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Wouldn’t it be great if there was some undiscovered ingredient and one bite of it would cure all our health concerns?
Unfortunately there isn’t one.
But scientists know the recipe for good health, and it’s a long-term practice of good habits when it comes to sleep, eating, exercise, socializing and stress.
In honor of the World Health Organization’s 75th anniversary, here are the factors that add up to better health and what you can do today to improve in these areas.
Ask your doctor if you have specific concerns in any of these areas.
A bad night’s rest doesn’t just ruin your concentration during the day. So Far This year, CNN reported that not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of mood problems, asthma, stroke and longevity.
Sleep is a big deal.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep a night — but quality is also important.
To get better sleep, research shows it’s important to set a schedule for going to bed and waking up, following a nightly routine to tell your brain when to go to sleep, keeping your bedroom dark and cool, getting away from screens early, and going to sleep. Do not lie in bed if you have problems.
Individual human bodies need different things, but is there a best way to direct your nutrition?
According to many scientific studies and annual rankings by US News & World Report, it is the Mediterranean diet.
Don’t let the word diet fool you—it’s not a restrictive philosophy for controlling your body weight. The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that features simple, plant-based cooking, with most of each meal focusing on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and seeds, with a few nuts and a heavy emphasis on extra virgin olive oil. . Fats other than olive oil, such as butter, are rarely eaten, and sugar and refined foods are reserved for special occasions.
Many studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, memory loss, depression and breast cancer.
Scientists have long known that exercise is good for a healthy body, but studies have shown that it’s also important for a healthy mind.
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people ages 18 to 64 engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, as well as muscle-strengthening activity at least twice a week. .
The good news is that even if you can’t get there right now, adding a little bit will help.
Research published earlier this year found that even 11 minutes of exercise per day can reduce your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease or premature death.
Many people place a lot of importance on certain health behaviors that are often considered more physical, but social and emotional factors also deserve our attention.
And good, strong friendships are not the only relief but the key Our stress and improvement Mental well-being, according to recent research, but also increases markers of our physical health.
People should grow this area of health by investing more in a sense of community, experts suggest.
They also stress the importance of prioritizing friendships in your schedule: text a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, commit to meeting one new person a month, host a dinner party or attend a class.
Strong bonds won’t happen overnight, but making small and prioritized friendships an important part of your life can bring more happiness, less stress and more support, workplace engagement expert Adam Smiley Posolski told CNN earlier this year.
“Even when — especially when — their friend is struggling or going through something difficult,” says Posolski, author of “Friendship in the Age of Loneliness: An Optimist’s Guide to Connection.” “You know someone is a true friend when they have your back when you’re sick, when you lose your job, when you make a mistake, when you’re going through a break up, when you’re stressed, when you’re sad.”
I know I hear this every time I go to the doctor for any anxiety: Whatever it is, it gets worse with stress.
Certainly, stress can send a body into fight or flight, which increases cortisol. According to the Cleveland Clinic, high levels of cortisol can exacerbate health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic gastrointestinal problems.
Stress can cause or contribute to anxiety, irritability, poor sleep, substance abuse, chronic distrust or anxiety, and more.
Fortunately, a balanced diet, good sleep, exercise and social support can help reduce stress. It can also help to explore breathing and meditation techniques.
You might be thinking, I’m already thin in my day – adding all these health behaviors will be stressful in itself.
The good news is that these habits are best added over time with small, manageable changes.
Approach your goals one bite at a time and with a plan, flexibility, fun and support, and you’ll soon find that you’ve made the changes you’re looking for, says Katy Milkman, James G. Dinan Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, author of “How to Change.” : The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.”
for registration CNN’s stress, but less newsletter. Our six-part mindfulness guide will inform and inspire you about stress reduction and teach you how to use it.