10 Lifestyle Changes that will Improve your Health and Appearance

Changes are always difficult to bring about, especially when the ingrained ways of living are more convenient and easier to follow. But this does not mean that they are healthy in the long run. Bring about these ten changes in your lifestyle and you will not only feel but also look better.

Get enough sleep

Time was when people skimped on sleep in order to work or study late. But now with the plethora of electronic distractions like internet, video gaming and social networking, even those with regular work load are losing out on the required amount of sleep. Lack of adequate sleep is one of the foremost reasons why normally healthy people have lower immunity and  even begin to reveal signs of aging much before they are expected to do. The body does most of its regenerative work when the person is asleep and hence the less sleep you get, the lesser time your skin tissues have of restoring themselves. Even though the exact amount of sleep a person needs may vary according to age and lifestyle, usually seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep at night are recommended to look and feel good the next day.

Eat healthy

Just like adequate sleep, there is no substitute for eating healthy if you want to feel and look your best in the long run. More and more nutritionists these days emphasize the importance of including fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains in your normal diet. At the same time, take as little you can of refined, processed and artificial sugars and foods. This is not to say that you have to be on a strict diet all the time and completely let go of your favorite snacks or desserts. On the contrary the habit of eating healthy most of the times and occasional indulgences can help you to avoid a Spartan diet entirely.

Drink it up

Over the day, your body loses water as a result of various activities which not only include going out to work or shop but also physical exertion due to domestic chores, working out in the gym and even drinking beverages like coffee and soda. It is important to replenish this lost moisture from within so that you don’t get dehydrated and end up with low energy or dry, patchy-looking skin. While contemporary nutritionists debunk the earlier theory about drinking seven liters of water each day, you still need to have enough water to keep your body well hydrated which will not only help you to remain alert and active but also keep your skin supple and glowing.

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Get moving

The benefits of regular exercise once again go far beyond good health and a strong immune system. A vigorous work out in fact immediately revs up the circulatory system of the body, lending a glowing and youthful appearance to your skin and hair. The necessity of a physical exercise in order to stay in shape cannot be overemphasized. So if you want to shed those few extra pounds and attain a svelte figure, there is no substitute for exercise. However to go about this, you need out purchase expensive equipment or even shell out huge gym membership fees. Simple jogging, running or brisk-walking every day for ten minutes or more is usually enough to obtain most of the health benefits of exercise but you could also include sit-ups, crunches, side-crunches and push-ups to work on specific areas of your body.

Quit smoking

Every day there are reports of studies which come up with yet another reason to quit smoking. Apart from being directly related to various kinds of cancers, researchers have show that smoking has detrimental effect on almost every major organ of the human body like the lungs, heart and brain. If these are not good enough reasons to kick the habit, also consider that smoking has been associated with increased infertility as well as sexual problems. These days there are numerous aids to help you quit smoking and if you are confused by all the options, your physician or healthcare provider can assist to in making an informed choice.

Cut down on alcohol

Ideally one should entirely avoid taking alcohol, but if you like the taste of fine wines or wish to be a social drinker, always watch how much you are consuming. Apart from having a poisonous effect on the liver and other major systems of the body, excessive consumption of liquor could turn you into an alcoholic and thus throw your life completely out of gear. A good idea would be restrict daily drinking to a glass of red wine which is believed to have certain anti-oxidant properties. Keep other kinds of liquor like whiskey, beer or various cocktails for social occasions but try not to indulge in them more than once a week.

Find ways to de-stress

While modern life is low on physical labor, practically every profession has its own way of creating stress. Apart from work, concerns about money, relationships, health and the compulsion to live up to artificially-created standards of appearance and lifestyle add on to the pressures that an individual experiences. Researchers have found that stress increases the levels of a hormone called cortisol in the human body. While in the short run, this helps to prepare a body to combat a threat, high levels of cortisol over a long period of a time is harmful for the physical and emotional health of a human. So find a way to let off the steam as best as you can; it could be by meditation, a brisk jog in the park, listening to your favorite music or getting pampered in a spa. The ultimate idea is to do whatever helps you to relax and feel good about yourself.

Reach out

One of the best ways to improve your mental health is to engage in a non-profit work of some kind. This could range from volunteering your time and services for a worthy cause to helping out a charitable organization with your money. Researchers increasingly believe that the feeling that emerges from knowing that you have done some good brings a sense of satisfaction and peace which in turn is beneficial for your health. Not to speak of the world of difference that your contributions can make to those in need. So pick up a cause that is close to your heart like helping the homeless or abandoned animals or even doing something for the environment and you are sure to reap the benefits of a worthwhile life.

Get Creative

Psychologists repeatedly point out the healing effects of a creative activity. This is because being actively involved in something that you enjoy not only sharpens your mental faculties but also helps in improving your attitude, boosting confidence, calming the emotions and in developing patience. In the end, when the emotions are used constructively the body also benefits. So find something that you've always wanted to do and go for it. It could have to do with music like learning to play an instrument or a dance form or with the outdoors like gardening. Who knows you may even end up discovering a hidden talent.

Invest in meaningful relationships

A loving, supportive relationship is one of the best medicines for the body and the soul. Every human needs company and love from someone of their own species. You could find this in a friend, spouse or a blood relative. Emotional support and encouragement can help hugely when you are faced with challenges, whether physical or emotional. Just knowing that you have someone who loves you can aid the healing process when you are physically ill. And this need for love and support only increases as one grows older.