There are many things that contribute to optimal health, but some facets of health are more important than others. Let’s discuss 5 of a man’s highest priorities for getting and staying healthy:
1. Make Time for Sleep
You have stuff to do, and not enough time to do it all in. Okay, fine, but if you want to be healthy, don’t even consider sacrificing your sleep in hopes of scratching a few more items off your to-do list. For starters, sleeplessness will make you less productive. Beyond that, it can contribute to bunches of health problems and unwanted side effects including high blood pressure, weight gain, weakened immunity, memory problems, low testosterone levels and poor sex drive.
To get better sleep, try doing the following:
- Say no to coffee and energy drinks after lunchtime.
- Establish a nighttime routine that could include reading before bed, showering, setting your alarm clock and doing deep breathing exercises.
- Turn off all the lights and sleep in a completely darkened room.
2. Nourish Yourself With Wholesome, Nutrient-Rich Food
Nutritious food isn’t optional if you hope to have a healthy body. Your diet has to include vitamins, minerals, protein and the right kind of fats. It should also include moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates, while avoiding excess sugar.
The following tips could help you to better nourish yourself for optimal health:
- Understand which foods are most nutritious and load up on those to the greatest extent possible.
- Eat a broad variety of healthy fruits and vegetables.
- Understand the many names for sugars, and avoid them all; high fructose corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin and corn syrup are just a few of them.
- Be aware that wheat has a dark side, and make an effort to limit your consumption of it. This is getting easier; thanks to the rising popularity of gluten-free products, you’ll find a wide variety of gluten-free meals and snacks available.
3. Avoid Ingesting Toxins
There are many possible ways to ingest health-sabotaging toxins. Some of them are intentional, like smoking; some of them aren’t intentional, like breathing someone else’s secondhand smoke. Toxins can cause cancer, obesity and other problems, so it’s worth making the effort to avoid them. The following tips can help:
- Avoid all contact with cigarettes, cigars, and their smoke.
- Eat organic food to decrease your chances of ingesting excessive amounts of toxic agricultural inputs including herbicides, pesticides and fungicides.
- Whenever possible, use natural cleaners such as plain castile soap, vinegar and baking soda.
- Read the ingredient lists on your food wrappers. If the food contains dubious chemicals you can’t identify or pronounce, don’t eat it.
- Ditch your non-stick cooking pans and pots. Instead, use cookware made from stainless steel, ceramic, cast iron or glass.
4. Get Fully Hydrated
Your body craves water for carrying out many of its important functions including digestion, regulation of your body temperature, creation of tissues and elimination of waste. Consider the following tips for getting completely and thoroughly hydrated:
- Drink fluids such as water, milk or herbal tea.
- Snack on foods that have high water content such as melons, oranges, cucumbers and celery sticks.
- When you’re feeling dehydrated, limit your consumption of things that can dehydrate you even more such as alcohol, beef jerky, dried fruit and soda.
5. Get Your Heart Pumping
Exercise is a high priority activity for achieving optimal health. In particular, cardiovascular exercise is crucial, because it helps you to increase your blood flow, combat depression, get better sleep and manage your body weight. Here’s how to achieve these benefits:
- Choose any exercise that gets your heart pumping: brisk walking, jumping rope, aerobics, dancing, riding a bike, swimming and jogging all count.
- Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of highly vigorous exercise each week.
These are 5 of the most important facets of your health to prioritize if you hope to be as healthy as possible. You need to eat well, sleep well, avoid toxins, drink water and exercise; if you do all these things, you’ll be optimizing your health and wellbeing.