When you think of self-care, a day off of work or a relaxing spa night may come to mind. While these are actually helpful for your overall health, there are also other, more disciplined ways to take care of yourself (like eating well and exercising).
The pandemic has brought on more stress, making it difficult to prioritize our own health. But the month of February is all about love — and that includes self-love.
We have a few ideas to help you be your own Valentine, and treat yourself to some self-care. Remember to start small and have compassion for yourself. Even small changes can establish a habit over time — one that increases your longevity and ability to share a healthy life with those you love.
Add a Few More Vegetables to Your Diet
We’ve heard the benefits of eating vegetables since we were children, yet we still can manage to avoid the broccoli on our plates. But more vegetables in our diet help reduce blood pressure, risk of heart disease, and digestive problems. They are also a great source of vitamin K and fiber, which keeps our digestive systems running smoothly.
A healthy, balanced diet can be difficult to maintain for long periods of time. Start small this month by taking that extra forkful of leafy greens. It is recommended to eat three cups of veggies a day, but starting one bite of broccoli at a time can help you keep your diet in healthy moderation.
Sit Less and Move More
According to the American Heart Association, the reduction in blood pressure associated with regular physical activity can decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by 4% to 5%, and stroke by around 7%.
This doesn’t mean you have to go run a marathon. (But if you can — more power to you!) Take small steps by scheduling a two-minute break every hour or so, just to walk around your house. We’ve previously written about several other ways to build an exercise routine that is realistic and works for you.
Get Better Sleep
Getting better sleep is easier said than done, but it is important to your overall health. During your sleep cycle, your body heals your heart and blood vessels. Sleep also affects your emotional health and hunger levels. To get more sleep at night, stay off of phone and computer screens a half an hour before bed.
We know it can be hard to break the habit of scrolling before bed. A small step you can take to aid your sleep is to at least use the blue light filter on your phone or computer. As Harvard Health explains, blue light exposure from your screens, especially at night, can interfere with your sleep, and therefore your health.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated helps your body regulate its temperature, keeps your organs working properly, and even helps prevent infections. Mayo Clinic has reported that men should drink 15.5 cups of fluids a day, and women should drink 11.5 cups. Build the habit of staying hydrated by keeping a bottle of water at your desk while you work.
LifeBrite is here to help you stay healthy and form healthy habits this month and beyond. Visit us online to schedule an appointment or call us at 229-723-4241 for assistance in kickstarting your new healthy habits.
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