Taking care of yourself– especially now in the midst of the pandemic– has never been more important. Here is our guide to maintaining a healthy body and mind.
By making your mental and physical health a priority, things like work, chores at home, and all of life’s other challenges become a little bit easier to handle. Orthopedic doctors and other medical experts will tell you that maintaining a healthy body and mind is preventative therapy that can keep you from becoming depressed, stressed, or physically injured.
But where do you start? Fortunately, integrating good habits that are beneficial for your mental and physical health aren’t that difficult. Here are five ways to put you on the path to a better, happier you.
Simple Things You Can Do to Stay Fit Mentally and Physically
We’re putting sleep at the top of our list because it’s one of the best ways to maintain your personal health. It’s also probably one of the most underrated methods, too. Think about how you operate on five hours of sleep compared to the full eight hours you’re supposed to get. A full night’s rest works wonders for your body’s immune system, mental clarity, and energy levels throughout the day. Getting a good night of sleep means that you can attack the day at 100%, so make sure you’re getting all the rest you need.
As the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” If you eat a lot of junk, chances are, you’re going to feel like junk, too. That’s why eating a healthy, balanced diet is so important when it comes to mental and physical health. All the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals you get from your diet are ultimately going to determine how you feel throughout the day, both mentally and physically.
Every person’s diet is different, of course, but the average person needs the proper amount of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, liquids, and fats. Making an appointment with a nutritionist is going to be the quickest way to find out which diet is for you, but a good place to start is keeping a log of what you eat throughout the day and carving out anything that isn’t beneficial. For most people, the biggest first step to healthy eating is getting rid of anything that’s high in sugar like candy, soda, or processed foods. Get in the habit of reading the nutritional facts of what you’re about to eat before you eat it. That simple act can help steer your diet in the right direction.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking the right amount of water can be easy to forget, especially if you’re an office worker who runs on coffee all day. However, drinking water is one of the top ways that a person can prevent a lot of problems from happening in their body and helps out with some core essential functions. Benefits of drinking plenty of water include: protecting your organs and tissues, making sure your joints are properly cushioned, keeping your heartbeat steady and stable, maintaining healthy blood pressure, helping out with food digestion, flushing harmful bacteria from the bladder, carrying essential nutrients and oxygen to your cells, and it promotes physical performance.
Experts say to follow the 8 x 8 rule, which is eight glasses of water per day containing eight ounces per glass. This is an especially important rule to follow if you exercise regularly or drink a lot of coffee. Both of these activities can cause dehydration.
There is such a thing as “burn out,” and it can creep up on you if you’re not careful about how hard you push yourself throughout the day. The mind and body are only designed to take so much, which is why the standard work day is eight hours. When you push too hard for too long, it can have disastrous effects on your mental and physical wellbeing.
Giving yourself regular reprieves from work is how you can ensure you can continue working in the long-term. About every 60 – 90 minutes, step away from your desk and your screen and let yourself recharge a bit. Go for a walk, step outside, or have a snack. Do something that isn’t work for about 10 minutes or so. When you come back to your desk you should feel more refreshed with renewed focus. A few periodic breaks throughout the day help with overall focus, energy, and keeps the body from becoming stiff.
If you don’t exercise, the joints and muscles in your body are going to start to degrade and get weaker. That means you’re going to experience things like joint pain, body aches, tight muscles, and so on. If you’re not feeling good physically, you’re probably not going to be at your best mentally, either. That’s why it’s so important to get at least a moderate amount of exercise on a semi-regular basis. Light exercise such as brisk walking, cycling, or yoga will keep your joints active and the muscle fibers in your body healthy and strong. By simply taking an hour a day to focus on physical activity, you’re going to see a vast improvement in overall mood, brain/memory function, and physically feeling more capable.
Other benefits of exercise include getting better sleep at night, controlling weight, reducing the risk of heart problems and blood pressure issues, and increasing the amount of energy you feel throughout the day.
If you find that you are having trouble getting exercise due to a musculoskeletal injury or are feeling pain in your joints, it may be in your best interests to see an orthopedic doctor so they can get to the root cause of the issue. The best way to find one is by performing a Google search for “orthopedic doctor near me.” Once you have found one that’s in your area, you can set up an appointment for an examination. Whatever you do, do not try to physically push through the pain as that could make the situation worse. Let your local orthopedic doctor check you out first so they can find out what the problem is, and they will be able to guide you to maintaining a healthy body and mind.