When people greet each other, they start by asking “How are you?” and most of the time the response is “well.” But is this true, or just an impulsive, automated answer? Being well is not solely defined as the absence of illness, but also as the presence of joy, purpose, and satisfaction. If you desire to be happy and healthy, then you must make your well-being a priority. Wellness is a process that works harmonically with the other aspects of your life. These wellness tips will help you improve your mental and physical health, bringing you on the path to a happier life:
Get Enough Quality Sleep
Getting enough quality sleep is one of the most obvious wellness tips or habits to avoid several health issues. Insufficient sleep or sleeping poorly can cause memory issues, reduce mental performance, disrupt your appetite, and cause weight gain. According to a study conducted by Drs. Erin Hanlon and Eve Van Cauter at the University of Chicago, sleep deprivation can impair our ability to resist certain foods.
This response to sleep deprivation is similar to the activation of the endocannabinoid system in our brain. In order to promote good sleep, try going to bed and waking up at the same hours. Also, avoid strenuous exercise, heavy meals or bright artificial light one hour before bedtime. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol can interfere with sleep so you will wake up feeling tired. Instead, try a relaxation technique or take a hot bath with soothing bath salts and you will start feeling sleepy in no time!
Wake Up on the Right Side
Believe it or not, the side you sleep on matters! In yoga and Ayurveda, it’s encouraged to fall asleep on the left side and wake up on the right side. According to this Healthline article, when you lay on your left side, the stomach is positioned at the bottom and the left nostril is closed and the right nostril opened. Therefore, sleeping on your left side improves the liver functioning, while waking up on the right side increases bowel movement. Try to maintain the position for 10 to 15 minutes while falling asleep and upon waking up.
Jump for Your Health
Doing cardio is one of the best things you can do to promote mental and physical health. Similarly, moving your body will reduce harmful belly fat that builds up on your organs and improve your metabolism. One easy and fun cardio exercise you can do basically everywhere is jump rope training. According to Louisiana State University professor Tim Church, this activity has many benefits, such as promoting cardiovascular health and improving whole-body coordination. Also skipping rope provides unique value, as it fits with any training goals, including fat loss and strength. It improves mental abilities such as spatial awareness, memory, and alertness and it is also fun to share with a partner!
No matter how disciplined a person is, sometimes distractions can cause one to lose their path. Yoga is a great way to strengthen the body and the mind and help you focus on your inward journey. From the Harvard Mental Health Letter, we learn that this practice is known to ease stress, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation. Yoga can also reduce inflammation and chronic pain, increases flexibility, muscle tone, and helps maintain a balanced metabolism. You need very little to get started, just a yoga mat, yoga pants, and a form-fitting top. If you have a hard time focusing and your thoughts wander, try pairing yoga with meditation.
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Take Care of Your Gut Health
The gut microbiota represents all the bacteria found in your gut. Research conducted by Lamont J. Wilkins, Manoj Monga, and Aaron W. Miller indicates that any disruption of the balance of this bacterium can cause chronic disease. Make sure you take care of your gut health by eating plenty of fiber and probiotic foods such as sauerkraut and yogurt. If you do not like these foods, consider taking probiotic supplements as fuel for your gut microbiota.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking lots of water is super-healthy for our bodies, as we are 60% water. Water is vital to our well-being because it acts as a building material for every cell and is one of the most important wellness tips. The Journal of Clinical and Endocrinology & Metabolism outlines that drinking plenty of water can increase your metabolism rate and help you burn more calories. In Japan, people drink two glasses of water first thing in the morning to rehydrate their bodies and flush out toxins. Maybe we can learn a trick or two from them, as they are the country with the greatest longevity in the world!
Avoid Processed Food
Processed food such as frozen pizza, soda, chips, chicken nuggets, and salami are full of fats, sugar, and salt. A recent study published on Cell suggests that eating ultra-processed foods regularly can lead to weight gain and obesity. Eating should be simple and focused on whole foods that are in their original state. When it comes to eating healthy, less is more. Incorporate recipes such as soups, salads, and whole foods bowl to promote well-being and longevity. To make sure you are getting enough protein, micronutrients and fiber use a nutrition tracker or write everything down.
Most people believe that to lose weight they need to go on an extreme diet. However, according to health and fitness writer Ella James, diets are known as being ineffective and unhealthy in the long run. If your regular eating habits are unhealthy, soon after the diet you will return to them and gain back all that weight you lost and even more! Instead of dieting, focusing on nourishing your body and adopting a healthier lifestyle.
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