7 Simple Ways To Improve Your Health

As the old saying goes “When you have your health, you have everything” and it is so true. Health really is the greatest source of wealth. You could have all the money and material possessions in the world but without your health, you will never have the opportunity to enjoy it. Some people are obsessed with their health. They are constantly trying to get leaner, lighter, faster, stronger etc. I commend these people for their efforts but you do not have to go to such extremes in order to improve your health. To noticeably improve your health, you only have to spend as little as 30 minutes per day working on it. And, when you see some of the simple ways that you can improve your health, you will realize that improving your health can be one of the most enjoyable and beneficial commitments that you can make.

Improving your overall health is not that hard. Here are seven easy-to-implement ways to better health:

  • Laugh more, stress less
  • Do yoga
  • Work up a sweat
  • Know your healthy numbers
  • Avoid fad diets
  • Move more frequently (N.E.A.T.S.)
  • Take a nap

The seven strategies listed above are really not that difficult to implement but the benefits can be amazing. These strategies will not turn you into a bodybuilder or professional athlete overnight but they will noticeably improve your health in a relatively short period of time.

1. Laugh more

Laughing not only eases stress and lowers blood pressure, but it may also boost your immune system. Some of the funniest experiences that you will have in life will happen spontaneously. That does not mean that you should wait for something funny to happen. You must actively seek to bring more laughter into your life whether that is spending time with friends or watching a comedy on TV.

2. Do yoga

Yoga not only relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, slows heart rates, but it also increases flexibility and mobility. By working through a series of exercises called poses, you loosen up your muscles and make them more adaptable, lessening your risk of a sports injury and releasing the everyday stress that builds up within your body. Because of its low-intensity nature, yoga is incredibly relaxing, which in itself, gives your body and mind the chance to switch off and recuperate.

3. Work up a sweat

Taking part in some physical activity just once per week will help to improve your health. However, to experience the real benefits of a good physical workout, you should be making time for it at least 3 times per week. When you are exercising, it is important to work up a sweat e.g. going to the gym does not mean that you are working out.

If you are not the type of person who enjoys the gym, that is not a problem. There are many other physical activities which you could enjoy. In fact, if you can find a means of working up a sweat which you enjoy, you will be far more likely to fit it into your schedule. In no time, your muscles will start to become more efficient, you’ll start to lose weight, have more energy and enjoy other physical activities more.

4. Measure and record

If you want to improve your health, you need to measure your progress. How else would you know if you are getting better or worse? As part of your annual physical check-up (you are getting an annual check-up right?), your doctor will check certain readings like blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Ideally, your readings should be around 115 over 75 for blood pressure, under 100 for LDL cholesterol, under 70 for resting heart rate, as well as a fasting blood sugar level of under 100.

If your numbers aren’t close to these numbers, it usually causes for change rather than a cause for panic. Ask your doctor to help you set a good goal for each of these measurements and, ask them for advice on how you might make the improvements. Amongst the advice that you receive, you will most likely be encouraged to improve your diet and exercise regime. That’s good because you have already committed yourself to improving these; haven’t you?

5. Avoid fad diets

We have all heard of fad diets which promise to help us shed the pounds in quick time. Many of them will help you to shift the pounds quickly but there is usually one major flaw – they are unsustainable. Most of these diets are so extreme that you can’t stay on them for very long. As a result, once you come off the diet, the weight rapidly reappears. The end result is that you will have maintained or even gained weight and, you will have put your body under a lot of unnecessary stress due to the extreme nature of the diet.

Instead, learn to eat healthily and make any weight loss gradual. In the long term, you will achieve a more consistent weight while improving your health and increasing your happiness. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

6. Move more frequently

When I first heard the term Non-Exercise Activated Thermogenesis (N.E.A.T.), I was dumbfounded. It sounded a hell of a lot more complicated than it is. Simply put, exercise elevates your metabolism, causing you to burn calories at a faster rate. If you want to lower your weight, this is great. However, as soon as you stop exercising, your metabolism starts to slow down – not so great.

You can fight the slowing of your metabolism very easily. You simply have to move a little. Every time that you move for a couple of minutes, your metabolism will speed up a little. This does not mean that you have to exercise the whole time, your movement can take any form e.g.:

  • Walk around while on the phone
  • Walk to the copier/printer
  • Stand up for a few minutes while you work
  • If you work from home, like me, you can fit in a quick piece of housework
  • Walk to lunch rather than drive

It’s not rocket science. To ensure optimum performance, you should be taking regular breaks from your activities. By choosing to make these breaks more active, you can keep your metabolism working a little bit faster throughout the day; resulting in more calories burned.

7. Take a nap

As you approach the middle of your day, you will notice how your body and mind become a little more sluggish. They are trying to recover from the exertions of the day. As counterproductive as it may sound, you can speed this process up by voluntarily taking a short nap e.g. 25 minutes. When you do this, you maximize your recovery and return to work/play with more energy. You will perform better and be much healthier.

If you think you cannot afford to take time for a nap, you might note that Winston Churchill insisted on taking his nap, even as he led the U.K. through World War II. Stress management is one of the most important but often forgotten components of a healthy lifestyle.

If you want to improve your health, you do not need to spend hours in the gym and, you do not need to starve yourself. You need to treat improving your health as importantly as you would treat any work related project. You and your health are that important. When you improve your health, it will consequently improve every area of your life. There is no need to do anything dramatic; as this can lead to short term gains but long term losses. You just need to make the commitment to improve your health and follow through with simple but intelligent action. The 7 ways to improve your health, listed above, require minimal effort to implement but you can rest assured that they will noticeably improve your health and your quality of life.