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Most of us want to improve our health these days. From shedding a few pounds to strengthening our immune system, we all have health concerns we’d like to address. Even if you’ve set a health goal, you might feel overwhelmed about how to achieve it. If you’re feeling uncertain about where to start, don’t fret. Many proven strategies can help you easily incorporate healthier habits into your daily life. By following these tips, you can achieve your health-related goals more quickly than you might have realized:
Plan for Your Health - Keeping your healthcare in check is crucial. Make it a priority to regularly visit your doctor at any age, especially if you're a senior. Your doctor can do a thorough health check and diagnose current health conditions as well as inform you of any potential conditions that require preventative care. Because health plans change every year, you’ll also want to make sure you're getting the most out of your coverage. Seniors can benefit from Medicare Advantage plans, which offer additional dental and vision coverage along with access to fitness centers. Even if you’re not a senior, you should still check your insurance coverage to ensure you’re using all your benefits much as possible.
Heal Your Gut - Because the digestive system is closely linked to the nervous system and the immune system, along with other parts of the body, your gut plays a crucial role in your health. Talk to your doctor about any dietary considerations that might help improve your health. You might even speak with a nutritionist to plan healthful meals and grocery shopping lists customized to your unique needs.To keep your immune system as strong as possible, you can boost your gut’s microbiome, or the delicate balance of good bacteria, natural fungi, and other microbes that keep your body healthy. Studies have shown that a healthy balance of gut microbes helps us manage our weight, fight depression, and improve overall wellness. To get started with healing your gut, you can try adding probiotics or eating more fermented foods, like yogurt, miso soup, and sauerkraut. Of course, before making any dietary changes, always talk to your doctor just to be safe.
Fight Obesity - These days, one in three Americans are overweight or obese.
Due to the health risks associated with obesity, maintaining a healthier weight should be a priority for most of us. In addition to making healthier
dietary choices, like eating balanced, low-calorie meals, it’s also important to get some physical activity each week. For example, you might aim for
10 to 15 minutes per day, or 30 minutes three times per week. Start slowly, and work your way up to longer workouts as your body begins to feel stronger.
You can even find online guides and playlists to help you get started. When working out, always remember: if anything hurts, pinches, burns, or pops, ease off. It’s important to train at the level
that your body can handle without overdoing it.
One good way to get exercise is to head outside and hit the trails. You don’t have to hike through the mountains or embark on a journey through uncharted territory; instead, find short, easy nature trails in your area, grab some gear (a nice waterproof backpack, comfortable shoes, and some trail snacks are a good idea) and get out there!
Go easy on yourself, and don’t get discouraged if it’s taking longer to reach your health goals than you’d anticipated. Each body is different, and there’s no map of what your unique health journey
should look like and no timeline for how long it should take. By staying dedicated and resilient, you’ll overcome any challenges in your way and gradually
take baby steps toward your end goals. Have faith, stick with your health plan, and eventually, you might be surprised by just how much better you
look and feel!
Jennifer McGregor co-created Public Health Library (http://publichealthlibrary.org/) to write about health and wellness topics and to create a forum for sharing reputable health and medical information.