Staying fit and being in good shape are things that everyone wants. After all, maintaining healthy habits and sustaining a holistic lifestyle are the keys to a long, fulfilling life.
There are tons of diets, trends, routines, and fads everywhere that claim to be the best ways to get in shape. But with so many different tips and tricks it can be hard to know what exactly works best.
Optimizing your own physical health can seem like a daunting task, but by starting off slow and setting goals, you’ll be at peak physique in no time at all!
The Importance of Physical Health
Feeling the benefits of physical activity doesn’t require you to run sprints or climb mountains. Activities like walking, hiking, or biking are great ways to exercise. And by doing so, you’ll reap tons of benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing.
Keeps Mood Balanced
Regular physical activity can help relieve stress, anger, and anxiety. This is because exercising releases the brain chemical serotonin which is responsible for mood stabilization and feelings of relaxation. When you exercise often, you’ll be less prone to stress.
On top of that, when you feel confident in your appearance, you’ll feel good all around. If you’re in good shape and happy with your physique, you’ll be less likely to develop a negative body image or feel stressed based on your look.
Leads to a Longer Life
The lifespan of Americans is longer now than it was many years ago, but this is only true if you live a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, staying physically well can help you live a long, happy life.
Much of the reasoning behind this is because of the ways that active living can improve your wellbeing. Being more active can help:
- Boost levels of good cholesterol.
- Improve circulation.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Keep weight at a healthy level.
- Strengthen bones.
Exercise can keep you mentally and physically in line, which can make you an overall more joyful and positive person.
Tips for Optimal Physical Health
While physical fitness is obviously important for maintaining a healthy physique, there are many other factors that play a role in your body’s well-being.
Let’s face it: life is stressful. And while there’s no way to prevent life’s challenges from being thrown in your way, you can have full control over how you perceive and respond to anxiety-inducing situations.
Stress can have a severely negative effect on both your mental and physical health. When you feel stressed, your body enters a fight or flight response, which is a natural defense mechanism to prepare for fleeing or confronting a given threat. When this happens, your heart rate increases, your breathing speeds up, and you can start to feel overwhelmed.
This is normal every now and then, but if you consistently feel stressed, you might suffer from some negative physiological responses. This includes high blood pressure, fatigue, and even poor digestion. None of these are ideal for optimal health.
But have no fear, because stress-relieving techniques are here! If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, upset, or just need a breather, try some of these:
- Yoga: This is an all around fantastic way to relieve stress, as it helps center your feelings and focus on your breathing. On top of that, it gets you moving, which can directly benefit your physical wellbeing.
- Deep Breathing: When you’re stressed, you might start taking short, quick breaths. This won’t lower your heart rate, meaning you might get stuck in an endless loop of stress. Try breathing in and out slowly, 10 seconds at a time. This can help bring your body’s natural rhythm back to equilibrium.
- CBD: CBD can support body systems that influence healthy responses to stressful stimuli, so regular use may lead to a more peaceful headspace. Try putting a few drops under your tongue when you start to feel stressed, and you might notice a difference right away!
Eat Fulfilling and Nutritious Foods
Exercise is only half the battle when it comes to holistic health. You also need to make sure that you’re eating foods loaded with vitamins, minerals, and all of that good stuff.
There’s a common misconception that healthy eating is gross, boring, and less flavorful than eating junk. Cooking is often a daunting task, so hitting up the drive thru just seems like the go-to option.
The thing is, cooking is one of the most fun and fulfilling activities you can ever accomplish, you just need to change your perception! Go to the grocery store and load up on yummy, colorful fruits and vegetables. Balance those with your favorite grains and proteins so that you’re maintaining a balanced diet. There are plenty of online recipes that can incorporate healthy foods in new, creative ways that will be just as tasty as a fast food burger.
Plus, you can make cooking a family activity. Get your loved ones or roommates involved while you all work to create a meal together. It will make the time fly by, making it feel less like a chore and more like a social gathering.
Speaking of, having optimal physical health doesn’t mean you have perfect physical health. You’re allowed to cheat every now and then, and frankly, you deserve to! Set personal goals for yourself and try to stick to them.
For example, you might decide to cook Sunday through Thursday, eating healthy meals with fresh ingredients from the store. But then on Friday and Saturday, let yourself order takeout or whip open a tub of ice cream to celebrate a job well done. A day of indulgence won’t ruin your hard work, and it can even give you a boost of energy to keep going strong.
Make Minor Changes to Daily Routines
Achieving better overall health doesn’t mean you need to completely change your entire life around. Making small changes here and there can go a long way.
The next time you head to work, why not take the stairs instead of using the elevator? Walking up a few flights is a great way to workout without setting foot in the gym. With that said, if you work on the 20th floor, maybe take the elevator up to 16 and walk from there.
You can also try making tiny substitutions in food and drink. Maybe go for the seasonal vegetables instead of french fries as your side dish. And for your drink, consider a vodka soda rather than a sugary moscow mule. These are tiny, miniscule alternatives that will remove some added calories without removing your smile!
Sleep is Key
We know that adults are supposed to get seven hours of sleep every night, but how many of us really do? Because of increased responsibilities during the day, it can be tough to hit the recommended hours for a proper night’s rest.
However, sleep is directly linked to a number of facets that can make or break our physical health. Poor sleep is linked to mood swings, reduced cognition, and delayed reactions. In addition, long term sleep deficiency can lead to obesity, higher blood pressure, poor heart health, and more.
In order to get better sleep at night, try powering off electronic devices at least a half hour before bed. This is because the blue light that your phone or tablet emits tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Instead, opt for reading a book, doing a crossword puzzle, or journaling so that you can rest easy.
Finding ways to unwind before bed is important, but it’s also necessary to try to adhere to a sleep schedule. Your body’s circadian rhythm regulates a number of internal processes, so when you stick to a routine, you’ll feel more stable throughout the entire day. Even sleeping too late one day has the potential throw off your body’s balance.
Exercising and staying active are important parts for maintaining optimal physical health. When you look good, you’ll also feel good, helping you live a confident lifestyle for years to come.
Optimal health doesn’t require a complete change to your normal routine. Something as simple as taking the stairs or swapping out a side dish can have a big impact. It’s also important to be wary of your nutritional intake and your sleep schedule.
But most importantly, be sure to manage your stress. Stress can be a negative influence on your wellbeing in multiple ways, so try certain relaxation techniques to ensure that it’s eradicated before it gets a hold of you.
Being healthy equates to being happy, which is definitely a reason to smile.
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