How to Get Back to a Healthy Lifestyle
At the beginning of the year, you likely set some health goals. However, whether it’s due to a busy schedule, a stressful event, or other factors, life may have gotten in the way, causing you to veer off course. Here’s how to get back to a healthy lifestyle.
1. Set Clear Goals
Setting health goals is one of the best tips for how to get back to a healthy lifestyle. Having clear objectives helps you stay motivated, as you’ll always know what you’re working toward. Goals also give you a way to track your progress concerning your goals.
When setting goals, be realistic about what you can achieve. Implementing tips on how to get back to a healthy lifestyle won’t happen overnight. In some cases, not even in a few months or a year.
Failing to reach those goals can be discouraging or even cause you to give up entirely. Start small instead, focusing on one goal at a time. If your main goal is to lose weight, set manageable goals such as eating more vegetables when you want seconds or exercising at least three times a week.
To ensure you accomplish your goals, keep a journal or log it on your phone. Once those goals become a standard part of your routine, add small goals like dining out twice a week or incorporating a weightlifting class into your schedule. Small manageable goals will keep you motivated to achieve your main goal.
2. Prioritize Dental Care
Prioritizing dental care is a great tip for how to get back to a healthy lifestyle. Your dental health directly impacts your overall health. Neglecting its care can raise your risk of developing other health issues such as dementia, respiratory issues, and heart disease.
After every meal, brush your teeth to remove any food particles lodged between your teeth and gums to ensure your teeth are always clean. Regular brushing keeps your teeth white and fights bad breath and gum disease. Brush for at least two to three minutes each session, with 30 seconds spent on each part of the mouth, ensuring you get to each tooth.
Most people rush to schedule same day dental care when they realize something is wrong, but routine visits for cleanings and x-rays are important to maintaining optimal dental health. Preventative dental care identifies potential issues in their early stages when they’re easy to treat and helps to establish a patient/dentist relationship based on trust. When you trust your dentist, discussing your fears and worries will be easier, making your dentist checkups more enjoyable.
Consuming high amounts of sugary drinks such as soda, certain juices, sweets, and even alcoholic beverages puts you at a higher risk of developing cavities. Cavities are bacterial infections caused by the acids present in your mouth, and when you consume foods and drinks with high sugar content, you’re essentially feeding the bacteria. Avoiding sugar will keep your teeth healthy and free of cavities.
Stopping smoking completely or reducing how many times you smoke daily will also improve your oral health. This destructive habit can lead to tooth stains, foul breath, and major health issues such as lung and oral cancer. Smokers are also more prone to gum disease and weakened teeth which can lower the effectiveness of dental implant procedures.
3. Prioritize Your Mental Health
When thinking of how to get back to a healthy lifestyle, most people think of exercising and dieting and ignore mental health. However, it’s one of the most important aspects of developing a healthy lifestyle. Being in control of your emotions and dealing with the pressures and hardships of daily life.
Maintaining good mental health often means putting your needs first. If you can’t care for your body and mind, you can’t care for others. A healthier lifestyle starts with a healthy mind, so ensure you’re making time for relaxing and doing the things you enjoy, and rewarding yourself for accomplishments.
Another great way to kick start your journey toward great mental health is by seeking professional counseling services and treatment. There are other ways to improve your mental health naturally. Your thoughts about yourself significantly impact your mental and physical health.
Negative thoughts bring down your self-confidence, and can impact your loved ones, so make an intentional effort to adopt a positive outlook on life and avoid negative reinforcement. It’s time to replace the little negative voice in your head with a stronger, reassuring, loving, and, most importantly, positive voice. Discovering your worth is the key to unlocking a better and healthier version of yourself.
4. See a Psychiatrist
If you have depression, getting professional help is a great step toward how to get back to a healthy lifestyle. Seeing a psychiatrist can immediately alleviate the intensity of your depression. It’s a great first step to take toward recovery.
Learning to manage stress levels will lower your risk of developing chronic diseases and improve cardiovascular health. You’ll notice that your confidence grows the more you understand the cause of your depression. That can translate to benefits such as a desire to exercise and socialize more often and a better appetite, putting you on a path of better overall health.
It’s common for depressed individuals to view it as a weakness and feel embarrassed about seeking professional help. For some folks, merely talking to a friend can help. However, a psychiatrist offers the added benefit of a true confidant as a code of ethics binds them.
However, there may be an exception to this rule if the psychiatrist believes that you could harm yourself or others around you during your psychiatrist appointment. It exists to keep you and those around you safe. For extreme cases of depression, intervention can potentially save your life.
5. Get Health Insurance
One of the best tips for how to get back to a healthy lifestyle is to get health insurance. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 30 million United States residents don’t hold health insurance. However, it offers several benefits for one’s health.
There are different insurance types you can purchase. For example, you can purchase personal health insurance directly from an insurance provider. Medicare is a federal health insurance program that primarily serves people aged 65 or older but can also cover younger people with certain disabilities or health conditions.
Regardless of your chosen insurance type, it can help you achieve your health goals by providing coverage for preventive care services such as annual checkups, screenings, and immunizations. With easy access to preventive care services, you can identify issues early on and take the necessary steps to manage or treat them before they worsen. Suppose you’re suffering from an illness or injury; insurance such as personal health insurance can also cover medical treatments and procedures, which can go a long way in helping you return to your journey toward a healthy lifestyle.
6. Increase Your Physical Activity Levels
Increasing the amount of physical activity you engage in is a great tip for how to get back to a healthy lifestyle. Committing to a new fitness routine is no easy feat, especially if you’re new to exercising. However, it’s a hallmark of living a healthy lifestyle. It offers benefits for your physical and mental health.
Physical activity is essential for building and maintaining strong muscles. You can promote muscle growth by combining exercises such as weightlifting with a protein-rich diet. It does this by encouraging the release of hormones that help your muscles absorb amino acids.
Exercising also builds bone density when you’re younger and can prevent osteoporosis later in life. According to Healthline, research has shown that odd-impact sports like basketball and soccer or high-impact exercise like running or gymnastics promote higher bone density. On the other hand, no-impact sports such as cycling and swimming are not as effective.
Like making changes to your lifestyle, set manageable goals for physical activity. Start with something simple like walking three times a week, and progressively add more activities to your routine. Make sure to include time for working out in your weekly schedule, so if you usually have an hour of free time before school, set aside 30 minutes for engaging in physical activity.
7. Prioritize Sleep
One of the best tips for how to get back to a healthy lifestyle is to prioritize sleep. Lack of sleep may exacerbate some health conditions and negatively impact your energy levels, motivation, and overall mood. Adults need a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Pay attention to your sleep patterns if you have trouble sleeping. Take note of how much shut-eye you get each night, what influences your sleep or lack thereof, how rested you feel, and how energetic you feel during the day. Using the information, try implementing different techniques to improve your sleep quality, such as establishing a bedtime routine, switching off electrical devices a few hours before you sleep, creating a relaxing environment by minimizing light and noise, and finding ways to manage your stress levels.
Whatever approach you decide to use, be consistent. Sticking to the same sleep strategies and routine will help reset your body’s internal alarm clock, improving sleep quality. People who get better sleep are more productive, experience improved emotional well-being and health, and are at a lower risk of getting diseases.
8. See an Endocrinologist
Glands and the hormones they produce play a key role in the processes that control body temperature, thirst, hunger, cholesterol, blood pressure, metabolism, and more. Hormone imbalances can significantly lower your quality of life. An endocrinologist specialist can help you manage the imbalances to minimize their impact on your daily life.
One common sign you need to see an endocrinologist is weight changes. If you’ve experienced sudden weight loss or gain, especially if it isn’t related to diet changes or exercising, it could be a sign of an endocrine disorder. Another sign is irregular menstrual cycles.
Women who experience irregular menstrual cycles, heavy bleeding, or no periods may have an underlying hormonal issue that needs professional attention. You may have a thyroid disorder if you’re experiencing chronic fatigue, weakness, or muscle pain. Hormonal imbalances can also impact your mood and cause depression, anxiety, and other emotional issues.
Changes in your skin, such as dryness, acne, and excess hair growth, are another sign of an endocrine disorder. High blood sugar levels often signal diabetes, one of the most common endocrine disorders. If you are experiencing any of these signs or other unexplained symptoms, seeing an endocrinologist who can diagnose and treat any underlying hormonal issues is important.
9. Eat a Healthier Diet
A nutritious, well-balanced is at the foundation of how to get back to a healthy lifestyle. Most people view healthy eating as primarily a weight loss strategy. However, a balanced diet of vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy, and lean protein will energize you throughout the day.
Consume foods from all food groups to ensure you get various nutrients and an energy boost. Choose fresh or frozen produce, particularly nutrient-dense dark leafy greens and orange veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots. For healthy protein options, consider the different types of fish and legumes.
Whole grains are rich in fiber and other essential nutrients. Instead of refined grains, choose whole-grain bread, pasta, and rice. Water keeps your body hydrated and functioning properly, so drink at least eight glasses daily.
You should also limit your intake of saturated and trans fats. These fats can increase your likelihood of developing heart disease. Opt for healthier fats such as nuts, avocado, and olive oil.
You’ve probably heard of the famous saying, health is wealth. If you’ve lost track of the health goals you set at the beginning of the year, don’t worry, it’s never too late to remedy things. From making small changes to your diet and exercise routine to putting measures in place to reduce stress and improve sleep, use this read as a guide for how to get back to a healthy lifestyle.