Improving your health may seem like something straightforward. Exercise more. Sleep better. Drink more water. But there is so much more to living a healthy, fulfilling life than following a list of good habits.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is about finding the right activities for you. By thinking more about your own health rather than meeting a certain standard, you can make changes that are both enjoyable and sustainable.
These 12 lifestyle changes can help you improve your health on your own terms. By incorporating new tools and practices into your life, you can begin to experience better physical health, brighter moods, and less stress in your daily life.
1. Find Ways to Move More Often
Staying active doesn’t have to be limited to the gym. By looking for easy ways to get active in your everyday life, you can stay fitter and ward off the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Although many of us want to be more active, desk jobs and digital-driven hobbies can make it hard to do more than 30 minutes a day. This is a good starting point, but it’s not the only option for measuring our fitness activity.
It can be helpful to make exercise more fun, so it feels less like something you have to do. A swim spa, for example, can give you the benefits of an exercise pool and hot tub all in one. Doing water-based exercises will allow you to get more physical activity in your daily life while being gentle on your joints.
2. Lower Stress Through Hydrotherapy
Soaking in a swim spa or hot tub can do more than relax your body. By letting your thoughts go and embracing the warmth and comfort of the water, you can help change your body’s response to stress, too.
Because the warm water and jets can induce relaxation, this has physiological effects on your stress hormone levels. The primary culprit, cortisol, drops, while feel-good hormones rise. Hydrotherapy doesn’t have to be extensive to be effective, either. A 15-minute soak can work wonders on your mood.
3. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Although the promise of coffee may get you out of bed in the morning, too much caffeine can have serious side-effects. While it may help you perk up, it can actually have a negative effect on your sleep.
Over-caffeinating can also fuel anxiety, make it harder to focus and worsen insomnia. There’s no need to go completely without, but you should try to drink no more than two 8-ounce cups of caffeinated tea or coffee each day.
4. Read More
Reading is a great way to destress and unwind. With so much of our lives digital, it can be exhausting to spend even our leisurely hours pinned to a screen. Physical books don’t have to be strictly print, which a lot of people struggle to focus on.
Look for engaging picture books for adults that are filled with striking imagery. Whether it’s historical photos, castles in Europe or art books, there are plenty of options that can become staples on your coffee table for screen-free relaxation.
5. Cleanse Your Body in a Sauna
Saunas are good for your brain and body. In addition to feeling pleasurable and inducing a relaxed state, new research suggests that saunas can help lower blood pressure, increase circulation, reduce pain and possibly improve heart health.
The science behind saunas is still being studied, but so far, research shows that the benefits are diverse and significant. The most notable, however, is the potentially lowered risk of vascular disease. Because saunas can reduce tension and stress throughout the entire body, using one a few times a week can possibly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease.
6. Commit to at Least 150 Minutes of Cardio Exercise Each Week
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Cardio is important because it elevates the heart rate above resting level, strengthening the muscle and preventing the risk of disease.
In addition to warding off health problems, regular exercise also helps balance your brain chemistry, lower stress and even reduce physical pain.
If you struggle to work out in typical settings, you could consider a swim spa instead. This allows you to practice aerobics in a gentle, supportive water environment. The buoyancy supports up to 90% of your body weight, making low-impact exercise even gentler on the body.
7. Aim to Eat a Natural Diet
Processed foods are easy to access, and they often become the norm without people realizing it. Unfortunately, these heavily processed foods contain a number of harmful ingredients that can be damaging to your health.
Eating a good diet is rooted in natural ingredients. You may have heard the common mantra, “Eat from the earth.” This is a good rule to follow. Rather than go for packaged goods, make the bulk of your grocery cart fresh fruits and vegetables.
When you buy packaged goods, read the ingredients list carefully. Consume less red meat or explore plant-based alternatives that are just as versatile and tasty.
8. Drink More Water
Did you remember to drink enough water today? The human body is 75% water, and it needs a steady fluid intake to perform at its peak potential. Even though you may not feel bad drinking juice, soda or other liquids, they do not provide the same health benefits as water.
Water supports cellular health, delivering nutrients throughout your bloodstream. It also aids digestion, carries bacteria out of the body and provides support for muscles and joints. Adults should drink at least 2 to 4 liters a day.
9. Spend More Time With Friends and Family
Socializing is actually great for your health. By spending time in good company, you can lower stress, reduce anxiety and depression and feel more connected. A sense of belonging is integral to well-being, especially if you struggle with a mental health disorder.
Choose low-stress activities that make it easy to unwind and bond. Soaking together in a hot tub, playing a game or making a healthy meal together are great options.
10. Find a New Hobby
Hobbies don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming to benefit you. Learning to draw, knitting or doing yoga can all bring greater happiness to your life for little cost. You can even have fun getting to know yourself as you explore different hobbies. You may even decide that trying new things is a new hobby in and of itself!
11. Make Relaxation a Priority
Being able to unwind and release stress shouldn’t be something you have to earn. Everyone needs time each day to destress and truly feel relaxed and at peace.
If you are interested in taking your relaxation up a notch, you might consider investing in some home upgrades, like a personal sauna or hot tub. In a pinch, a warm bath with a bath bomb or some essential oils can do the trick.
Just 30 minutes of daily hot tub use can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which fight off disease and strengthen your immune system.
12. Take Care of Your Mental Health
While these lifestyle changes can all help lower stress and worries, you may need further care for your mental health. Sometimes, persistent anxiety or chronic stress can become challenges in life. In this case, seeking out a professional therapist is the best course of action.
Therapy can help you in a number of other ways, too. In addition to treating mental illness, therapists help clients reach their goals, learn how to communicate more effectively and cope with life struggles or major changes.
Take Better Care of Yourself With Legacy Hot Tubs
Legacy Hot Tubs offers a catalogue of hot tubs, swim spas and saunas that can help you care for your health every day. Browse our collection online, or make a trip to visit our beautiful Sarasota showroom.
If you have any questions about hot tub health benefits, please reach out to us today.