There is no shortage of health advice on the internet today. Lists of the most important habits and the newest strategies litter the web, some effective, some not. People want a quick-fix for their health. Unfortunately, a person’s body does not work like that; its health is based on the accumulation of many good choices throughout a lifetime. The good news is that it’s never too late to start making those good choices! While not any one thing will solve every ache in a flash and restore someone to a state of perfect youth, here are five things that a person can do right now to add a few health points.
1. Drink Water
Many people already know that the human body is about 70% water, so is it any wonder that drinking water is one of the most important things a person can do to help his or her body out? Drinking enough water can beat fatigue, digestion problems, headaches, muscle injuries, and even cravings. It’s also one of the easiest changes to make. Incorporating more water into a daily routine could be as simple as keeping a water bottle in the desk drawer, or carrying one throughout the day. While there is not a set amount of water recommended across the board, a properly hydrated person should have light yellow or colorless urine and rarely feel extreme thirst.
2. Fix Posture
Better posture means better circulation and movement–and less back pain in the future. When an individual’s body is aligned properly, he or she is ready to move. There will be fewer strains and injuries because his or her muscles and ligaments are loose and comfortable, not tightened and locked into unnatural positions. Good posture can also keep one’s core muscles strong (which are what holds a person’s body together). All these, plus you get the confidence that comes from sitting up straight and standing tall.
Everyone knows that exercise is an important part of good health. However, most view it in impractical terms. Sign up for a gym. Buy workout clothes. Hire a trainer. Get up an hour earlier. The sad truth is that most gym memberships start well and then eventually go unused. The Council on Weight Management found that most successful exercise regimens that last more than 2-3 months revolve around walking. It turns out walking is good for your posture, your core, your heart, and weight control. And it turns out that you can walk everywhere. You don’t have to look for good parking any more. Park in the spot furthest from the door and get your heart going. Walk to the store. Walk everywhere you can. When people get into the habit of walking, they find it easier to add other exercise to their walking.
Afternoon naps are not just for toddlers! A short catnap of about 20 minutes can kick-start a person’s energy level and get him or her through that after-lunch slump. Taking a nap can also boost an individual’s immune system, memory, alertness, mood, and even his or her creativity. A short 20-minute nap is ideal. It is just long enough for the body to re-energize without falling into deep sleep (during which a person will wake up groggier than before). Can’t fit it into the work schedule? A nap later in the day can still benefit the mind and body–and it won’t mess up a person’s nighttime sleep schedule as long as it is three hours or more before bedtime.
Normally, people hear “snack” and dismiss it as fatty potato chips or cookies. But if an individual includes healthy snacks into his or her eating routine, he or she can maintain a healthier weight and diet. Good snacks for the body include colorful fruits and veggies, nuts, and other similar foods. A snack is the perfect opportunity to eat a few extra nutritious foods that everyone knows they are supposed to eat, without throwing off dinner time. One to two snack breaks throughout the day will keep a person feeling fuller and maintain a steady energy level.
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Kevin Morris is a freelance writer interested in many different topics, including learning about the latest in weight management and health. Many of his articles have been used by CIA Medical and other businesses that provide healthcare services.