In order to be healthy and stay healthy, we must learn how to recognize and respond to the signs our body gives us in order to make, often times, small changes that result in overall physical health.
Of course we all hear how the importance of proper nutrition and exercise is crucial, however reducing stress and the effects of sleep on our physical health are just as important. Making healthy small changes that have been proven to improve our overall physical health and learning how to recognize when our body is telling us something isn’t right are key elements in improving our overall wellbeing.
The Importance of Nutrition and Exercise
While it is a broken record, we should remember why it plays on repeat: our bodies need proper nutrition and regular exercise to remain healthy and function properly. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Eating a variety of foods can help ensure that our bodies get the nutrition they need to stay strong and healthy.
Exercise is also an important part of maintaining a healthy body. Regular exercise helps to strengthen our muscles, improve our cardiovascular health, reduce our risk of disease and improve our mental well-being. Staying active can help us feel better and give us more energy throughout the day. Even small changes such as walking for a few minutes each day or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can make a big difference in our physical health.
The Effects of Stress and Sleep
Stress can have a major impact on our physical health. It is important to find ways to manage our stress in order to stay healthy. Exercise, meditation, yoga, listening to music, spending time with friends and family, and taking time for yourself are all great ways to help reduce stress.
Sleep is also an essential part of staying healthy. Getting enough sleep helps to keep our bodies energized and functioning properly. It also helps to reduce stress and improve our mental and physical well-being. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night in order to stay healthy and alert during the day.
The Healthy Small Changes
There are many small changes we can make to improve our physical health. Eating a healthier diet, exercising more regularly, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress are all healthy habits that can have a positive impact on our physical health.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating just one extra serving of fruits and vegetables per day can reduce our risk of stroke by up to 6%.
Regular exercise can also have a major impact on our physical health. Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of moderate exercise per day can reduce our risk of heart disease by up to 30%.
In addition, research from the National Sleep Foundation has found that getting enough sleep can boost our immune system, reduce our risk of obesity, and help us stay alert and focused throughout the day.
Finally, reducing stress can have a major impact on our physical health. Studies have found that stress can increase our risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression. Taking time for yourself each day, even if it is the drive to work, or sitting in the parking lot for a few minutes alone, and finding ways to reduce stress can help to improve our physical and mental well-being.
The Bottom Line
The ability to recognize when our body is telling us something isn’t right and to make small changes that have a big impact on our physical health is the starting line of defense in living a balanced, happier life. Eating a healthier diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress are all great ways to take small changes that result in a power-packed impact on your health.