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Building Better Habits: Taking Care of Your Whole Health

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Building Better Habits: Taking Care of Your Whole Health

Building Healthier Lifestyle Habits

Taking better care of your health can seem like a mountain of a task. But we're here to share some easy, everyday tips to bolster your wellness from head to toe!

Catch Up On Your Rest

Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Although many of us are guilty of skipping out on an hour or two of sleep to be more productive with our days, it can be detrimental to your health in the long run. Along with making you feel groggy and tired, missing out on good quality rest can cause the following mental and physical health issues:

  • Over-eating results in weight gain
  • Increase risk of developing high blood pressure
  • Higher risk of heart disease
  • High risk of developing type 2 diabetes, or complications from diabetes
  • Increased sick episodes, such as, common cold and flu
  • Negative impacts on short- and long-term memory
  • Trouble concentration
  • Feeling sad, tearful, irritable and anxious
  • Impaired critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Increase risk for falls and other physical accidents
  • Daytime fatigue

Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

By practicing better sleep hygiene each night, you can ensure that you not only get better quality sleep, but you’ll fall asleep faster too! As you get ready for bed, try some of these tips to help optimize your sleep environment:

  • Make your bedroom an electronics-free zone
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine before bed
  • Avoid heavy meals a few hours before going to bed
  • Keep your bedroom dark and cool at night
  • Avoid or limit daytime naps
  • Start winding down and relaxing 30 minutes to an hour before bed

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Just like the different areas of your physical health, it’s important that you look after your mental health and wellness too. When you take care of your mental health you can yield the following health benefits:

  • Living a longer life
  • Lower your risk of heart disease and cardiac events
  • Decrease your risk for osteoporosis
  • Lower your risk for type 2 diabetes

Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms

When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it’s important that you turn to healthy coping mechanisms to regulate your emotions. Try some of these tips the next time you’re feeling low:

  • Journaling
  • Taking a nature walk.
  • Yoga
  • Meditating
  • Listening to music
  • Venting to someone you trust.
  • Exercising

If you feel like your mental health is continuing to suffer, know that it’s okay to reach out to professionals for help.

Cut Back on Bad Eating Habits

Most areas of your health are affected by the foods that you put in your body, making it important for you and your family to be conscious about your nutritional choices. While some of these habits are okay in moderation, you should keep them on your radar to keep to a minimum.

Eating Out & Eating Fast Food

While eating fast food every now and then is okay, choosing fried and greasy foods can be bad for you and your body. This is because eating a diet high in processed foods, saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium can cause the following:

  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Bloating
  • Insulin resistance
  • Weight gain
  • Shortness of breath

If you’re in a bind and you need fast and convenient food option, be sure to check out the restaurant’s menu for healthier options like:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Vegetables
  • Wraps
  • Salads
  • Water
  • Unsweetened teas

Skipping Breakfast in the Morning

Although breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, many people skip out on eating in the morning. While this may help to save you time, this bad habit leaves you more likely to:

  • Become overweight
  • Choose unhealthy snacks throughout the day
  • Overeat later in the day
  • Find it difficult to lose weight

Even when you’re in a rush to get out of the house and on with your day, remember that something is better than nothing! Here are a few quick and easy breakfast options:

  • Whole grain cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Low-fat protein shakes
  • Fresh fruit smoothies
  • Whole grain toast or English muffins
  • Bananas, apples, and other fresh fruit

Mindless Eating

Memory plays an important role when it comes to your brain’s ability to determine your hunger and fullness. When you're focused on your television, phone, or other distractions while eating—it’s more difficult for your body to keep track of how much you’ve eaten, leaving you more likely to overeat.

To keep this bad habit to a minimum, allow yourself at least 20 distraction-free minutes to eat your meal whether you’re at work or at home. A great way to do this at home is to make the dinner table an electronic-free zone.

Look After Your Eye Health

Although your vision helps you to perform tasks every day, it’s easy to forget about taking care of your eye health in the grand scheme of your overall wellness. Fortunately, there are little things you can do every day that will help to support healthy eye function.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Just like most areas of your health, your eye health is directly affected by the foods you eat each day. To effectively support healthy eye function, be sure to eat foods that are rich in the following vitamins and nutrients:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Zinc

Wear Glasses with UV Protection

Just like your skin, your eyes are sensitive to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. When your naked eye is exposed to the sun’s rays, you’re at an increased risk of developing the following eye issues:

  • Cataracts
  • Extreme light sensitivity
  • Macular degeneration
  • Photokeratitis

When heading outside, be sure to wear eyeglasses and sunglasses that meet the following criteria to protect your eyes:

  • Blocks out 99-100% of UV-A and UV-B radiation.
  • Has lenses that are perfectly matched in color.
  • Block out 70-90% of visible light.

Contact Kirby Medical Center

At Kirby Medical Center, we are dedicated to helping our community learn how to stay healthy and safe. If you are concerned about your health risks and the types of vaccines that are right for you, contact Kirby Medical Center at 217-762-2115 to learn more about how we can assist with all your healthcare needs.