If you have come to realise that you are not quite as healthy as you could be, it can be something of a shock. It might be that you have received bad news from the doctor, or maybe you have just started to notice something that could probably be a little better. Either way, there are a number of key areas which you can focus on in particular in order to improve your health on the whole. In this blog post, we are going to look at a few of the main criteria for your bodily health, and see how you might be able to improve them, little by little, so that you end up being a lot healthier, with fewer risks in your future. Let’s take a look now at some of the changes you might want to make.
Lowering your blood pressure
Your blood pressure level can indicate surprisingly well how you are doing with your health. If you don’t know your current blood pressure, you should go and get it checked out. You can usually do this either with the doctor, or with a machine which you can find in waiting rooms, pharmacies, and other similar locations. You will notice that your blood pressure is given as a fraction, one number over the other. The top number is known as systolic, and refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscle. The bottom number is diastolic, and refers to the blood pressure when your heart is between beats. Both of these are important, and you want yours to be within the guidelines for your age, gender and weight.
If your doctor – or the machine – tells you that your blood pressure is a little high, it means that your heart is having to work a little too hard to pump blood around your body. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to improve this and lower your blood pressure again. One of the biggest problems for blood pressure is sodium, so if you can manage to reduce the amount of salt in your diet, you will be benefiting your blood pressure greatly. Similarly, reducing caffeine will play an important role here too. If you feel that you don’t exercise enough, that will also help, as it essentially allows your heart to practice what it does best. Also, losing even a few pounds of weight can help dramatically to improve your blood pressure – something which we are going to be looking at next. If you find yourself being stressed a lot of the time, meditation or breathing exercises will also help keep your blood pressure down. Finally, be sure to limit or entirely cut out your alcohol and nicotine consumption to help improve your health.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Most of us struggle with maintaining a healthy weight. It can be so easy to find yourself yo-yoing, going from being overweight to underweight and back again. Staying at one healthy weight and trying to improve your health can be something of a challenge, and yet it is a hugely vital part of keeping your whole body in the best possible condition in regards to your health.
As we have seen, being overweight can lead to a higher blood pressure, but that’s not the only concern here. You might also find that your heart rate is higher than it should be, or that you are suffering other problems because of a poor diet. When trying to keep to a good weight, it’s important not merely to starve yourself, but to do so in moderation, and to continue to eat foods which are good for you. It’s not just about the amount you eat, but what you eat, too. In order to lose weight fast but still look after yourself, it might be sensible to try to diet using intermittent fasting, where you fast for one or two days and eat healthily for the other days of the week. You might also want to improve the amount that you exercise. This will help you lose weight, but also keep your body working in the best possible condition. One of the biggest benefits of keeping a healthy weight is that you will lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
As long as you focus on your diet, and keep moving, you will be able to maintain a good weight, and stay healthy in other ways too. But your body weight is only one indicator of your general health, and there are other things to pay attention to as well if you want to be healthier.
Improving your heart rate
We already looked at blood pressure, but another important element to think about is your resting heart rate, something which you can easily test by taking your own pulse, or using machinery if you like. You want your heart rate to be relatively low, as this means that you are putting your heart under less stress. But if it is a little high, there is plenty you can do to improve it and keep it as low as you like.
For a start, we’ll go back again to the importance of exercise when looking to improve your health. As you are starting to see, exercise is hugely important for almost every aspect of your health, and this is certainly true of heart rate too. Cardiovascular exercise will enable your heart to beat more efficiently, thereby lowering the rate. You will also find that maintaining a good weight helps your heart not to be under excess strain or experience wear and tear. But one of the biggest ways to keep your heart rate down is to keep stress at bay as much as possible. Consider taking up meditation, yoga or a similar practice. These are proven to lower your heart rate, and will improve your overall health in other ways too. Finally, bear in mind that if you are taking any regular medications, they might be affecting your heart rate too. Talk to your doctor to see if this is the case.
By paying attention to the above, you can improve your health and will be able to enjoy a much more enjoyable life.