“Take care of your body. It is the only place you have to live.”
How often have we come across quotes emphasizing the importance of health and scrolled past them? After all, it is human nature to not take things at face value until we experience the consequences first-hand.
Unfortunately, the depleting health of our bodies may not give us a grace period to get our act together. Our bodies operate like well-oiled machines, provided they acquire sustenance with food and water.
But, like you, the body recognizes the difference between a diet that comprises essential nutrients and empty calories.
Add to that a sedentary lifestyle, and lo and behold! Your body might not undergo a sudden change but your health starts to progressively get worse. Ultimately, you might experience different problems.
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How can you Optimize your Physical Health?
One day it is a minor stomach ache.
The following day your energy levels might suddenly drop, and your body temperature may rise.
Don’t worry, it’s never too late! Based on extensive research, we have compiled the 6 most effective tips on how you can optimize your physical health.
1. Experiment and Stick to a Particular Diet
Committing to a particular diet is the perfect way to avoid empty calories and saturated fats that merely add to your weight. These calorie-filled foods do not benefit you in any way, except by catering to your taste buds.
But the taste of the food matters, right? After all, it is no easy feat to compromise on your taste buds while committing to a healthy meal plan.
We agree! But it is a myth that healthy food cannot simultaneously be tasty. Think back to some of the most common foodstuffs – eggs, salmon, mushrooms, yogurt, sweet potatoes, the list goes on. These items can be prepared using diverse recipes with a seasoning of your choice. Plus, they are loaded with healthy nutrients!
But when the term ‘healthy’ enters the picture, it is easy to think of a diet comprising of fruits, vegetables, and eggs. While this is true, a healthy diet also revolves around eliminating specific food items.
To make it clearer, the World Health Organization has officially defined that a healthy diet constitutes the following factors.
- Reduced consumption of sugar (at least less than 10% of the total energy intake).
- Increased intake of fruits and vegetables.
- Limited ingestion of fats (less than 30% of the total energy intake) and salts.
You can find multiple diet plans tailored to your convenience on the internet with methods like intermittent fasting, adopting a keto diet, or eating small portions every three hours.
While the impact of these diets depends on your commitment and schedule, they all have a common denominator. Healthy diets focus on portions.
Experiment with various diets before deciding the best one for you. Maybe you will figure out an ideal eating schedule that is beneficial to you.
2. Ensure Regular Movement of the Body
For most of us, sitting continuously for four to five hours at a stretch might not be unfamiliar. Desk jobs might sometimes require you to sit in the same chair for about eight hours.
The mental fatigue from these jobs also translates into a reluctance to engage in any physical activity after returning home.
So, how do you go about improving your physical health despite these hurdles?
This scenario is more common than you would think since more than 60 percent of US adults do not partake in the recommended amount of physical movement. The advised duration of movement is either 30 minutes of brisk walking or 15 to 20 minutes of jogging.
Start small. If you are a beginner, you cannot expect to cover marathon-like distances. Begin with a 15-minute walk in your vicinity. Not getting enough time for that? No problem! Start cycling or walking to your nearby grocery store instead of taking the car.
Studies have found that a bout of continuous moderate-to-vigorous physical activity can lead to the following benefits.
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved sleep quality
- Better cognitive function
Ultimately, you are sharper, more active, and more energetic if you start your day with some form of moderately strenuous physical exercise. The long-term benefits will be visible with time as you feel more motivated and optimistic about improving your health by starting the day off right.
3. Hydrate and Hydrate!
How can we forget about water – the nectar assigned to us from the heavens?
Are you thirsty after spending long hours in the sun? Or are you tired after a round of strenuous physical exercise? Just consume a glass of water.
Unsurprisingly, this all-rounder beverage is also a staple in maintaining top-notch physical well-being. Here are some of the notable benefits of consuming water.
- Helps in reducing calorie intake and weight management.
- Acts as a synovial fluid to lubricate joints and tissues to prevent bones from rubbing against each other.
- Prevents dehydration and ensures normal bowel movement.
There is no fixed limit for everyday water intake. However, the recommended intake depends on multiple variables like age, height, weight, diet, and physical activity.
Ensuring proper hydration is especially vital if you plan to engage in regular exercise. Since muscles are composed of 80% water, hydration can help reduce oxidative stress.
Ultimately, you gain the energy to increase your workout intensity without adding to your calorie intake.
4. Never Compromise on Sleep
Several studies have reiterated the importance of a solid and uninterrupted 8 to 9 hours of sleep. You might notice that at the end of a long and busy day, you feel fatigued. Unless you get an adequate amount of sleep, these feelings of tiredness carry over to the next day, impacting your productivity.
Sleep is a complex phenomenon. While your body may be at rest during this period, your brain and other internal organs are still at work.
Simultaneously, your body restores its molecular aspects, energy levels, intellectual function, and alertness.
A mere 3 to 4 hours of sleep or staying up the whole night) is detrimental to your well-being, as it leaves you feeling more tired and impacts productivity.
In addition to servicing the brain, sleep contributes to your overall health. The benefits of adequate sleep also extend to the tissues in the body.
Overall, a solid eight hours of slumber ensures the maintenance of your cardiovascular health, proper regulation of growth hormones, and a solid immune system.
Despite numerous studies highlighting the importance of sleep, 1 in 3 adults complains that they don’t get enough rest every night. It is crucial to visit a doctor or instill lifestyle changes to adopt a fixed and uninterrupted sleeping schedule.
5. Minimize Alcohol Consumption
You might think that consuming excess alcohol frequently might not be as bad. After all, there are no symptoms to indicate that alcohol is having a negative effect on your health. But that’s untrue.
It has been established that alcohol in excessive dosages can cause liver disease, high blood pressure, and memory problems, and negatively impact mental health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also states that users who drink alcohol periodically might have the same odds of succumbing to cancer as frequent drinkers.
While the recommended dietary guidelines permit drinking up to two glasses of alcoholic beverages per day, the fact is that you cannot rule out a correlation between alcohol and terrible physical health.
Hence, it is vital to mete out your alcohol and consume it in limited quantities. Careless drinking can end up causing a barrier between you and robust physical health and well-being.
6. Avoid Tobacco Products
If you thought alcohol was bad for you, wait until we dissect tobacco’s impact on your body. Available and largely consumed in the form of cigarettes, tobacco is known to cause a long list of disorders, such as:
- Lung diseases
- Heart diseases
- Chronic Bronchitis
This never-ending list continues to expand as researchers are still exploring the impact of smoking and tobacco use on a healthy human body.
If you need visuals to ascertain the seriousness of the issue, the CDC has estimated that about 16 million Americans suffer from smoking-related ailments, while secondhand smoke is responsible for 41,000 deaths annually.
Smoking also strains your lungs significantly, ultimately reducing your endurance levels. Tobacco is responsible for reducing the concentration of oxygen-rich blood supply to the heart, lungs, and muscles.
In fact, inhaling tobacco smoke results in the binding of carbon monoxide to red blood cells.
Carbon monoxide in the blood substitutes oxygen-rich blood, which is responsible for ensuring peak physical performance. Instead, your muscles start to fill with lactic acid.
Ultimately, the build-up of lactic acid causes increased soreness in the muscles and results in extreme fatigue, making it difficult to continue exercising.
Lack of exercise can be disastrous for physical health, and cause long-term complications.
Naturally, incorporating all these changes rapidly is neither feasible nor possible. In this instance, you can use the concept of ‘no zero days’ – a popular psychological method to encourage you to change your lifestyle, one activity at a time.
So, the answer to ‘how can you optimize your physical health?’ is as follows.
Start with a 5-minute walk daily. Incorporate one vegetable or fruit into your existing diet. Focus on increasing the time and portion day by day to create a habit without overwhelming yourself.
Adopt a mix of a healthy diet, exercise, and proper sleep to ascertain gradual changes in your physical health. Starting is always the most challenging part. Summon your willpower to incorporate these changes and witness the results for yourself!
Q1). What are the 3 ways to improve physical health?
Ans: In no particular order – regular exercise, a nutrient-rich diet, and adequate sleep are the most important aspects of improving physical health. Coordinating these three elements will help you gain the maximum benefits.
Q2). What are 6 things physical health can improve?
Ans: Maintaining a routine for your physical health will help improve your focus, enhance energy levels, build up your immune system, enable faster recovery, and reduce your anxiety levels.
Q3). What are the best ways to be physically healthy?
Ans: The best ways to be physically active are listed below:
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes
- Maintain a nutrient-rich diet
- Cut down on salt and sugar
- Get at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep
- Avoid using tobacco products
- Prevent exposure to secondhand smoke
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Regulate your snacking between meals.
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