As you get older, it’s more important than ever to take care of your health. But with so much information out there, it can be tough to know where to start. So we’ve put together this list of 27 health and nutrition tips that make a difference. From dealing with hot flashes and night sweats to choosing the right foods for your body, these tips will help you feel your best at every stage of life.
1. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches and other problems. On the other hand, research shows proper hydration can help improve mood, memory and brain function.
2. Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke. Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death.
3. Get regular exercise. Exercise can help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
4. Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Avoid processed foods and excessive sugar intake.
5. Get enough sleep. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. This will be different for everyone and might need adjusting depending on your age, lifestyle and health.
6. Take steps to avoid stress. Stress can take a toll on your physical and mental health. For example, it can cause headaches, insomnia and high blood pressure in all age groups.
7. See your doctor for regular checkups. Regular checkups can help catch potential health problems early. When you visit your doctor, be sure to discuss any concerns about or changes in your health. This can include low sex drive, changes in weight, lower energy levels, mood irregularities, sleep issues or irregular bowel movements.
8. Get vaccinated. Vaccinations can protect you from serious diseases, such as influenza and HPV. For example, did you know the HPV vaccine can help reduce your risk of developing several cancers, including cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, penile, vulvar and vaginal cancers?
9. Get your hormones tested. If you’re experiencing changes in your mood, weight or energy levels, it could be due to natural hormonal changes (like during menopause) or other hormonal imbalances. Hormone testing at home can help identify any imbalances and get you on the path to feeling better.
10. Limit alcohol consumption or give it up completely. Too much alcohol can damage your liver, heart and other organs. If you’re having trouble cutting back, consider getting help from a therapist, counselor or 12-step program.
11. Avoid excessive sun exposure. Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and avoiding prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. After all, melanoma of the skin is the seventeenth most common cancer worldwide.
12. Manage chronic conditions. If you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, work with your doctor to manage it effectively. One in four Americans have a chronic condition, and not nearly enough are getting the treatment they need.
13. Eat breakfast. A healthy breakfast can help give you the energy you need to start your day. Ensure your breakfast contains a good source of protein like eggs or some protein powder in your smoothie. Protein is essential to help prevent sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass as you age.
14. Limit caffeine intake. Yes, caffeine is terrific and an adequately timed cup of coffee can be the boost you need. However, too much caffeine can cause anxiety, insomnia and other problems.
15. Take a multivitamin. A daily multivitamin can help fill in any gaps in your diet. For example, many Americans lack vitamins A, C and E and magnesium, so be sure those are on the list.
16. Eat mindfully. Pay attention to your food and how it makes you feel. This can help you make healthier choices and avoid overeating. It can also help you avoid foods your body doesn’t do well with. Nearly 11% of American adults have a food allergy, and many more suffer from food intolerances and sensitivities. Avoiding trigger foods can help improve your quality of life.
17. Chew slowly and thoroughly. The process of digestion starts in the mouth when you break down food with your teeth. Therefore, chewing slowly and thoroughly helps you eat less and aids in digestion.
18. Avoid eating late at night. Eating late at night can lead to weight gain and indigestion. If you’re feeling hungry, have some water first, as many times we think we’re hungry when we’re just thirsty. If you have to eat, reach for a protein snack such as a hardboiled egg or some nuts.
19. Avoid eating too much saturated fat. Saturated fat is found in animal products and processed foods. It can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems.
20. Avoid eating too much sugar. Craving sugar is an evolutionary response to the need for energy. However, we live in an age of abundance, and too much sugar results in weight gain, cavities and diabetes.
21. Eat more fiber. Fiber can help improve digestion and prevent constipation. You get fiber from eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. But when in doubt, take a supplement.
22. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Speaking of fruits and vegetables, these nutrient-rich and calorie-wise foods should make up most of your diet. Unfortunately, according to the CDC, only about 10% of Americans eat the recommended fruits and veggies per day.
23. Get regular dental checkups. Dental health is crucial to overall health. It can help prevent heart disease and other problems. So be sure to get regular checkups and don’t put off necessary dental work. It’s worth the investment.
24. Brush and floss daily. Hand-in-hand with regular checkups at the dentist’s office, remembering to brush and floss daily can help prevent cavities and gum disease.
25. Read personal care product labels. Whether it’s your moisturizer or a hair product, read the labels on personal care products. Many contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin. Instead, choose products with natural ingredients whenever possible.
26. Nurture relationships with friends and family. Social isolation can lead to poor mental and physical health. So keep in touch with friends and family, even if it’s just virtually for now.
27. Practice self-care in whatever form feels best. Self-care is different for everyone and challenging for many reasons, including behavior and illness-related factors. However, it needs to be a priority. Not sure what self-care is? It could be taking yourself on a date, indulging in a game or hobby or taking a day off from work to relax. Whatever it is, make sure you’re taking care of yourself both physically and mentally.
Make a Difference in Your Life
There you have it. Twenty-seven health and nutrition tips can make a difference. These are just a few things you can do to improve your health. Remember, small changes can lead to significant results. So which one will you implement first? Let us know in the comments below.