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Guest blog – Jennifer McGregor

When it comes to being healthy, medical professionals, family members, and friends can all help us in our efforts. At the end of the day, however, our health is our responsibility. No one else can make us healthy if we don’t live a lifestyle that fosters overall health and well-being. That’s why having everyday strategies in place is so important. If you’re looking to live a healthy life, here are some habits to incorporate that can get you going in the right direction.

Check Your Health Plan

As you embark on a healthier lifestyle, make sure you know what your health insurance benefits are. You can use your benefits to help you improve your health, such as diet and exercise consultations with your doctor and any necessary testing. Since health plans can change each year, it’s a good idea to keep reviewing your health plan in case you need to apply for a new one. Seniors should especially stay updated on their insurance so that they continue to address their health needs. If you’re a senior and find that basic Medicare isn’t enough, Medicare Advantage plans are offered by other insurance providers. These plans cover fitness programs, dental care, and vision care, among other benefits.

Revisit Your Diet

What you eat is one of the first things to consider when you’re trying to capture and maintain good health. Our bodies and minds depend on nutrition to function, so it’s important to think about the nutritional value of the food and drink you intake.

Many people think that a good diet centers around weight loss, and a lot of fad diets stress easy ways to achieve that. However, some of those diets can do more harm than good. If you start by eating more whole foods and less processed foods, you’ll be on the right track to nutritious eating. Improving your gut health can help you lose weight as well. The bacteria in your gut affects your metabolism and the kinds of food you have cravings for. Also, consider researching and consulting your doctor for a recommendation of a diet plan that will fit your specific needs.

Develop a Fitness Routine

Exercising regularly comes with many physical health benefits, such as:

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Stronger muscles and bones
  • Better flexibility and mobility
  • Reduced risks of chronic disease

It also offers mental health benefits like improved concentration, higher self-esteem, and lower stress levels. Furthermore, exercise can help alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms. If you find an activity you enjoy, even if it means trying out a few first, then you will better set yourself up to maintain your routine for the long-term.

Get Some Sleep

Along with diet and exercise, sleep is an essential habit when it comes to living healthy. For a number of reasons, one-third of US adults don’t get enough sleep. Without adequate rest, our bodies and minds can’t perform like they’re supposed to, which means we don’t feel as good, we are less productive, and we are less safe than we could be if we were sleeping well. Try cutting out your afternoon caffeine, eating fewer foods that cause indigestion, reading instead of watching TV in your bedroom, or anything else necessary to get a good night’s rest.

Add Some Fun

When you’re making changes to your lifestyle, it’s important to make sure you have an activity or hobby that brings you joy. It could be taking an art class, going hiking on the weekends, hosting a movie night at your home, or anything else you find fun and relaxing. Try to do that activity at least once a week so that you can step away from your daily obligations, de-stress, and keep a healthy perspective on life.

Write About It

Finally, as you make changes, it can help to document your progress. Get a journal and write in it each day. Maybe you’ve set a goal to work out three times this week; write about your workouts and how they make you feel. Maybe you haven’t been able to do your hobby in a couple of weeks or you haven’t been getting enough sleep recently; write about it. Whether it’s positive or negative, use your journal as an outlet to express your thoughts and emotions.

Health doesn’t just happen; we have to live a lifestyle that supports our health goals. Remember to stay updated on your health plan, revisit your eating habits, and try to exercise consistently. Also, prioritize sleep, incorporate a relaxing activity into your routine, and write about your experiences in a journal. Before long, you may see (and feel) results that make you never want to revert back to your old ways.

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