If you are searching the internet for ways to improve your health, you have taken the first important step towards changing your life for the better. Whether your objective is to have more energy, improve your endurance or strength, lose weight, gain muscle mass, and/or to improve your emotional wellbeing, exercise, diet, and sleep will help you get there. It will not always be easy, and it is important to make sustainable changes, so remember that what works for one person may not work for another. Here are four simple ways to improve your health as well as your mental well-being in 2021.
- Exercise every day
Physical exercise is beneficial for us both physically and mentally and it is best to incorporate some exercise into your daily routine. However, this does not mean that you have to commit to a strenuous regimen that leaves you feeling drained or causes you pain. Between 30-45 minutes of moderate exercise like walking at a brisk pace or jogging can make a big difference. If you are already active, you might want to introduce 2-3 high-intensity workouts to your week that make your muscles ache, as this is a sign your body is changing for the better. Remember to warm up before a workout and stretch your muscles afterwards to avoid injury.
- Choose the right foods
After a workout, you need to refuel your body with the right foods to ensure muscles can rebuild, but a balanced diet is important all the time. This includes lean protein (e.g. turkey or chicken), fiber, and vitamins rather than sugar and saturated fat. Fruit and vegetables are great for a long-lasting energy boost. To keep your metabolism ticking over and encourage the body to use calories, opt for five or six smaller meals throughout the day rather than eating two or three main meals. You should also hydrate regularly to ensure your body and mind are functioning at their best.
- Track your progress
Making lifestyle changes takes time and determination, and it can be hard to keep it up if you cannot see your progress. You may want to keep track of how many calories you take in per day and how much weight you lose (or gain if you are pursuing muscle mass), but it is often more effective to focus on what you are gaining rather than what you are losing. An exercise tracker like an Apple watch can monitor your activity level and record your workouts so you can see how much faster you can run and/or how much your strength and endurance has improved. Take a look at a comparison of Apple watches to ensure you get the right features and functions for your goals.
- Improve your sleep quality
Your body needs at least 6-8 hours of sleep to ensure that you can function at your best on an average day, so if you are going to be putting your body through exercise as well, it makes sense that sleep will become even more important. Think of your battery like a battery which needs to be recharged, as it is while we sleep that our body has a chance to regenerate and rebuild.