Living well shouldn't feel impossibly hard. Unfortunately, many of us feel like if we're not doing everything right, we're failing at being healthy. As a result, we’ll decide that a healthy lifestyle is too hard and give up completely.
The truth is, you don't have to make healthy choices 100 percent of the time and you don't have to change your entire lifestyle overnight. It's more practical to improve your health through sustainable changes that fit into your lifestyle, because when changes are easy to make, they're easy to commit to.
If you're ready for your wellness journey, start with these three small changes that make a big impact.
Visit your Doctor
Sometimes we avoid seeing the doctor not because it's inconvenient or expensive, but because we're afraid of what we might find out. However, you can't start working on your health unless you know where you're starting from.
If you have Medicare, an annual checkup is free of charge. If you have other insurance, you'll need to check your plan to see what's covered. Use it as an opportunity to make sure you're getting the most from your health benefits; plans change year to year, so it's possible your coverage has changed since last year. Seniors should be especially mindful of insurance, as Medicare rules and plans are constantly changing. Seniors who want more coverage than what Medicare offers should look into a Medicare Advantage plan, like Aetna's plans that bundle extra benefits like dental and vision with Original Medicare benefits.
Detox Your Home
Your home is your safe haven, but it might not be the safest place for your health. Indoor air quality is two to five times worse than outdoor air quality on average. Several factors contribute to the polluted air inside our homes, including cleaning products, air fresheners, carpeting, and furniture. These household items and others off-gas volatile organic compounds that, over time, can cause respiratory problems, central nervous system damage, and cancer.
That sounds scary, but there's a lot you can do to manage indoor air pollution. First, make sure you're using an air filter with a high MERV rating and changing it every 6-12 weeks. High-quality air filters like Lennox filters remove more airborne pollutants from the air before you breathe them in. Stop using artificial air fresheners and start buying all-natural cleaning products or making your own. You should also open windows for a few minutes every day, even if it's cold.
Listen to Your Body
Do you take aches and pains seriously, or do you think of them as a nuisance you can't do anything about? When our bodies hurt, it's because they're telling us something. It could be that we're working too little or too much, sitting too long, or moving in imbalanced ways. If you don't heed the message, you could keep doing the thing that's harming your body and make your pain worse.
When your body is stiff or sore, listen. Start with body work at Bao Foot Spa, where a Chinese body massage will release the tension and restore proper alignment in the body. With your body reset, you can make the changes you need to live without discomfort.
You shouldn't take an all-or-nothing approach to your health. It would be wonderful if everyone could eat a perfect diet and get the right amount of exercise every week, but that's not realistic for all people, especially when you're just starting out on your wellness journey. However, improving your health is still worth the effort. While they might not seem like a big deal, little changes like these are important steps on the path to a healthier you.