We live in far more health-conscious times than ever before in human history. Everyone today is aware of the importance of maintaining their overall good health, and there is much better awareness of how this is best achieved. Even though not many of us have ever taken any kind of formal training or education regarding improving and maintaining our health, we still understand many of the essential components of a healthy lifestyle.
However, we are also living in a world which seems to be constantly encouraging us to unplug and to keep one foot in the real world, while the other is planted firmly in the digital landscape. Under such pressures, it isn’t always easy to find the time or motivation to improve our health. It is far too easy for us to go from being in good shape and excellent health, to being out of shape and struggling to complete the basic exercise. Clearly, this isn’t a good state to be in.
It is not all doom and gloom, however. The modern world also offers huge advantages for maintaining our health. For example, the range of apps now available for smartphones – which most of us are carrying at all times – means that the average person has easy access to the kind of fitness tracking tools they need to maintain peak physical conditions.
Best of all, it is possible to devise a comprehensive healthcare routine that is all natural and free of chemicals or artificial supplements. Anyone looking to improve their overall health and wellbeing, without recourse to any artificial performance enhancers or other unnatural chemicals, should start with the following words of advice.
Being outdoors is good for us for many reasons. Sometimes, getting some fresh air and sunshine is all it takes to put us in a better mood and to help to blow away the cobwebs that form when we are stuck inside for prolonged periods. The evidence for the beneficial effects of being outside and exposed to the sun is constantly growing. There are now therapies, such as ecotherapy, which emphasize the healing power of the outdoors.
For many years now, doctors have been trying to encourage everyone to try and do more exercise. In recent years, the emphasis has shifted to making patients understand that only a relatively small amount of time needs to be given over to exercise in order for it to have an appreciable effect on an individual’s health.
Exercising outdoors is even better than hitting the gym with everything you’ve got. This is because being exposed to the sun provides us with essential vitamins, and while the mechanisms are still poorly understood, we now know that exposure to sunlight impacts our moods quite significantly.
Work on Your Diet
As obvious as it might seem to say, our body needs food to function. Food is where our bodies get the vital nutrients and other substances that they need to repair cells and to maintain healthy functioning. However, while we are all aware of how important it is to have a well-rounded and balanced diet, we aren’t always so good at making sure that we stick to the diets that we start.
To understand just how vital our diets are to our overall health and functioning, consider neurotransmitters. These are chemicals which carry electronic signals through the brain. They are responsible for our moods, as well as playing a role in a number of biological functions and systems. For our body to produce neurotransmitters, it needs to have access to the necessary chemical building blocks.
These building blocks are called essential amino acids. They can only be obtained from food. Without enough of these essential amino acids in our diets, our bodies simply don’t have what they need to be able to produce the neurotransmitters that we depend on. When this occurs, the body struggles to maintain adequate levels of the necessary substances.
When our diets do not contain an appropriate mix and good balance of various different food groups, our bodies end up being deprived of the vital nutrients that they need. This can cause a number of physical and psychological symptoms, especially if the malnutrition is chronic.
Many people find that switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet helps their overall health to improve, although this isn’t true for everyone. If you don’t want to remove meat or other animal products from your diet, you can make a big difference to your health and the quality of your diet by doing away with processed meats and switching to organic and free-range alternatives.
Meditation and Mindfulness
You will almost certainly have heard of either meditation or mindfulness before. They are both very similar techniques, designed to achieve the same end goal (more or less). Mindfulness is increasingly being taught to patients in the hospital for a variety of conditions. For those who are experienced with mindfulness, there are a growing number of hospital jobs which will make use of your talents. In fact, anyone with an interest in healthy living should consider working in a hospital, as you can impart your knowledge to patients in recovery.
Mindfulness is the more popular choice of the two for most people as it doesn’t have the religious or spiritual overtones that meditation does. However, both techniques work on similar principles. The idea is that, by making a special effort to focus our minds on the present moment and to not allow any thoughts that do occur to break this focus, mindfulness can improve practitioners’ health.
Among the many benefits that mindfulness offers, the main selling points are the sense of well-being and calm that it can ultimately create. Mindfulness requires patience and practice. It is not something that you can pick up easily in a day or two. As you continue to practice mindfulness, you will find that you gain an increased awareness of your thoughts and feelings, while also becoming better at managing unhelpful or intrusive thoughts.
Improving your health in an all-natural way is something that any of us can do. Diet and exercise are the pillars upon which good health is built. By mastering both of these aspects of your health, you will find everything else falls into place around them.