended as food is a superior source of nutrients. Start taking supplements alongside your meals to increase your supply of much-needed nutrients.
Life moves at a very fast pace for many individuals who live in the United States. Between work, family, education, cooking, shopping, and social lives, there is very little time to slow down. This can lead to poor mental health, which also impacts the physical body. Meditation is a practice that teaches you to slow down, focus on breathing and/or heart rate, and reduce the amount of stress you are experiencing.
If done correctly, it can be very relaxing, freeing your mind from busyness for a short period and restoring your energy and motivation. Even if you start with just five minutes a day, this time can be incredibly rewarding. Start small, and eventually, you can turn this practice into a consistent part of your schedule to promote better mental health.
Take a Vacation
Everyone needs a vacation once in a while. Work can be exhausting, especially if you are doing the same thing over and over again and starting to feel the weight of burnout. Those feelings will leech into other areas of your life, making it difficult to enjoy the things that you typically love. A vacation can help solve this problem. Maybe you have noticed some signs that you could use a break from work, such as frequent mistakes, persistent tiredness, or lost ambition.
No matter the reason, it is time to get away and experience something new. Traveling can open your mind up to new adventures, which is very engaging for the brain, supporting long-term health. Additionally, this break can restore your energy and motivation to enjoy work a little more when you return now that your mind is in a better place. You can also enrich your life through encounters with other cultures.
Choose a Sport to Play
Sports are perfect activities for those who want to seek out exercise and community. Whether you compete in a one-on-one scenario like Tennis or with a whole team of players like basketball, playing sports is good for your body and your mind. Though it may be harder to find a sport to play as an adult, that doesn’t mean there are no solutions to help.
Apps like TeamReach and SportsBuddy make it easier to find other players in your local area for the sports you enjoy. You could also head to a local YMCA where many leagues may occur, or simply walk through parks where courts/fields exist to see if anyone is playing. Often, players love adding more people who can participate, and it never hurts to ask. You’ll get to exercise your body and make new connections, both of which can support overall health.
Start a Produce Garden
You might not think that a produce garden would affect your health very much, but you would be wrong, and there are several reasons why. First, starting a garden requires some physical activity. You could be digging up the sod layer with a shovel, spreading layers of soil/mulch, and working to dig holes and place seeds or plants in them. Second, there are the mental health benefits of creating something and achieving a goal. Once those first fruits or veggies come in that you grew yourself, getting to pick them can be very satisfying. Third, the nutrition that fruits and vegetables provide is good for your body. Since you are growing these foods yourself, you may be more inclined to consume them or cook with them regularly, improving your diet.
Supporting health is a lot easier when you have practical steps to take. These five ideas can help you pursue greater well-being for both your physical and mental health, so don’t wait long to try them out.