Improving your body is a consistent process that can be done in a variety of ways. Every bit you do helps you feel better, though, and the important thing is to start small and find what works best for you. Your main options include exercise, therapy, diet, and sleep.
Exercise is a great way to improve both physical and mental health. The general recommendation is to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity. This can include brisk walking, swimming, or even doing more challenging chores or yard work. An alternative to this is doing vigorous aerobic exercise for at least 75 minutes a week. This can include running or strenuous dancing. You could also combine the two for your own equal amount of time.
The key to exercise is finding what suits you and your body. You want what you will be able to do and continue to do over a period of time. Start small and work your way up to avoid injuries at the start. If the thought of going to a gym fills you with dread, create a home gym or join an outdoors running group. If you need to watch for injuries or have medical conditions, consult with your doctor for the best options for you.
You don’t need to have a specific condition to seek therapy. Therapists can help with anything in your life and mind- worries, career dilemmas, sleep problems, etc. You can do therapy in a therapist’s office or even at home with the advent of virtual therapy appointments. Mental health issues are common- 1 in 4 will have a mental health issue in the world in any year.
You can also consider somatic therapy options. Somatic therapy is a unique kind of therapy that is more mind-body-centered. It uses psychotherapy and physical therapy for overall healing. It explores the mind-body connection to heal what ails you. It can be helpful for those who suffer from stress, anxiety, grief, depression, problems with addiction, or relationships. It may even help those suffering from chronic pain and digestive disorders that have not responded well to traditional treatments.
There is no one specific “healthy eating” diet. You can customize it to your tastes and needs. First, find and stick to your daily caloric needs. A general rule is to eat a variety of healthy foods in different colors. Leafy greens, oranges, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and bananas are all options. Add them to your already everyday foods, such as adding onions to your burritos and having a side of baked broccoli with your favorite spice topping. Spices will be your best friend if you like good tastes and low calories.
You can also use different versions of the foods you already consume. Choose whole grains instead of white bread or pasta. Use low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products. Lower your saturated fats and eliminate trans fats. You can even eat your comfort foods in new ways. You can eat them less often, like once a week instead of almost daily. You can eat smaller amounts, like one donut instead of your usual two. You could even find a lower calorie version, such as making mac and cheese with nonfat milk and low-fat cheese, adding healthy veggies in there as well. Make it fit your life!
Sleep is very underrated in modern society, but it’s essential for our health and wellbeing. Mayo Clinic recommends 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Do not take any electronics into the room to use or have on as this light interrupts sleep. You should go to bed at the same time every night. However, you can have up to an hour of extra sleep on weekends. No more as you want to keep your sleep cycle steady.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, look at your caffeine levels. Caffeine disrupts sleep. Many people will not have caffeine after a set time of day like 2 PM or 4 PM, depending on what works best for them. If all else fails, contact your doctor to check for issues and see what they recommend. There is sleep help out there.
There are a wide variety of ways in which to approve your life. All you have to do is find what works best for you!