You’ve heard it before and you will hear it again: Health is, by far, your most valuable asset. While most people place considerable emphasis on material possessions, such as their cars, homes or houses, and while several others are of the mind that their positions in life determine their worth, the truth is that strong health is the foundation for a fulfilling, meaningful and happy existence. If you haven’t prioritized your health in the past, make this year the year you do so. Read on to find out why.
The Importance of Good Health
The value of good health cannot be overstated. Good health makes it possible for you to earn a living, partake in the activities you enjoy, keep medical costs down and be there for the ones you love, just to name a few benefits. It allows you to maintain your status as a contributing and productive member of society and to participate in life in a way that those who live with chronic illness and disease cannot. In short, good health is the equivalent of freedom.
How Good Health Can Improve Your Quality of Life
Some people may argue that freedom and well-being are not one in the same, but those people have not lived with a chronic condition. If they had, they would know the truths that so many people take advantage of, the number one being that optimal health leads to a higher quality of life.
Even the most minor of health issues can interfere with or overshadow other aspects of your life. For instance, back and neck pain can reduce your comfort during times of rest or prevent you from partaking in the activities you enjoy. Chronic disease can increase your stress levels and lead to financial strain. Health issues such as obesity, drinking, smoking, and overindulging can make everyday chores more challenging, and underlying health conditions can result in decreased energy levels, impaired immune function and emotional strain.
The bottom line is that your health is inextricably linked to your overall quality of life. If you want to live a happy and fulfilling existence, adopt healthy habits now and maintain them long into the future.
Lifestyle Factors That Promote Good Health
While there are certain health issues you cannot control, there are lifestyle changes you can make that will allow you to live the healthiest life your genetics allow. The top changes that can have a big impact are as follows:
Maintain a healthy diet, as diet affects everything from your physical well-being to your mood.This includes paying attention to the ingredients in the food and products that you are consuming and making sure your diet is balanced. That said, breakdown how much you are eating of each food group! For example, 5 servings of veggies, 4 servings of fruit, 6 servings of grains, 3 servings of dairy, and so on and so forth.1 Keep in mind that the numbers depend on your height, weight, etc. so check in with your doctor to confirm the best meal plan for you.
Prioritize sleep. Adequate sleep helps mood regulation, promotes healing, reduces your risk for chronic health conditions and improves brain function, among other benefits.
Maintain a positive mindset. Studies show that positivity can lower your risk of depression, reduce anxiety and stress levels, improve your heart health and increase your resistance to common ailments, such as the cold and flu.2 There are many ways you can work towards maintaining a positive mindset. Do something simple each day that brings you happiness. Practice gratitude and write down one thing every morning that you are grateful for. Talk to friends and family members in any manner that you safely can. Little things make a big difference.
Laugh more. The health benefits of laughter are huge — and many. In the short-term, laughter relieves stress, soothes tension and stimulates the organs. In the long-term, laughter improves mood, relieves pain and improves your immune response.
Get up and move. Exercise, like a healthy diet, is the pillar of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise — even in moderate amounts — can improve cardiovascular function, boost muscle and bone strength, reduce your risk of chronic illness, boost your energy levels, reduce pain, promote relaxation and quality sleep, and more.3
It is never too late to start working on your health! Eating healthy foods to boost your immunity, focusing on your happiness, and moving your body are great ways to begin. For the times when you can’t stay ahead of the illness and you are starting to get sick, choose remedies that don’t include harsh chemicals or dampen your system. Over-the-counter medication using clean, targeted ingredients to manage symptoms of common ailments and strengthen your body’s immune system are the way to go. Take the extra effort to be good to your body, you won’t regret it.