6 Simple Steps to Improve Your Health & Wellness
Our lifestyle choices play a key role in keeping us from getting hurt or sick. Limited sleep, inactivity, and poor nutrition can increase the risk of injury and disease. Also, increasing our sleep, activity, and the quality of what we eat and drink can speed recovery from a disease, injury, or illness.
Less than 70% of adults get enough sleep. Poor sleep—less than 7 to 8 hours each night—is related to depression, work-related injuries, and weight gain.
In addition, less than 45% of adults get the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Inactivity is tied to chronic disease, weight gain, and poor sleep.
Finally, only 30% of Americans are at a healthy weight. Poor nutrition—too much sugar and fat and not enough fruits and vegetables—is linked to disease, depression, and inadequate sleep. Recently, a panel of 36 experts from academia, government, and the military gathered with the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy to discuss how to make the healthy choice the easy choice. A summary of the recommendations from this meeting is included below.
Computers, television, time spent sitting, processed food, and our busy lifestyles have led many people to make unhealthy choices. The experts discovered that about 45% of daily life consists of habits that can be changed.
There are many practical ways to help people make healthier choices. For example, eating in front of the TV can lead to overeating. Eating at the dinner table instead of eating while watching TV can help minimize overeating. Similarly, ensuring that your bedroom is dark and quiet can improve sleep, and people eat more fruits and vegetables if they are readily available.
Family, friends, and social networks can also help meet lifestyle goals. Connecting either online or in person with others trying to achieve similar objectives helps all involved.
With the goal of making the healthy choice your easy choice, here are six simple steps to improve your health & wellness:
1. Remember that small changes in sleep, activity, and nutrition can make a big difference in your health.
2. Challenge yourself monthly to gain a new healthy habit and break an old unhealthy habit.
3. Create an environment around you that supports your weekly challenges.
4. Set and track your goals.
5. Ask for support from friends and family.
6. Use technology (fitness trackers, apps, and online tools) to motivate and support your efforts.
You can ask your physical therapist or occupational therapist about more ways to make the healthy choice easier for you. If you’re interested in online health and fitness coaching from MMPT, here are some of the other plans that our therapists can discuss with you:
- Personal Fitness Plan, where we can design a custom exercise plan for you from our library of over 1,000 exercise videos
- Improve Your Gut Health Plan
- Sleep Like a Baby Plan
- Powerful Proteins Plan
- Fantastic Fats Plan
- Clean Carbs Plan
- Drink Water Like an Athlete Plan
- Stress Reduction Plan
Reach out to us at 318-396-1969 or email us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
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