When we’re caught up in our careers, our family, and our social life, it can be easy to forget how important personal health is. But the reality is that our health is just as important as all of these things, if not more.
Intellectually, we all know the benefitsof prioritizing personal health–but do we practice what we preach? It may be hard to find the time or energy to develop the habits that make a healthy lifestyle, but to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be, it’s a necessity. Just a few simple shifts in your daily routine can be enough to pull you in a healthier direction.
Find Your Favorite Exercise Activity
Getting fit by doing something you actually enjoy doing can make all the difference for your personal health. Finding time for regular exercise can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, so don’t make it harder by forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy doing.
Don’t feel bad if you’re not into running, lifting weights, or yoga. Keep trying new things and you’re sure to find the right activity for you. If you’re recovering from addiction or have a chronic condition, swimmingor aquatic therapy can be excellent options and there are likely classes at a local YMCA or health club to get you started. Whether it’s kickboxing, surfing, or dancing, try as many new activities as possible and you’re sure to find something that sticks.
Make Gradual Changes
Implementing a new exercise regime or making lasting changes to your diet can feel like a lot of work. Whether you’re trying to eat healthier or are getting into the groove of a fitness routine, making small, gradual changes will ensure that these new habits are here to stay.
Making too many drastic changes at once can use up all your will power and leaving you feeling burnt out. Take it one step at a time to enjoy lasting change.
Get Enough Sleep
Did you know that almost half of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep? Even if you’re exercising and eating right, it’s all pointless if you don’t give your body the time it needs to rest and repair. Sleep should be a top priority for you if you’re concerned about your personal health.
Everything in Moderation
Does this mean you shouldn’t indulge in things like sweets or alcohol? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, enjoying these indulgences less frequently will make them much more enjoyable.
Besides, we’ve all heard of the benefits of a glass of red wine with dinner. Similarly, did you know that chocolate can help boost your mood and sharpen your mind? Including these treats in your health routine can keep you on the right track and give you something to look forward to after a successful day of eating right and exercising.
Adopt a dog
Studies have shown that dog ownerstend to be more active and are more likely to meet federal criteria for regular moderate or vigorous exercise. It makes sense when you think about it: dog owners must be active in order to give proper walks and potty trips to their companion.
Owning a dog also gives you an automatic exercise buddy, and the best kind at that. He’ll never criticize you or put you down; instead, he’ll be right by your side cheering you on. You can get easy exercise just by going on daily walks together or playing a game of fetch in the backyard, and the best part is it won’t feel like an inconvenient burden. It’s something good for you that you’ll actually look forward to!
Your health comes first and that’s a fact. It’s not selfish and it’s not optional–it’s necessary. If you want to be the best you can be in all other areas of your life, make your personal health your number one priority.
Patricia Sarmiento has been dedicated to fitness her entire life. She swam and ran in high school and college and, along with her family, continues to live an active lifestyle today. In addition to staying fit, Patricia enjoys sharing her health and wellness knowledge on her blog. She lives with her husband, two children, and their shih tzu in Maryland.