With the colder, darker days coming in fast, the temptation is strong to draw the curtains, grab the blanket and hide away from the world with all your comfort foods. But as important as those soothing treat days are, they are also a shortcut to poor physical and mental health.
The last eighteen months have pushed us to breaking point in so many different ways, but they have also shown us the importance of having a good routine. By forcing us to stay indoors and avoid all the usual distractions, the pandemic also forced us to take a good long look at how we treat ourselves and it gave us a push to want to be better and live healthier.
One of the hardest things about making that shift if breaking old habits. The old ways of doing things can be tough to break away from, and if you do want to try and have a healthier, happier lifestyle, one of the keys is going to be creating new routines and habits that will become second nature. Here are just a few of the most important ones with some tips on how to make them part of your day-to-day.
Get Outside More
It is much, much easier to commit to getting more fresh air and exercise when the sun is shining, and it is lovely and warm out there. As we head into the fall and the weather worsens, it is going to take a little more to get us out of the door. However, there are real mental and physical health benefits to getting some exercise in the great outdoors.
If you want to start getting into a good routine with this one, start by identifying times in the day that you can dedicate to it. If you are still working from home, try getting up half an hour, or even an hour, earlier than usual to go for a brisk walk or a jog before breakfast. If you need a bit of extra encouragement, recruit a friend, and make it a social activity.
Get Regular Health Check-Ups
There are several reasons why people get out of the habit of going for regular health check-ups. It could be laziness, it could be the assumption that they are perfectly healthy so there is nothing that they need to check for, or it could be the fear that there is something wrong and they would rather not know if that were the case.
Whatever it is that is holding you back, you know that getting seen by a health care specialist regularly matters, otherwise you would not be reading this article. Although check-ups become more and more necessary as you get older, it is important for everyone to do.
There are many serious health conditions that can become real problems if they go unchecked or unnoticed, including heart and liver issues and cancer. It is particularly crucial that you catch any form as cancer as soon as possible because the chances of it being treated successfully are higher the earlier you start treatment.
A full-body MRI test will scan your organs for any signs of cancer as well as other diseases, and they are non-invasive. Ezra provides full body MRIs, and they have a wealth of resources on their site which details the benefits of a procedure as well as what to expect.
Take Control Of Your Diet
We all know how easy it is to lean on comfort foods during the long fall and winter months. But as much of a boost as you might get from a chocolate bar, it is important to remember that a healthy diet is one of the best ways to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. If you are not sure about how to implement a better food and drink plan, you should start planning.
Think about what meals you will be preparing this week and make sure you have all the ingredients you need to avoid the temptation to get take-out instead. Remember to buy lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid processed meats. When it comes to snacks, preparation is also key.
Crunchy fresh fruit and vegetables are satisfying and healthy and can give you a natural sugar boost. Caffeine is one of the hardest things to cut down on, so try to switch one of your caffeinated drinks out every day for a decaf option. Remember that caffeine can negatively impact your blood pressure and make it harder to sleep.
This is also true of alcohol, which is something that a lot of us over-indulged in during lockdown. Swapping a drink for a non-alcoholic option is a great way to start, and you should make sure you that you avoid drinking alcohol every night.