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Ten Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Healthier

three older women laughing and enjoying wine at a restaurant

 

We all know the “usual” ways of getting or retaining good health – eat the right foods, exercise, don’t smoke, and drink only in moderation. But if you find these methods put too much of a cramp in your lifestyle, consider these 10 ways to keep both mind and body in good shape.

Connect with others

As human beings, we are, by nature, social beings. As we age, socialization continues to be critically important to our overall well-being. Several studies have shown that people who are more social get sick less and have healthier minds. A study from the Rush University Memory and Aging Project concluded that a higher level of social engagement in old age is associated with better cognitive function.

Laugh

It may turn out that laughter really is the best medicine. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter reduces stress, strengthens the immune system and improves your mood. It’s also good for the heart and the brain.

Get a puppy

Studies have shown that pet owners are healthier than those who live without pets – they provide companionship, unconditional love, and a quick pick-me-up after a hard day. They also provide an opportunity play, walk and get off the couch.

Give thanks

A study conducted by Robert Emmons, University of California, Davis, and Michael McCullough, University of Miami, discovered that people who practiced gratitude regularly were more optimistic, which led to an increased sense of well-being. By practicing the simple act of becoming aware of what we have to be thankful for, we can drastically improve the quality of our life.

Explore the outdoors

It’s a big, beautiful world out there, just waiting for you to appreciate it. Getting up off the couch and going outside has all sorts of benefits. It makes exercise feel easier, so you’ll be inclined to do more. It can increase creativity, reduce stress, and may even help us age more gracefully. Those who get out of the house more often have significantly fewer complaints regarding pain, sleep problems, and a decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living.

Breathe deeply

Taking deep breaths can, for many people, instantly alter their mood, making them more relaxed. Deep breathing increases the flow of oxygen in the body and flushes out carbon dioxide. It may also help lower your blood pressure and help you manage stress and anxiety.

Take a nap

Studies have shown that sleep – even in the form of a quick nap – helps us do everything from maintaining a healthy weight to improving our memory to spurring our creativity. It may even help us live longer.

Eat some chocolate

Okay, this one come with a bit of a caveat. While eating a Snickers bar may not improve your health, dark chocolate with at least a 70 perfect cocoa content or higher has been shown, in some studies, to reduce your risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, and, not surprisingly, to improve your mood.

Have a glass of wine

There is some evidence that, in moderation, alcohol may reduce your risk of stroke. Red wine, in particular, is a good choice, as it is high in antioxidants, raises HDL cholesterol (that’s the good cholesterol), reduces the formation of blood clots, and may help prevent coronary heart disease.

Buy a plant for your living room

Plants help purify indoor air – spider plants, which are one of the easiest houseplants to grow, reduce formaldehyde. Dracaena comes in 40 different varieties and removes benzene and xylene. As a bonus, plants add beauty to almost any space in your home.

 This article is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Speak to your doctor if you have questions about your health needs.

Categories: Senior Health