1. Eat a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and proteins.
Proper nutrition can impact everything from your how your body functions to how your brain functions. Aim to eat a balanced diet every meal by filling half your plate with vegetables and fruits, getting plenty of lean protein, and avoiding processed sugars.
- Try to get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This can include anything from salads and steamed veggie sides to things like smoothies and the kale in a kale pesto sauce.
- Go for whole grain and whole wheat bread, pasta, and other starch products whenever possible. These foods contain more fiber, as well as more vitamins and minerals.
- Eating a balanced diet does not necessarily mean that you are looking to lose weight. Even if you are at a healthy weight, you may still benefit from refining your daily diet. Start by adding just one serving of fresh produce a day to get started. You’ll be surprised at how little changes like that can impact your diet.
- Always talk to your doctor before radically changing your diet. They can help you figure out the healthiest nutritional plan for your personal needs.
2. Get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week.
- Exercise doesn’t have to be hard to be effective. Start out by taking a brisk walk, dancing around your house, or doing anything you enjoy that gets your heart pumping. There are even apps made for people who are complete beginners.
- To get even more from your exercise routine, try to strength train all major muscle groups at least 2 times a week. You can manage this by lifting weights, or by doing bodyweight exercises like squats and push ups.
- Exercise helps keep your body strong and able, which is why it’s an important part of a balanced life. You want your body to be able to handle the things you want to do.
3. Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Develop a sleep routine that you stick to every night before bed. Start by picking a consistent bedtime. About an hour before that time, disconnect from all gadgets, take some time to relax your mind and body, put on some comfortable pajamas, and get into bed. This kind of routine will help calm your mind and let it know that you’re getting ready to rest for the night.
- The exact recommended amount of sleep you need can vary by age. For school-age children, it is recommended they get around 9-11 hours of sleep per night. Teenagers need 8-10 hours, while adults over 65 need at least 7-8 hours of nightly sleep.
- Avoid bright screens an hour before bed. This includes phones, tablets, computer screens, and televisions. The blue light from the screen can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
4. Relax your body with meditation, yoga, or self-massage.
- Even if you don’t feel like you have a lot of time to spend on relaxation, try to take just 5 minutes each day to help your body unwind.
- For a simple relaxing practice, try a progressive muscle relaxation. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and slowly tense the muscles in your feet for a count of 3 breaths. Then, let the muscles relax completely. Continue this pattern up your body, focusing one-by-one on your legs, glutes, core, chest, arms, hands, shoulders, jaw, and face.
- Use apps like Headspace or Insight Timer to guide you through meditation. These are great resources for beginners.
- Meditation helps grow the muscle that allows you to better react and respond to the stuff of life.