9 Easy and Accessible Health and Wellness Practices
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Living a healthy lifestyle involves more than eating right and exercising every day. By turning easy health and wellness practices into habits, people can take steps toward maintaining health in both the body and mind.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves paying attention to thoughts and staying focused on the present moment. Approaches vary, but practitioners usually sit still and pay attention to their breathing to help them get started. There are a number of meditation apps and resources that can help guide people through the process.
Meditation has been linked to an assortment of health benefits. People who practice meditation regularly may have lower anxiety, get better sleep and feel less drained.
Meditation has even been linked to physical health benefits. For example, it may be able to improve circulatory function and lower blood pressure. People might also be able to use meditation as a form of pain relief or reduction.
Baths are a relaxing way to unwind, and soaking in the tub provides an opportunity to take a break and clear the mind. For that reason alone, taking a bath can be a healthy choice. However, baths are even better when Epsom salt is added.
Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate. In other words, it's a type of salt that includes magnesium. Researchers believe that magnesium plays an important role in the fight against a number of health conditions, such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, migraines, cardiac problems, and respiratory concerns.
Magnesium can be absorbed through the skin. Therefore, adding a scoop of Epsom salt to bathwater may be an easy way to improve health just by taking a bath.
Keeping thoughts bottled up doesn't benefit anyone. Instead, it can cause stress and anxiety to fester. Of course, unloading negative thoughts onto others is not usually productive either. Journaling provides a healthy way to get those thoughts out without hurting others in the process.
Journaling has a number of benefits for mental health. It can:
- Help resolve conflicts
- Promote clear, rational thinking
- Relieve feelings of tension, stress, anger or disappointment
- Encourage self-awareness
That's not all, however! According to research, taking time daily to record thoughts and feelings can actually help improve how well the immune system functions. Journaling may even help improve symptoms related to conditions like eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
It's no secret that water is good for the body. In fact, experts recommend that women need over 11 cups of liquids every day. Men require more than 15 cups daily.
Eating foods that are high in water can also contribute to a person's overall hydration intake. Fruits and vegetables that are made up largely of water are great to snack on or to eat with meals. These include watermelon, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini.
Plants are packed with powerful compounds that can be beneficial to people's health and well-being. One of the best ways to harness their power is through essential oils. These are concentrated plant extracts that can be used topically or diffused in the air for various purposes.
Researchers are still exploring the many ways in which people can benefit from the use of essential oils. Even still, many benefits are already known. The following list outlines easy tips for using some of the most popular oils:
- Splash a few drops of geranium oil in bath water for a relaxing soak.
- Dab lavender oil onto insect bites to take away the itch.
- Take a deep breath of lemon oil's scent to stimulate the mind and improve focus.
- Diffuse eucalyptus oil to relieve common cold symptoms.
- Massage shoulders with diluted chamomile oil before bed.
Not everyone has time for an hour-long workout every day. Fortunately, it's possible to squeeze exercise into small increments throughout the day. Establishing a variety of daily fitness habits is a good way to ensure that each day includes plenty of physical activity.
Start the morning with some dynamic movement and stretching to help get the body and the mind warmed up and ready to greet the day.
After meals, head outside for a quick walk. This not only stretches the legs and gets the blood moving, but it can also provide a much-needed wake-up after eating a meal. If outdoor walking isn't an option, spend a few minutes strolling the office hallways or walking on a treadmill.
Before bed, consider doing a few minutes of relaxing yoga. Doing this daily can help build flexibility, and it can also help the body and the brain wind down in preparation for restful sleep.
It can be hard to fit healthy eating into a busy lifestyle, especially for people who work long hours. Grabbing a quick restaurant meal often seems like the easiest mealtime solution. Unfortunately, restaurant dishes may be low in nutritional value and high in fat, sodium and calories.
Instead of relying on the convenience of eating out, take time to prepare well-balanced meals on less busy days. With just a few hours of cooking, many people are able to make enough food to last throughout the week. When mealtime rolls around, the already-cooked dishes are convenient to grab and heat.
For a well-balanced meal, put a lean protein, a whole-foods complex carbohydrate and at least one serving of vegetables in each meal. For the sake of variety, consider making items that mix and match well. Most prepared items will keep for a few days in the refrigerator and can be put in the freezer for longer storage. Incorporate a daily multivitamin supplement into your routine as well to help ensure you are getting all of the micronutrients the body needs to stay healthy.
Maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge, but protein powder may be able to help. Whether it comes from plant or animal sources, adding a scoop of protein powder to a drink can help people meet their dietary goals.
Consuming protein powder may increase feelings of satiety. This means that people might be less likely to overeat in an attempt to feel full or to satisfy mid-day hunger pains. Plus, protein powder delivers a healthy dose of nutritious protein instead of filling people up with the empty calories associated with many snacks. These powders may also aid in building important muscle mass for a lean, fit look and improved exercise performance.
Protein shakes are the most popular way to consume protein powder. Shakes may be made with just milk and protein powder, or they might include additional ingredients, such as blended fruit or vegetables.
The body relies on the lymphatic system to clear out waste and toxins. A strong lymphatic system can help the body stay strong and healthy. Dry brushing is a practice that may help the lymphatic system operate at peak performance.
To do it, run a brush with natural bristles over the body. Slide the brush over the arms and legs. Begin at the hands and feet and work inward toward the trunk. Run the brush in circles over the back and the stomach. Do this once a day before bathing.
Not only can dry brushing help stimulate the lymphatic system, but it can also keep skin in good condition. Brushing exfoliates the skin so that dead skin cells flake off, leaving behind a healthy shine.
These easy and accessible health and wellness practices can be the foundation for a fit body and a calm mind. To improve both physical and mental health, start by incorporating one or two of these habits into everyday life. After accomplishing those goals, keep going by adding one or two new fitness and wellness habits at a time. Those who stick with this approach to healthy living may find that they become stronger in body and mind than they've ever been before.