In today’s society everything moves very fast and sometimes we do not have time to think about whether our lifestyle and habits help us to find ourselves better. In this blog we try to give you some health tips to help you reflect and improve your life habits, always adapting them to your tastes and preferences . And it is that, staying healthy goes far beyond the absence of diseases, and has a lot to do with simple actions that are under our control , such as habits related to food, sports, sleep or hygiene.
Self-care is the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with disease and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider”
In short, self-care refers to all those habits and attitudes with which all of us, every day, can preserve and improve our health.
Let’s see how to do it with the following 7 health tips!
1. Take care of your diet
We are what we eat.
And it is that, feeding us properly has a great impact on our quality of life: it means providing our body with all the nutrients it needs for its optimal functioning and, in addition, it helps us to maintain our weight, which reduces the risk of disease such as obesity, and associated risks such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.
Take note of these simple habits that will help you eat healthy:
- Make the variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains the base of your diet. Remember that it is advisable to consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. It is possible to do it with innovative and simple recipes that make healthy food rich and fun.
- Always eat at the same times . We know that this can be difficult nowadays due to our rhythm of life, but you should strive to achieve it. Skipping a meal often creates a yo-yo effect, causing much more food to be consumed than is needed at the next meal.
- Eat breakfast every day: it has to do with the previous point. Breakfast provides our body with the energy it needs to be active during the morning and, in addition, helps to prevent excess food from being eaten throughout the day.
- Avoid snacking between hours and, if you do, choose healthy snacks, such as nuts without frying or a piece of fruit that, in addition to being satiated, provide essential nutrients for your body.
- Reduce the consumption of salt and sugar : both substances are found in excess in ultra-processed foods, so avoid them, since they considerably increase the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
- Keep your body hydrated: it is recommended to drink two liters of water daily. Drinking water helps you eliminate toxins, aids in digestion, and prevents constipation. A tip that may be useful to you is to add to your water bottle a few slices of cucumber or lemon, which will flavor the water and make it easier to drink it.
- Substitute trans and saturated fats for polyunsaturated fats: minimize the consumption of ultra-processed fats , which are rich in the former, and opt for foods with polyunsaturated fats such as salmon, vegetable oils, nuts or some types of seed.
2. With alcohol, be careful!
Do you know that alcohol causes 3 million deaths every year worldwide? This figure, collected in WHO reports, attests to the harmful effects of the abuse of this substance, which is also associated with more than 200 pathologies and the development of mental and behavioral disorders.
If you consume alcohol, it is best to do it in a moderate way, that is, do not take more than one unit a day if you are an adult woman or a man over 65, or more than two if you are an adult man under 65. A unit of drink is equivalent to a medium-sized glass of beer or a glass of wine.
3. Stop smoking
Smoking is linked to numerous pathologies, from eye cataracts to cancer, the risk of which is doubled in those who have this habit, and it quadruples in heavy smokers.
In addition, it is responsible for more than 90% of deaths from chronic lung obstruction diseases and increases the risk of heart disease and cerebrovascular problems.
If you smoke, you should be aware that, in addition to seriously damaging your health, you are also harming the health of those around you , as they passively inhale cigarette smoke and all its toxic substances.
Quitting smoking is always a good decision for your health and that of yours. Did you know…?
- After 20 minutes without smoking, blood pressure decreases.
- After 12 hours the carbon monoxide in the blood reaches a normal level.
- At 3 months, blood circulation and lung capacity improve.
- At 9 months, the risk of infections, shortness of breath and cough decrease.
- At one year, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.
- At 5 years, the risk of neck cancer and stroke is the same as that of nonsmokers, and the risk of cancer of the throat, esophagus, mouth, and bladder is halved.
- At 10 years, the risk of lung cancer is cut in half.
- At age 15, the risk of heart disease is similar to that of a nonsmoker.
As you can see, it is very worth quitting smoking. Also, do you know that the appearance of your skin will also improve? Nor will it exhaust you to climb stairs, the smell of your clothes will be much more pleasant, and will improve your sense of taste and smell.
4. Play sports, move!
Sport is one of the pillars of healthy lifestyles. If you think that you don’t have time or that your physical shape is not adequate, don’t worry. Sport is within everyone’s reach. Daily moderate and long-term physical activity, such as walking at a good pace for 30 minutes, has numerous health benefits:
- Helps you stay on your weight
- It helps control blood sugar level and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
- It favors the quality of sleep.
- Reduces the risk of premature death.
- Increase self-esteem and improve depression.
Take note of these tips to include sports in your self-care routine:
- Take the opportunity to play sports with small changes in your routine: for example, climb stairs instead of taking the elevator.
- If you sit for many hours, get up every 60 minutes and walk a little to keep your muscles active.
- Gradually increase the intensity of the sport you practice. Learn to listen to your body, and try not to force it.
- Breathe through the nose to prevent flatus.
- Choose a suitable equipment for the sport you practice. Good footwear is essential, as well as breathable clothing.
5. Take care of your hygiene
Although you cannot see them, everything around you is full of microorganisms and some of them are capable of causing diseases. That is why it is very important to maintain good personal hygiene and cleanliness of the home. Some basic tips are:
- Wash your hands when you get home, before eating and when you have been in contact with animals.
- Shower daily to control germs that can affect your skin. Specifically, it is important that you do it after practicing physical exercise, since it favors sweating and contact with bacteria present on the surfaces with which our skin comes into contact.
6. Sleep well
All the functions of our organism are affected by lack of sleep : from the hormonal, immune or respiratory systems to blood pressure or cardiovascular health.
In addition, several investigations indicate that not sleeping properly can increase the risk of obesity, infections and coronary heart disease.
Well, what hours of sleep are adequate? General recommendations depend on age and are as follows:
- Newborns up to 3 months: 14-17 hours.
- Babies up to 11 months: 12-15 hours.
- Children up to 2 years old: 9-15 hours.
- Children up to 5 years old: 10-13 hours.
- Children up to 13 years old: 9-11 hours.
- Adolescents up to 17 years: 10 hours a day.
- Adults: 7-9 hours daily.
- Seniors over 65 years: 7-8 hours daily.
In order to sleep better, we recommend that you implant these habits:
- Have a regular time to go to bed and get up.
- Link a routine when you go to sleep. They can be simple actions like brushing your teeth, taking a bath, or reading.
- Practice physical exercise, but try not to do it just before going to sleep.
- Do not drink stimulants like coffee or other caffeinated drinks after 4 in the afternoon.
- Sleep in comfortable clothes, in a dark and quiet room.
7. Don’t forget about your mental health!
As we saw at the beginning of this article, mental well-being is a fundamental part of health, as the WHO itself indicates in its definition.
Mental and physical health are closely linked, because if one is not good it will negatively affect the other and vice versa.
Today we know that stress is associated with a less healthy lifestyle, leading to addictions to tobacco and alcohol, and a worse diet.
It is very important that you worry about taking care of your mind as much as your body. Here are some tips that can help you do this:
- Humans are social beings, so nurture and nurture your interpersonal relationships with family and friends.
- Learn to ask for help when you need it.
- Rest, eat well and do sports, for all the benefits that, as we have already explained, entail.
- Value yourself and accept yourself as you are.
- Take a few minutes a day. Meditation is a good resource to improve mental well-being.
- Set one or more vital purposes, because having a long-term motivation favors the health of the mind.