What You Can Do for Better Head-to-Toe Health

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What You Can Do for Better Head-to-Toe Health

Guest post by Jennifer McGregor :

How are you doing these days? When you run into someone you know who asks how you are, you probably answer with no more thought than an emailed auto-reply.

But when taking an honest inventory, many of us have room for improvement. With simple changes to your everyday life, you can improve your health from head to toe.

Take a deep breath.

What do you think of when you contemplate air pollution?

For many people, a vision of factories, exhaust pipes and smog are what comes to mind. However, some studies indicate air pollution is far worse inside than outside—and the air quality in our homes is often two- to five-times worse than that of outdoors.

Research suggests breathing contaminated indoor air can trigger headaches; irritate your eyes, nose, and throat; cause fatigue; aggravate allergies and asthma; and eventually lead to several chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, or even cancer.

Adding a well-chosen air purifier to your home can alleviate concerns by cleaning the air. While an air purifier can’t remove 100 percent of all pollutants, these devices can make a big impact on the air quality in your home. For best results, select one that meets your unique circumstances, such as if you have pets, if you heat with wood, or if someone in your home has allergies.

 
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Fit in fitness.

Are you getting enough exercise?

In a society where we tend to fill our days from sunup to sundown with less-than-physical busyness, many of us cringe when think about adding one more thing—especially if that one thing is spending an hour in the gym every day.

Real Simple points out you can improve your fitness with some quick, easy, fitness-oriented additions to your home life. Take advantage of sedentary moments by slipping in a few minutes here and there of exercise.

Set a pair of hand weights next to your microwave so you can pump iron while food heats. Put an exercise mat in your living room to do stretches and calisthenics during commercials. Slide an exercise ball under your desk and settle on it when you’re answering emails or paying bills. Just moving more and building strength can have you feeling more fit in no time!

Get a good night’s sleep.

Do you toss and turn at night?

Or do you rely on caffeine to manage your days? Those are indicators you could use more sleep or better-quality sleep. As Developing Good Habits explains, sleep habits are directly connected to our mental and physical health, and when we don’t get enough sleep or our slumber is of poor quality, our overall wellness can suffer.

Better sleep can help you feel energized, increase your productivity, help you to focus, and help stabilize your moods. Set a time for going to bed every night and a time to get up every morning, and stick to your routine even on days off. It’ll help your body get into a healthy rhythm. Avoid napping during the day since that can upset the rhythm you’re trying to establish. There are plenty of smart devices, even sleep masks, that can help condition you for naturally better sleep.

Relax your mind and body.

Are you feeling stressed?

Being on the run can equate to chronic stress, and our bodies and minds weren’t built for that. Stress is an appropriate response to short-term issues, but when we experience ongoing stress, it can lead to a number of concerns, such as insomnia, headaches, hypertension, and depression.

One way to manage stressful situations is to practice deep breathing exercises, focusing on the sensations you’re experiencing throughout your body. Getting a massage can also help to lower your stress levels. In fact, some studies indicate massage therapy potentially offers several important health benefits, such as pain relief, improved immune function, lowered risk for depression, and improved mood regulation.

What is your overall health like?

Think about how you really feel and about where you need to make improvements. With some simple lifestyle modifications, you can feel great from head to toe!

Jennifer McGregor

Website Public Health Library

 

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