You’ve probably heard that exercise is good for your mental health, but did you know that staying active benefits your skin or that your skin and mental health are linked? Your body is composed of different systems, with all the different parts impacting one another. What’s going on in your brain, gut, lungs — it’s all interconnected. This is good news when you’re trying to live healthier because just a few simple strategies can impact your overall well-being.
Get Those Checkups
According to the CDC, staying on top of check-ups is an easy way to make sure you don’t have any underlying health concerns that need to be addressed. Doing this starts with having the right insurance and making sure you’re taking advantage of it. This is especially important for seniors because some Medicare Advantage plans, such as those offered through UnitedHealthcare, include additional benefits so that all of your medical needs are covered. These benefits often include dental and vision care, and sometimes even cover fitness centers where you live. Insurance plans typically change each year, so one of the best things you can do for your health is to make sure you’re familiar with what’s covered under your plan.
One reason it’s so important to have the right health coverage is that things like dental and vision care play a role in your overall wellness. You may not even realize how much dental health is connected to your mental health. It’s common for people who struggle with depression to have poor oral hygiene due to neglect. Getting a dental checkup and addressing other areas that impact both mental and dental health, like eating right, can get you back on track.
While you are planning your annual well-checks, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. Since the skin is the largest organ (it is also the only one exposed to the elements), keeping a check on it can help you spot signs of damage or skin cancer before it goes too far. Your dermatologist will likely want to discuss sun exposure and skincare, each of which should include products that protect against UV radiation. Your daily hygiene routine should utilize quality skincare products that cleanse without drying your skin out.
Simplify Your Eating and Drinking Habits
Eating healthy is, of course, one of the primary things we can do that has a positive impact on our teeth, mental wellness, and overall health. Some people struggle with healthy eating, though, because it gets confusing trying to find the right diet. Instead of trying to find a magic solution, you can simplify things with these easy habits.
- Eat whole foods – Eating clean is all about avoiding processed ingredients that don’t serve you, like added sodium and sugar. One of the best ways to check if a food is “clean” is to read the label. Use this strategy anytime you pick up a packaged food at the grocery store. And of course, foods that come straight from nature (fruits, veggies, and unprocessed meats) are as “whole” as you can get.
- Drink lots of water – You know you should drink plenty of water, but you may not know just how many different ways it benefits your health. According to Reader’s Digest, drinking water does everything from give you more energy and improve memory to aid digestion and clear your skin. What’s even better is that when you replace sugary drinks with water, you’re cutting down on more processed ingredients. If you have a hard time making the switch, try these fruit infusions to add some flavor to your water. Also, instead of buying bottle after bottle of water, purchase a good water-purifying pitcher and a reusable bottle to cut down on cost and waste.
Create an Active Lifestyle
Adding a little more activity to your daily routine is right up there with a healthy diet for feeling and looking your best. Not only does exercise keep your heart and lungs healthy, but it also decreases the stress hormone cortisol. This is one reason why exercise helps you stay emotionally balanced and helps improve the look of your skin. Having a regular exercise routine is great, but there are other small ways you can move a little more each day. Simple choices like taking the stairs or a quick walk around the block are easy ways to up your activity level.
Some people are surprised by just how much small, everyday habits impact their lives in big ways. It starts with health checks because they give you a baseline for keeping everything else in balance. Most importantly, start small with simple choices so that these health strategies can easily become a new way of life.
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