If you’re into your health, you probably spend a good amount of time reading about the latest superfoods or putting in an effort to make it to the gym. Maybe you load up on green smoothies, take your multivitamins daily, brush your teeth every night, and wash your face every morning. But is all of that enough?
There are so many components to a healthy life, and it can be hard to keep track of them all. With the help of various nutritionists, physical trainers, doctors, and wellness coaches, we have come up with a list of six things you’re probably not doing for your health that you should start doing now.
Get More Vitamin D
“No matter who you are or where you live, there is a strong chance that you’re not getting enough vitamin D3,” says Traci D. Mitchell, a nutrition coach and personal trainer. “Vitamin D3 helps with calcium absorption, but it also works wonders at maintaining optimal health, from cancer protection to keeping the common cold at bay.” Aside from the sun, vitamin D can be found in mushrooms, salmon, and fortified milk and orange juice. You can also take supplements to boost your levels of this disease-fighting vitamin to prevent your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Improve Your Brain Health
Playing Sudoku or doing a crossword puzzle isn’t just for entertainment, as keeping your brain active is a vital part of overall health. In addition to training your brain through problem solving and memory games, you should also establish good brain health habits like eating healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, staying active and exercising to reduce stress and tension, suggests Dr. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, a professor of psychiatry at The Brain Institute at The University of Utah. “There’s also a powerful, well-researched supplement solution called citicoline, which is already naturally produced in the brain,” she says. “It plays a major role in healthy brain function – especially when it comes to boosting memory and concentration.”
Create A Meditation Ritual
Combatting stress is not always on the forefront of everyone’s minds, but chronic stress can take a serious toll on your body, from hurting your heart health, to raising your blood pressure, to premature aging. Meditation is a proven stress-reducer, but this doesn’t mean you necessarily have to spend 30 minutes sitting in silence. “Taking a daily walk around the block will do wonders for the mind,” says Cassie Sobelton, a health and wellness expert and founder/CEO of SynBella. “Stretching a bit in the morning, even for a few minutes, will really help awaken the body and prepare it for the day.”
Cut Out Sugar
“Your daily can of pop may not seem harmful right now, but down the road the effects of sugar can catch up to you,” says René Ficek, RD. “Recent studies show a connection between a high sugar diet and dying of heart disease, even if you are not overweight.” Other harmful effects of sugar include weight gain, cavities, high blood pressure, increased risk of cancer, and problems with mood.
Improve Your Posture
Get Up And Move During Your Day
In today’s work culture, many people sit for over eight hours at their desk. Sitting for prolonged periods of time has been linked to increased risk of disease and early death, so make sure you are getting up at least every hour and either stretch or take a walk. “My tip is to use computer or smart phone apps with timers to remind you to stand up and move around every 20 to 30 minutes,” says Greg Justice, a personal trainer and corporate wellness coach. “Even a trip around your office can make all the difference in the world to generate some circulation.”