Health, Mental Health & General Wellness Tips to keep you Motivated and Healthy

With Everything going on in the world at the moment, interestingly, you find your world has become a lot smaller. It's highly likely your daily life is very local, if not homebound, defined by your very walls or your fence line (should you have garden space). In the midst of a lack of a lot of the things you are used to, it provides you with one of the best opportunities in your lifetime to focus on you and your family’s well-being. There is a vast amount of expert medical advice telling us that being fit and healthy is essential to our body's ability to minimize the severity of illnesses. 

Finding the motivation to stay healthy and fit can be difficult, And that can lay the foundation for a weakened immune system, posing a higher risk of developing illness or injury.  

Recognizing safety risks and patterns of illness or low energy ahead of time is key to preventing them — or at least to dealing with them as they arise. There are countless wellness tips and ideas available to ensure you have lots of ways to stay healthy, fit, and safe. These healthy habits will help you to recognize where your health falls short and what you can do to boost it.

1. Calm Your Carb Cravings 

The cold season tends to ignite our cravings for more carbs and comfort foods. Why? After you consume these delicious treats, your serotonin levels rise, making your brain think you are happier. And as the day wears on, your carb cravings get stronger and stronger.

To counter this, try eating a protein-packed breakfast to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. If, by the time the afternoon rolls around, you're still craving sweets or carbs, be sure to have low-fat and healthy snacks on hand. However, if you can, finding a way to increase your serotonin levels without food is the best way to beat the carb cravings.

2. Add Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are a good type of fat that is naturally found in many food types, including fish, plant seeds, and nuts. Omega 3 fatty acids are great for reducing joint pain and stiffness as they are a natural anti-inflammatory. Studies have also shown that omega 3 fatty acids help lower levels of depression.

3. Cook with Mushrooms

Several species of mushrooms have immune-boosting health benefits. That's because mushrooms have naturally-occurring antibiotics. This gives them medicinal properties, which helps us to fight off many types of illnesses. Next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to stock up on varieties like white button or shitake mushrooms and add them to your meals.

4. Eat More Fiber

Soluble fiber found in apples, oats, and nuts is an important way to decrease inflammation and boost immune system function. Soluble fiber also helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body and aids in weight loss and protection against diabetes. This is an especially important winter health tip for seniors who require a high-fiber diet to protect their digestive systems.

5. Eat More Green and Orange Vegetables

Sticking primarily to vegetables and fruits that are dark green and orange is vital in ensuring you're getting healthy nutrients, sugars, and fats. Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, squash, carrots, and oranges are all delicious during the winter. There are plenty of recipes available to incorporate these items into your regular diet.

6. Cook With Spices

Onions, garlic, ginger, and cilantro are the perfect items to add flavor to your dishes. Not only do they make food taste great, but they’re also shown to help improve immune function. Turmeric is a spice traditionally used in Chinese and Indian medicine. Its main active ingredient is called curcumin, which gives curry its yellow color. This spice helps to combat several conditions, including inflammation and heart disease, and it acts as a powerful antioxidant.

7. Plan Your Exercises a Week in Advance

Try to stick to a weekly exercise plan, so you don't put off your regular exercise activities. On Sunday night, write down your exercise schedule for the next seven days. Choose your exact workout routines, activities, or exercises for each day and how long they will be. Knowing what you're scheduled to do each day ahead of time makes it easier to stick to. If you can, line up your workout schedule with a friend to encourage each other to stick with it and stay motivated.

8. Workout at Home

If you have no desire to head outdoors for your workout, then never fear. There are plenty of resources online that supply fun workout videos and exercises. These resources offer a variety of workouts, including boxing, yoga, strength training, aerobics, and other body-weight exercises.

Mental Health and General Wellness Tips 

Above and beyond the potential for personal injury and the decline in fitness and diet routines, different times throughout the year present another threat to our health. This can cause an increase in depression, which may lead to a decline in overall mental health.

When our mental well-being isn't where it should be, we become even more susceptible to stress and illness. It is as important as ever in the winter to take a holistic approach to wellness, not only for our diets and physical exercise but for our mental well-being, too. 

Here are some mental health and general wellness tips:

1. Frequent Hand Washing

Though it sounds like a broken record, frequent handwashing throughout the day is an absolute must in maintaining your health during the winter. It not only helps protect your immune system and prevent you from developing flu and cold, but it protects others around you.

2. Take Vitamin Supplements

Consuming lots of vitamin C will help your body to battle cold and flu symptoms if you do experience them. Vitamin D helps to supplement the lack of light experienced during winter, but it's still important to get out in the sun whenever it does appear. Vitamin D helps to absorb other essential vitamins like vitamin A, iron, and calcium.

3. Drink Herbal Teas

Many types of herbal teas can help you stay healthy. Herbal teas like lemon and chamomile can ease depression and anxiety by calming nerves and relaxing your body. They can also help you sleep better. Some herbal teas like green and Rooibos are great as antioxidants. For the most benefit, be sure to look for organic teas made from high-quality ingredients.

4. Sleep Longer and Better

When the days get shorter, your body will naturally want to sleep longer and will adjust its rhythm to the hours of daylight. Use the longer evenings to wind down and begin relaxing before bed. Try to go to bed as early as possible to give your body enough rest during the times it craves it the most.

Many people choose to use lightboxes that operate on a timer and turn on gradually when it's time to wake up. This helps your body feel like it is morning. Using this method means that over time, it will be easier to wake up, even if it's dark outside.

5. Practice Meditation and Relaxation

When you start to feel anxiety and stress, it's essential to know how to manage it healthily. Going for a walk outdoors whenever weather permits will drastically improve your stress levels, even if it's just once around the block. You may also want to develop the habit of deep breathing whenever you feel anxiety mounting. Meditation and mindfulness are excellent practices for managing stress, as well.

Find a dark room to sit in by yourself and close your eyes. Relax your muscles, and focus on being present — emptying your mind of all thoughts.

Many of these tips are easy to implement in your daily life if you add them in slowly. And assessing your health and well-being and will help you to find your areas for improvement.  

For instance, if you’re aware that you lose track of your diet and exercise habits, then start with these health tips to keep you happy and positive throughout. Remind yourself of why you want to stick to healthy routines – it will make it easier and more fun to follow these tips.

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