How to improve your health: tips for better sleep and diet

Many people have very different opinions about health advice. Sometimes you hear people say to eat keto and lift weights, while other times people say you should do cardio and cut calories. With a litany of different suggestions, it can be difficult to find a routine that works for you.

Many people want to improve their health and aren’t sure which areas are most important – should sleep and diet be the main focus, or should it be exercise? The real answer is to focus on developing healthier lifestyles and improving the different areas of life that can have a positive impact on health.

Some of the most prominent, according to Stanford, are sleep, diet, exercise, stress management (and come spring, sunlight helps), and relationships. This way you can make small improvements in each area.

How to improve your sleep

Improving your sleep can seem like an impossible task. After returning home from school or work, time can just fly by. There are a couple of things that will help you sleep better. First, ditch the blue light before bed. As tempting as it is to scroll through social media or text with your friends right before bed, looking at blue light can negatively affect your sleep. According to the Cleveland Clinic, scrolling through your phone can also keep your brain active, making it harder to fall asleep.

Try turning off your electronics a couple of hours before bed and doing other activities like reading a book or meditating before bed, which can help you relax. Remember to set the alarm before you put the phone down.

Another thing that can improve your sleep is avoiding caffeine before bed, according to the CDC. Try to stop drinking caffeine at noon each day, so by the time you go to bed, its effects have worn off. Improving your sleep means making small changes that will benefit you in the long run. Good sleep is important for hormonal regulation and overall health, and it can help you make good decisions in the long run.

How to improve your diet

Improving your diet can seem like a daunting task. One easy way to make changes is to think about making simple switches. If you eat potato chips with lunch, consider swapping them for carrots and celery. If you’re making pasta, consider substituting white flour pasta for chickpea or red lentil pasta. If you love fried chicken, try making a fried version.

A few of these switches can be helpful in adding positive changes to your health. Also think about what you can add to the meals you like. Say you really like mashed potatoes – consider half potato and then half cauliflower. Or think of a pasta you like, like fried ziti. Think about how you can add broccoli and spinach to it. If your diet could use improvement, it’s possible that if you immediately switch to salads all the time, you won’t make any lasting changes.

You can make other small changes. Healthline recommends that you pay attention to your protein intake and stay hydrated throughout the day. Another tip is to stay away from diet foods. Think about eating whole foods when trying to improve your diet.

How to start training

If you’ve stopped exercising, it’s not too late to start again. Real Simple suggests that when you’re trying to get back into the swing of exercise, start small. Instead of immediately trying to get back to where you were when you exercised the most, get back into the habit of moving every day.

The best exercise is the one you do consistently and enjoy. Try fitness classes or go to the gym or Exercise at home or outside. It can be helpful to start training if you find a routine that suits you.

Another way to start practicing is to create accountability for yourself. Talk to your friend about getting back into your routine and develop an accountability plan. Even if you start small, a little exercise every week can help you feel better.

Why sunlight is important in stress management

Managing stress can be tricky. According to the Stanford Lifestyle Medicine program, stress management can be done by identifying the cause of stress and responding accordingly. Sunlight can also be an important part of stress management.

According to The Wellesley News, sunlight can make us feel less stressed. There’s just something about the sun that makes us feel better. According to a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspective, sunlight increases the amount of vitamin D you absorb – many people are deficient, so getting enough light every day can help your health.

When you work 9-5, it can be hard to find time to get outside. Consider taking your lunch break outside. This is also a good time for a short, brisk walk, which can help you get some exercise in. Your mood can also be positively affected if you spend more time in the sun.

How to focus on relationships

Focusing on relationships can improve your overall health. If you’re happy with your relationships, you may also be more inclined to spend more time improving your health in other ways as well.

Improving relationships is more of an art than a science. Spending time with the people you love can help you improve your relationships. When you’re with someone you love, take the time to listen to them—really listen to them—and think about what they’re saying. Make sure you tell the people in your life that you appreciate them. Building strong relationships can improve your overall mood and health.

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