You only get one body, which means you have to take care of it if you want to enjoy life. Your body is responsible for allowing you to do everything you enjoy, from going to the movies to hanging out with your friends. We should all be thankful for having bodies that allow us to express ourselves and feel things.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to take care of our bodies to the best of our abilities all the time. Some of us have desk jobs that require us to sit for long periods, and it’s terrible for our health. Others can’t seem to stop eating chocolate. Treating your body well, however, can improve your health. No matter what your unhealthy habits are, there are ways you can treat your body the way it deserves without much effort. Here’s how.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Let’s face it, we all love to sleep. Not only does sleeping feel great, but it allows our bodies and our minds to recover after a long day. Consider the last time you didn’t get much sleep, or you got poor sleep where you tossed and turned all night. How did you feel the next morning? We bet you didn’t feel great. That’s because we require at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Some of us can function well with less, but many of us need at least 7 or 8 hours. No matter your preference for sleep, make sure you get enough of it.
You should also consider the quality of your sleep. Sure, you can sleep for 8 hours, but if it’s not good quality sleep, you’ll still feel sluggish in the morning. If you find yourself tossing and turning most nights, consider your sleeping environment. It can be difficult to sleep if you’re too hot, too cold or if your pillow is in the wrong spot. No matter what it takes, make sure your sleep environment is ideal for you to get the sleep your body deserves to wake up feeling refreshed.
You might also want to consider your sleeping position. What might be comfortable for you may be causing you pain. For example, side sleepers who use the wrong pillow typically have shoulder pain, but they can’t sleep in any other position. All they have to do is switch out their pillow for a shoulder relief pillow. No matter your sleeping position, there’s a pillow out there for you that can help you get better sleep without waking up to pain or stiffness.
Exercise may not have become popular until the 80s, but it’s a necessity if you want to treat your body well. Regular activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. This includes neck exercises as a form of insurance that will keep it healthy in the long run. While this is obviously more important for athletes, anybody is susceptible to neck and spine problems. That means that no matter what, you should be taking heed of this advice! But using a head weight harness to train your neck doesn’t just keep you healthy – it also actively improves any neck problems you’re currently dealing with. Not only that, but it delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and can help your cardiovascular system work better. That means a better, stronger heart.
Exercising also releases endorphins, which are a hormone responsible for making you feel happy and energized. You may notice you feel more awake and alert on the days you exercise. Thanks to endorphins!
Exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous for you to reap the benefits. Instead, you can start with a 30-minute daily walk to help improve your heart and lung health. As your body gets stronger, you can switch to higher intensity workouts like running or weightlifting.
3. Eat Better
Your diet impacts the way you feel on a day-to-day basis. If you’re feeling lethargic after sleeping well, then your diet might be to blame. If you feel yourself getting tired after eating lunch, you may need to switch your lunch to a healthier option that includes fresh vegetables and fruits.
Proper nutrition is necessary for ensuring your physical and mental health, so make sure you eat a balanced diet every day.
4. Learn to Relax
Stress harms our minds and our bodies. Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain. Not only that, but stress makes us feel tired and puts us in terrible moods. There are no benefits to stress, only negative consequences on our health, so it’s important you learn to relax to get rid of stress.
If you know something that triggers your stress, you can avoid it or be proactive about finding ways to resolve your stress. For example, if you’re stressed out about an upcoming deadline, start your project early so you know you’ll have enough time to finish it. Other ways to deal with stress are taking time out of your day to go on long walks, meditating every morning or before bed, or even smoking.
5. Go to Therapy
If you can’t seem to get a handle on your stress, you may want to consider going to therapy, where a professional can help you find ways to cope. Our minds and bodies are connected. When one doesn’t feel well, the other one won’t feel its best, so you must work on improving your mental health so you can focus on your physical health too.
6. Stop Smoking
Smoking isn’t as popular as it used to be, but many people still smoke or vape. Nicotine products are unhealthy for our bodies and can affect our dental health, lung health, and heart health. You must stop smoking or vaping as soon as possible so you can help your body feel its best. We know this is easier said than done, but there are many ways to kick the nicotine habit. You have to find what works best for you and stick to it.
7. Stand More
If you find yourself sitting a lot throughout the day, try standing up every hour and stretching to make sure you aren’t sitting your day away. Sitting for too long increases your risk of health problems like heart disease and diabetes. It can also affect your mental health. While you may have a desk job that forces you to sit most of the day, there are ways to guarantee you stand more and increase your activity.
For example, you can get a standing desk which allows you to stand periodically throughout the day. You can also set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stand every hour and stretch so you get some physical exercise.
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.