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Tips for healthy living are great. But tips that can improve your health and save you money?
Nothing can burden a budget more than an unforeseen medical expense. Healthcare is extremely expensive, even if you’re insured. According to HealthCare.gov, a 3-day hospital day averages around $30,000.
Depending on your insurance, you’re likely to see a bill between $4,000 and $13,000.
Notice how I said depending on your insurance. That assumes you even have insurance. Otherwise, you are looking at the entire cost of care.
Even a simple visit to the doctor will cost you your co-pay plus the cost of any medications you’re prescribed.
Most people don’t have that kind of cash just lying around. In fact, a GOBankingRates survey reports that 73% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved.
What does this all add up to? In short, staying healthy saves you money.
10 Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Adults
These 10 tips for good health you physically, mentally, and maybe even save your sanity. Because let’s face it — no one enjoys being sick. Commit to taking care of yourself by following these simple healthy living tips.
1. Get a New Water Bottle
Water is crucial to many of life’s most basic functions and helps promote normal organ function.
It also keeps your skin and other protective barriers operating effectively, which in turn prevent germs from entering your body.
If you don’t want to get sick, drink water.
Of all the healthy living tips to follow, committing to drinking more water is the easiest to maintain. If you’re struggling to hydrate with just plain water, you can try herbal teas. There are many types of tea available, but try to pick one with a lower caffeine content. Caffeine can act as a diuretic and dehydrate you further.
You can also try toting around a new water bottle or something that will constantly remind you to stay hydrated even when you don’t notice your body’s subtle reminders.
2. Commit to Watching Your Weight
Poor exercise habits can often lead to packing on a few extra pounds faster than you realize. Even a small weight gain during the holidays begins to add up over time.
By sticking to a healthy diet and exercise routine year round, you’ll help prevent the cyclical nature of dieting and then putting weight back on.
If you’re struggling to find a gym buddy, you can try something like HealthyWage to help jump-start that gym habit. They’ll pay you money for each pound you lose and you stand to win as much as $10,000 through their individual or team weight loss competitions. If you plan on losing weight you may as well get paid to do it.
3. Make an Effort to Eat Better
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of weight management is simply learning to eat better.
With everything you have going on — long days at work, raising kids, getting your finances in order — it can be tempting to settle for whatever food is convenient. But those convenient foods are most often high in fat, salt, and processed sugars.
Instead, look for simple ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Keep your favorite fresh fruits on hand at all times for a healthy snack on the go.
Also, pay attention to what your body naturally craves.
For example, during the winter, we tend to crave warm foods that make us feel cozy and comforted. This would be a good time to incorporate stews and winter vegetables into your diet, such as sweet potatoes, leafy greens, beetroot, garlic, and ginger root. The natural composition of these foods ensures that your body has everything it needs to ward off illness during the colder months.
The same is true for warmer months. Rather than reaching for ice cream or a milkshake to cool off, mix up a fruit smoothie. Throw in your favorite protein powder for even more nutrients.
4. Crush Germs
Although we can do a lot to support our health and immunity, it’s not always possible to avoid catching getting sick, especially during the winter months. The viruses that cause colds are spread by sneezing, coughing, and contact with objects that are contaminated with these bugs.
Wash or sanitize your hands regularly and do your best to avoid close contact with someone who has a cold. Keep household surfaces and kids’ toys clean when someone in the family is sick.
If you are ill, be sure to consume plenty of fluids including water, hot tea, and soup. Avoid alcohol and caffeine and get plenty of sleep.
Supplements such as Vitamin C, Zinc, and Echinacea may help relieve the symptoms and reduce the duration of a cold.
5. Keep Moving
Many people have a love-hate relationship with the gym. They’ll exercise sporadically or even make a routine of it, only to fall off the wagon and back into their old sedentary ways.
One of the best ways to stay healthy and ward off sickness is to make exercise a habit. Exercise releases endorphins which interact with receptors in your brain to create a positive or euphoric feeling. It also improves your overall fitness and helps boost your immune system.
The key to making exercise a regular part of your routine is to find activities that you enjoy. If you don’t like running, then don’t run. If you enjoy seeing nature and being outdoors, then hiking may be a good alternative for you.
In the summer months, you may prefer to exercise outdoors, while in the winter you opt for a seasonal membership to a local gym or yoga studio. Be patient with yourself when figuring out what works for you, and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.
6. Eliminate Sources of Stress
Promoting a healthy mood is one of the most underestimated healthy living tips out there. While stress is a part of everyday life, and some stress helps us to overcome challenging situations, excessive amounts of it are linked to negative health effects.
Stress can lower the resistance to sicknesses by depressing the immune system. It also increases your body’s need for dietary magnesium, which is important for muscle and nerve function.
Many naturally-occurring vitamins are beneficial in helping the body deal with stress. The B vitamins (i.e. B1, B5, B6, and B12) specifically have been shown to aid in maintaining a healthy nervous system. The herb St. John’s Wort may help to relieve nervousness, irritability, and support emotional balance.
Of course, it’s best to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any supplement. However, finding the right natural supplements for your body can help to reduce your stress levels and improve your overall health.
7. Promote Circulation
If you experience poor circulation, you’ll probably notice it first in your extremities. That could include numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, arms, or legs. However, you may also notice symptoms in your lips, nose, or ears.
Blood circulation is how oxygen and nutrients are carried throughout your body to your organs. When circulation is poor, it can impact their ability to function and lead to a host of health issues.
One of the best ways to improve circulation is to stay active. In addition to exercising regularly, make sure you’re moving throughout the day. If your job involves sitting behind a desk for long periods of time, take breaks throughout the day to walk around and get some blood flowing.
Supplements are another possible solution. Vitamin E and the herb Ginkgo help to support peripheral blood circulation to alleviate that cold hand and foot feeling.
8. Practice Good Sleep Habits
In a world where “grind” and “hustle” are seen as essential qualities for success, it’s easy to neglect one of our most basic and essential human needs: sleep.
According to the HelpGuide.org, adults between the ages of 18 and 64 need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Approximately 3% of the population can function properly with less than that. But for the remaining 97% of us, anything less than 7 hours will begin to take a toll.
The amount and quality of our sleep directly impact our mental and physical health, as well as our ability to function throughout the day. Better sleep improves our productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, creativity, immune system, and much more.
Fortunately, sleep is one of the easiest healthy living tips to implement into your life immediately.
For starters, avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine near bedtime as these substances can affect the quality of your sleep.
Regular moderate exercise, relaxation techniques, and establishing a regular sleep routine all help to promote improved sleep.
Consider blackout curtains and ditching the TV in your room as other ways to get more rest before you wake in the morning.
9. Avoid Processed Foods
Heavily-processed foods — such as deli meat, frozen dinners, and “fast” food — are typically high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat (i.e. the bad kind).
Much of the nutritional value is lost in the making of these foods. On top of that, the added preservatives can have negative impacts on our health, ranging from mild to life-threatening. Some effects include high blood pressure and cholesterol, which could ultimately lead to heart disease. That said, it’s best to eat a preservative-free diet as much as possible.
If you’re not willing to give up processed foods entirely, consider taking it in moderation. The occasional cookie or muffin probably won’t lead to your demise. However, the more fresh, preservative-free foods you can include in your diet, the healthier you’ll be.
10. Pick up a New Hobby
Staying active and engaged helps promote your sense of self-worth and gives your life purpose. Your mental health and general mood have a direct correlation to your physical health. One of the most proactive ways to better your health is to find a hobby or activity that feels meaningful to you.
Here are a few options to consider:
- Start a small scale business
- Sign up for a fitness class
- Volunteer for your favorite cause
- Start your own blog
There are countless options to choose from. The important thing is to find something you enjoy doing and go out and do it.
Commit to One Healthy Lifestyle Tip at a Time
When you’re trying to improve your health, all the information out there can be overwhelming. It feels like there’s so much to do, and you may be tempted to overhaul every area of your life at once. While that may seem like the best way to reach your goals the fastest, it’s usually not the right answer.
If you jump in all at once, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed and give up before seeing any real progress. Take it slow. Commit to improving one area of your health at a time.
Once you’ve implemented one of these tips and it’s become a normal part of your routine, move on to the next. Keep in mind that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a long game. Real change comes with practice and repetition.
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