You might think that being active is all you need to do to be healthy, but there’s more to it than that! According to MedAlertHelp, 65% of women and 74% of men in high-income countries are physically active. But even if you’re hitting the gym regularly or playing a sport, you could still be making bad choices that keep you from being as healthy as you could be. Here are five healthy habits to build on top of staying active.
1. Eating Healthy
Just because you’re active doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want! Make sure to fuel your body with nutritious foods that will give you the energy you need to perform your best. This doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of all the foods you love, but try to make healthier choices most of the time.
Start by making small changes, like swapping out white bread for whole wheat or opting for water instead of sugary drinks. Once you get used to these changes, you can start experimenting with more adventurous, healthy recipes. Soon enough, eating healthy will become second nature.
You can also choose healthy foods you enjoy and plan to make sure you have healthy meals and snacks ready. On top of that, drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks, which can sabotage your health goals.
Get support from family and friends to help you stay on track with your healthy eating habits. Enlist their help in meal planning and preparation, and involve them in your physical activity so you can stay motivated together.
2. Visiting the Dentist Regularly
One of the most important but often overlooked health habits is dental care. Be sure to visit a dental clinic for regular check-ups and cleanings. This is important not just for the health of your teeth and gums but also for your overall health.
Regular dental visits are the best way to ensure that any problems are caught early and treated before they become more serious. During a dental check, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of disease or infection and will also clean your teeth.
If you don’t have dental insurance, don’t worry—many dental clinics offer affordable rates. Just be sure to call ahead and ask about rates and payment plans.
3. Getting Enough Sleep
When you’re active, your body needs time to recover and repair itself. This is because physical activity can put stress on your muscles and bones. That’s why it’s important to get enough sleep every night.
That means getting enough sleep is crucial! Most people need around seven to eight hours of sleep per night, so make sure you’re getting enough Z’s. You can also try to improve your sleep habits by sticking to a calming bedtime routine, avoiding caffeine before bed, and making sure your bedroom is dark and quiet.
If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your doctor about ways to improve your sleep. They may be able to recommend medications or therapies that can help.
4. Managing Stress
Stress can take a toll on your body, both mentally and physically. In fact, according to Mayo Clinic, stress can contribute to a wide array of health problems, from obesity to heart disease, high blood pressure, and even diabetes.
If you find yourself feeling stressed, try some relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. You can also try to find ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life by setting aside some time each day for yourself, simplifying your schedule, and saying “no” more often.
Don’t forget to talk to your doctor about any chronic stress you may be experiencing. They can help you develop a plan to manage your stress.
5. Avoiding Injury
When you’re active, there’s always a risk of injury. But there are some things you can do to minimize that risk. Make sure to warm up before physical activity and cool down afterward. You can do this by doing some light exercises or stretches before and after your workout.
Another important injury-prevention measure is to use the right equipment. That means wearing shoes that are designed for the activity you’re doing and using proper safety gear when necessary. For example, if you’re playing a contact sport, be sure to wear a mouthguard.
Finally, listen to your body. If you’re feeling pain, stop what you’re doing and rest. It’s better to take a break than to push through the pain and risk an injury.
Staying active is just one part of being healthy—there are other habits you should adopt as well! By eating right, visiting the dentist regularly, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and avoiding injury, you’ll be well on your way to living a healthy lifestyle.