It’s no secret that being healthy means leading a healthy lifestyle. Yet in a world with an endless supply of suggested strategies for living the healthiest life possible, it can seem as if there is no straightforward path to taking care of ourselves. Many people have a hard time deciding which route they want to take in pursuit of self-improvement, especially considering the commitment required. What if it’s the wrong path? All that sacrifice and dedication was for nothing!
The truth is that, despite what seems like contradicting advice regarding how to be healthier, there are several tenets of a healthy life which are more or less universally accepted. While your overarching approach to taking better care of yourself can take you in a number of different directions, the following will always be part of the journey:
Appearance & Personal Hygiene
More times than not, obsessing over our appearance does more harm than good. Rather than preoccupy ourselves with how to alter the way we look, people are better off embracing their natural features and opting for more natural ways to maintain them. If you were to learn more about skincare you’d realize it’s best to stick to simple regimens using natural ingredients. Heavy use of cosmetics or cleansers with harsh chemicals will do more harm than good to our skin.
This advice isn’t just for women. Even though they’re less likely to use heavy makeup or a multitude of products, men have a habit of gravitating towards harsh soaps and shaving creams. They’re better off opting for a mens skincare line designed specifically for the face in conjunction with an equally balanced body wash.
Diet & Exercise
Diet is where most people have the hardest time keeping up a healthy lifestyle. Part of the problem is how they always seem to be rewriting what is bad for us and what isn’t; first it was too much salt, then it was too much fat, and now everyone is telling us sugar is really to blame for the rising rates of heart disease and obesity. The truth is all three are bad for us if consumed too much. This is why a diet rich in fresh produce, particularly dark leafy greens, is important for maintaining health and nutrition regardless of which “special” diet you happen to follow. Combined with calorie counting, a diet consisting of mostly fruits and vegetables is the straightforward path to healthier eating.
When it comes to straightforward ways to stay physically fit, the baseline is to walk as much as possible and run as often as you can. From an evolutionary point-of-view, humans are engineered to walk and run. Increase your daily number of steps by getting a Fitbit or similar fitness tracker. From there, any additional exercise, whether it’s playing tennis, lifting weights, or adding sprints into the rotation, serves as a bonus.
Mental Health & Agility
The most in-shape body possible doesn’t do much good without a healthy mind to go along with it. In addition to addressing any existing mental health issues, people need to get good amounts of sleep as well as stick to a good diet. Finding ways to properly manage stress and anxiety are also essential for ensuring mental health.
Then there’s the matter of mental agility – the ability to problem solve and think on your feet as well as keep a good memory. Fortunately, the path to maintaining your mental agility is mostly dependent on things we’ve already mentioned: a healthy diet, a good sleep pattern, regular exercise, and appropriately managing your general mental health. Additional steps could include doing crossword puzzles and games which utilize your critical thinking skills.
It seems like there’s no simple way to take better care of ourselves, but this simply isn’t true. By tending to a basic series of critical health factors such as hygiene, diet, exercise, and mental state, we can say we’re doing the best we can for our bodies and minds.