7 health tips for your physical and mental well-being

In today’s society, everything moves very fast and sometimes we don’t have time to think if our lifestyle and our habits help us feel better. In this blog we try to give you some health advice that will help you reflect and improve your life habits, always adapting them to your tastes and preferences . And it is that, staying healthy goes far beyond the absence of diseases, and has a lot to do with simple actions that are under our control , such as habits related to eating, sports, sleep or hygiene.

What do we understand by health?

Being healthy is not only not having diseases, but also enjoying a certain quality of life in relation to various areas . This is how the WHO (World Health Organization) expressed it in its definition of health:

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” 

The power of self care

As the saying goes, and as we already explained in the article Get to know the preventive and personalized medicine of the 21st century, “prevention is better than cure”. In this sense, each one of us has a great responsibility in the preservation of our own health and the prevention of diseases. 

For this reason, the first concept that we are going to see is that of self-care, which has to do with actively participating in the promotion of our health. We use the WHO definition again:

 “(Self-care) is the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with disease and disability with or without the support of a health care provider”

In short, self-care refers to all those habits and attitudes with which all of us, every day, can preserve and improve our health. 

Let’s see how to do it with the following 7 health tips! 

1. Take care of your diet

We have already seen it in articles such as “The beneficial health effects of a balanced diet: “we are what we eat”.

And it is that, eating properly has a great impact on our quality of life: it means providing our body with all the nutrients it needs for its optimal functioning and, in addition, it helps us to maintain our weight, which reduces the risk of diseases such as obesity, and the risks associated with it such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol. 

Take note of these simple habits that will help you eat healthy:

  • Make a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains the foundation of your diet. Remember that it is recommended to consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. It is possible to do it with innovative and simple recipes that make healthy food something delicious and fun. This is one of the most basic health tips that you should apply in your day to day.
  • Always eat at the same hours . We know that today this can be complicated due to our pace of life, but it is convenient that you make an effort to achieve it. Skipping a meal often creates a yo-yo effect, causing much more food to be consumed than necessary at the next meal.
  • Eat breakfast every day: it has to do with the previous point. Breakfast provides our body with the energy it needs to be active in the morning and also helps prevent excessive food intake throughout the day.  
  • Avoid snacking between meals and, if you do, choose healthy snacks, such as unfried nuts or a piece of fruit that, in addition to filling you up, provide essential nutrients for your body.
  • Reduce salt and sugar consumption : both substances are found in excess in ultra-processed foods, so avoid them, as they considerably increase the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
  • Keep your body hydrated: it is recommended to drink two liters of water daily. Drinking water helps you eliminate toxins, aids in digestion, and prevents constipation. One tip that may be useful to you is to add a few slices of cucumber or lemon to your water bottle, which will flavor the water and make it easier to drink.
  • Replace trans and saturated fats with polyunsaturated ones: minimize the consumption of ultra-processed foods, which are rich in the former, and opt for foods with polyunsaturated fats such as salmon, vegetable oils, nuts, or some types of seeds. 

2. With alcohol, be careful!

Did you know that alcohol causes 3 million deaths worldwide every year? This figure, collected in WHO reports, attests to the harmful effects of the abuse of this substance, which is also associated with more than 200 pathologies and the development of mental and behavioral disorders. 

If you consume alcohol, it is best to do so in moderation, that is, do not drink more than one unit a day if you are an adult woman or a man over 65 years of age, or more than two if you are an adult man under 65 years of age. One drink unit is equal to one medium-sized glass of beer or one glass of wine. Among all the health tips, this one will make an incredible change in your life.

3. Stop smoking

Smoking is linked to numerous pathologies, from ocular cataracts to cancer, the risk of which doubles in those who have this habit, and even quadruples in heavy smokers.

In addition, it is responsible for more than 90% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and increases the risk of heart disease and cerebrovascular problems.

If you smoke, you should be aware that, in addition to seriously damaging your health, you are also harming that of those around you , since they passively inhale cigarette smoke and all its toxic substances. 

Quitting smoking is always a good decision for your health and that of your loved ones. Did you know…?

  • After 20 minutes without smoking, blood pressure decreases.
  • After 12 hours the carbon monoxide in the blood reaches a normal level. 
  • At 3 months, blood circulation and lung capacity improve. 
  • At 9 months the risk of infections, the feeling of shortness of breath and coughing decreases.  
  • At one year, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.
  • At 5 years the risk of neck cancer and stroke is the same as that of non-smokers, and the risk of throat, esophagus, mouth and bladder cancer is cut in half. 
  • At 10 years, the risk of lung cancer is cut in half.
  • At age 15, the risk of heart disease is similar to that of a non-smoker. 

As you can see, it is well worth quitting smoking. Also, do you know that the appearance of your skin will also improve? Climbing stairs won’t exhaust you either, the smell of your clothes will be much more pleasant, and your sense of taste and smell will improve. 

4. Do sports, move! 

Sport is one of the pillars of healthy lifestyles. If you think you don’t have time or that your physical condition is not adequate, don’t worry. Sport is within everyone’s reach. Practicing long-term, moderate physical activity daily, such as brisk walking for 30 minutes, has numerous health benefits:

  • Helps you maintain your weight
  • Helps control blood sugar level and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. 
  • Promotes sleep quality.
  • Reduces the risk of premature death. 
  • Increases self-esteem and improves depression. 

Take note of these tips to include sports in your self-care routine: 

  • Take the opportunity to play sports with small changes in your routine: for example, go up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. 
  • If you sit for long hours, get up every 60 minutes and walk around a bit to keep your muscles active. 
  • Gradually increase the intensity of the sport you practice. Learn to listen to your body, and try not to force it.
  • Breathe through your nose to prevent flatus. 
  • Choose a team suitable for the sport you practice. Good footwear is essential, as well as breathable clothing. 

5. Take care of your hygiene 

Even if you can’t see them, everything around you is full of microorganisms and some of them are capable of causing diseases. That is why it is very important to maintain good personal hygiene and cleanliness of the home. Some basic tips are:

  • Wash your hands when you get home, before eating and when you have been in contact with animals. 
  • Shower daily to control germs that may affect your skin. Specifically, it is important that you do it after practicing physical exercise, since this favors sweating and contact with bacteria present on the surfaces with which our skin comes into contact. 

6. Sleep well 

All the functions of our body are affected by lack of sleep : from the hormonal, immune or respiratory systems to blood pressure or cardiovascular health.

In addition, several investigations indicate that not sleeping adequately can increase the risk of obesity, infections and coronary diseases. 

Well, what hours of sleep are adequate? General recommendations depend on age and are as follows: 

  • Newborns up to 3 months: 14-17 hours.
  • Babies up to 11 months: 12-15 hours.
  • Children up to 2 years old: 9-15 hours. 
  • Children up to 5 years old: 10-13 hours. 
  • Children up to 13 years old: 9-11 hours. 
  • Adolescents up to 17 years old: 10 hours a day. 
  • Adults: 7-9 hours daily. 
  • Older adults over 65 years: 7-8 hours a day. 

In order to sleep better, we recommend that you implement these habits: 

  • Have a regular time to go to bed and get up. 
  • Link some routine when you go to sleep. They can be simple actions like brushing your teeth, taking a bath or reading. 
  • Practice physical exercise, but try not to do it right before you go to sleep. 
  • Do not drink stimulants such as coffee or other caffeinated drinks after 4 p.m. 
  • Sleep in comfortable clothes, in a dark and quiet room. 

7. Don’t forget about your mental health!

As we saw at the beginning of this article, mental well-being is a fundamental part of health, as the WHO itself indicates in its definition. 

Mental and physical health are closely linked, because if one is not good it will have a negative impact on the other and vice versa. 

Today we know that stress is associated with a less healthy lifestyle, leading to addictions to tobacco and alcohol, and a worse diet. 

It is very important that you worry about taking care of your mind as much as your body. Here are some health tips that can help you: 

  • Humans are social beings, so encourage and take care of your interpersonal relationships with family and friends. 
  • Learn to ask for help when you need it.
  • Rest, eat well and play sports, for all the benefits that, as we have already explained, they entail. 
  • Value yourself and accept yourself as you are. 
  • Take a few minutes a day. Meditation is a good resource to improve mental well-being.  
  • Set one or several vital purposes, since having a long-term motivation favors the health of the mind. 

Take charge of your health

As you have seen, there are many health tips that you can adopt to maintain a good condition. The most important thing is that it is up to you to implement them or not. We believe that it is essential to have a proactive attitude in health care. For this reason, in addition to encouraging you to follow all the advice in this article, we offer you different tests that allow you to know your risk of diseases , essential information with which you can provide personalized care, as well as control or avoid those pathologies to which you are more pron.

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