Friday, July 1, 2022

Five Things to Do to Support Your Health That Go Beyond Diet and Exercise

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If you’re looking for an easy way to boost your health, and you start your research online, you’re probably going to discover an endless amount of information about diet and exercise. There’s no doubt that eating the right foods and getting enough exercise can have profound effects on your health, but eating more vegetables and walking more aren’t the only ways you can support your health at any age.

Here are five additional ways you can support your health that doesn’t involve eating specific foods or doing specific exercises.

Get Tested

It’s easy to skip going to the doctor until something is wrong. Even if you suspect that something might be wrong, it’s still easy to put off making that appointment. You shouldn’t. It’s extremely important to visit your doctor regularly so they can recommend medical tests as you get older.

For example, depending on your age and family history, you will eventually have to have a mammogram to detect breast cancer, a colonoscopy to help detect colon cancer, and Pap smears to detect cervical cancer. Taking these tests throughout your life can help you uncover potential health issues earlier rather than later, greatly increasing your chances of a full recovery should you discover a problem.

That’s not all. You should also get tested for STDs, which includes getting tested for HIV. People with AIDS only survive an average of 3 years, unless the virus is properly treated, while untreated syphilis can cause internal organ damage and even death. Get tested throughout your lifetime as you are sexually active, and especially if you switch sexual partners.

Spend Less Time on Social Media

Social media can be a great way to maintain connections that would otherwise disappear, but it does absolutely nothing to help you maintain meaningful connections. As a matter of fact, it does quite the opposite. Spending too much time on social media can actually cause you to feel worse about your life as you’re comparing yourself to the constant excitement that seems to be the experience of everyone else.

Studies have shown that social media use impacts mental health, and because it can cause people to stay up late browsing online content, it can rob you of sleep as well. You’ll be happier, more rested, and healthier overall if you spend less time on social media.

Spend More Time in the Kitchen

There are a lot of diets out there that try and tell you what to eat, but it may actually be better to focus on where your food is coming from instead of focusing on exactly what’s going into your mouth.

Cooking at home is almost always better than eating out. It enables you to have complete control over the ingredients in your food, and home-cooked meals almost always contain less processed ingredients. Not to mention, cooking keeps you on your feet and active!

Maintain Social Connections

Social connections are surprisingly important to our health. Close, meaningful connections are especially important. It’s true that it will make you happier, and it can make you safer when you have friends and family members who check in on you regularly, but it can actually prolong your life.

The key is focusing on making real, deep connections with others. Spend less time on social media, as mentioned earlier, and spend more time with the people you care about in person. If that isn’t possible, make time to call the people you care about to maintain those important connections.

Do Something New

Brain health has a huge impact on your overall health, and one of the best ways to exercise your brain is to do something new. Not only does it make life more exciting, it actually supports your brain’s learning centers, which can completely shut down if you aren’t using them.

Doing something new doesn’t have to be anything as intense as skydiving or living abroad! A few easy ideas to add a little novelty and challenge to your life include:

  • Try a new hobby
  • Join an exercise class
  • Cook a new recipe
  • Eat at a new restaurant by yourself
  • Learn an instrument

By all means, shake up your diet and find ways to add a few more steps to your daily routine, but don’t think that your health depends only on what you eat and how much you exercise. This list is full of additional ideas that will support your health well into old age.

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