Optimizing your wellness is a worthwhile goal, and yet with so many components of health, it can be tough to know where to start. Your best bet might be to focus on a few things at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed or burnt out.
But what should you do first, and how should you go about it? If you want to know how to improve your health, you’ve come to the right place. Find specific overall health improvement tips and useful guidance on implementing each easy idea below, along with Vionic’s collection of walking shoes for women and walking shoes for men to aid in this journey.
How to Improve Your Health: 5 Lifestyle Changes
The thing about health is that if you make small changes and do them every day, it can make a world of difference. So, what lifestyle adjustments or healthy habits will make the biggest impact? The team at Vionic did the research for you.
Here’s what we recommend for a healthier lifestyle:
- Move every day
- Eat something green daily
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Drink at least 70 ounces of water a day
- Prioritize sleep
Read on to learn how to improve your physical health by incorporating these healthy lifestyle changes into your daily routine.
Move Every Day
The benefits of regular physical activity really can’t be understated. That said, regular exercise doesn’t have to be hard, complicated, or even time-consuming. Whether it’s a brisk 20-minute walk, a cycling class, hiking, swimming, or a yoga flow in your living room, the most important thing is that you move your body every day.
The health benefits of regular exercise include:
- Increased muscle strength and bone density
- Improved balance and coordination
- Weight loss and weight management
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Lowered blood pressure
- Enhanced physical endurance
- Increased energy levels
- Reduced stress levels and improved mental health
- Strengthened immune system
- Lowered risk of various health conditions, like high blood pressure, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), you should aim for 150 minutes of physical activity a week (or about 21 minutes a day) to achieve good health, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid chronic pain.
This may seem like a lot, but bear in mind that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a traditional workout. For instance, things like biking to work, walking to a bus stop, taking the stairs to your office, and walking your dog all count. You can also try to reach a set goal of steps each day—between 5,000 and 10,000 is a great place to start when it comes to a walking for weight loss plan!
Eat (or Drink) Something Green Daily
From calorie counting and intermittent fasting to cutting out processed food and any sugary drink, there’s no shortage of nutritional advice and weight loss journey tips on the internet. While there’s data to back up some popular diets, they aren’t necessarily practical in the long term.
Instead of overhauling your entire diet or cutting out entire food groups, you might try simply eating something green every day. Researchers at New Edith Cowan University (ECU) found that just a daily cup of leafy greens lowers a person’s risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Studies have also shown that eating dark green veggies helps regulate blood sugar and may lower the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, skin cancer, and stomach cancer.
Leafy greens and vegetables are undoubtedly key to a healthy diet. To achieve better health, try incorporating spinach, kale, broccoli, dark green lettuce, collard greens, chard, mustard greens, and microgreens into your meals. Whether it’s a green smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, or a side of steamed broccoli at dinner, you might find that when you eat healthy food, you don’t crave as many junk foods.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Some studies have shown that the antioxidants in red wine may prevent blood clots and lower cholesterol. However, the experts at Harvard Medical School warn that drinking more than a glass per day will likely do more harm than good.
The potential long-term effects of heavy alcohol consumption include:
- Increased risk of heart disease, liver disease, and stroke
- Increased risk of cancer in the colon, mouth, esophagus, throat, and liver
- Weakened immune system
- Digestive issues
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weight gain
In addition to impacting your physical health, excessive drinking can affect your work or school performance, contribute to mental health issues, or lead to alcohol use disorder (AUD). By limiting your alcohol use to a maximum of one drink per day, you can reduce your risk of these health concerns and improve your overall wellbeing. This probably goes without saying, but if you’re also a regular cigarette smoker, quitting is a surefire way to improve your health.
Drink 70+ Ounces of Water a Day
Your body runs on fluids. Drinking plenty of water each day hydrates your tissues, lubricates your joints, and helps your body dispose of waste by improving digestion. Not only that, but dehydration is something you definitely want to avoid, as it can drain your energy at best and inhibit normal bodily functions at worst.
Water accounts for up to 70% of your body weight, so how much do you need to drink to stay healthy? Everyone is different, but aiming for at least 70 ounces a day is a good starting point.
To get a more precise amount, divide your body weight in pounds by two, then drink that number in ounces each day. For instance, if you weigh 160 pounds, you’d drink 80 ounces of water a day.
In the era of burnout and workaholism, sleep has become exceedingly underrated. To optimize your health, the goal is to get not only enough hours of sleep but also achieve deep, restorative sleep. The following tips will help you achieve better sleep.
- Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day (even on your days off).
- Shoot for seven to nine hours a night.
- Get outside at least once a day to regulate your circadian rhythm.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
- Limit alcohol after dinner.
- Begin winding down about an hour before you want to fall asleep.
- Avoid screens before bed.
- Get blackout window coverings.
- Use breathable bedding to avoid night sweats.
- Keep your bedroom temperature between 62 and 70 °F.
- Use a white noise machine.
Bedtimes aren’t just for kids! Making sleep a priority can reduce stress levels, increase your energy, and make you feel more focused and calm throughout the day.
Small Changes, Big Difference
There are endless ways to boost your physical wellbeing and achieve a healthier lifestyle. Having said that, you might be surprised how much better you feel after incorporating these five simple changes.
As we mentioned, moving every day is huge when it comes to improving your overall health. But before you dive in with a new fitness regime, we encourage you to invest in proper footwear. Wearing the wrong shoes during your daily walks or workouts can lead to blisters, shin splints, heel pain, or alignment issues.
The Best Shoes for Daily Walks and Working Out
Walking shoes and sneakers should have ample arch support, lightweight uppers for breathability, deep heel cups, and sturdy yet flexible outsoles for shock absorption. It can be hard to find active footwear that checks all the boxes, but luckily, Vionic carries a plethora of options for men and women and are a great option when it comes to how to work out efficiently.
Each pair of our walking shoes and trainers is embedded with our exclusive Vio-Motion Support technology. Podiatrist-designed arch support, contoured orthotics, and heel stability are built right into the soles for unbeatable comfort and better alignment while you move. Shop our active styles today!
- “Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health”. Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261
- “How much physical activity do adults need?”. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
- “Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389
- Luba Lee. “How to Improve Your Health”. Wiki How. Updated Aug 8, 2021, https://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Your-Health
- “One cup of leafy green vegetables a day lowers risk of heart disease”. Science News. May 4, 2021, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210504112604.htm
- Lin Yan. “Dark Green Leafy Vegetables”. Agricultural research Service. Updated Aug 13, 2016, https://www.ars.usda.gov/plains-area/gfnd/gfhnrc/docs/news-2013/dark-green-leafy-vegetables/
- Julie Corliss. “Is red wine actually good for your heart?”. Harvard Medical School. Jan 29, 2020, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-red-wine-good-actually-for-your-heart-2018021913285
- “Alcohol Use and Your Health”. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm
- “Nutrition and healthy eating”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256
- “Physical Wellness Toolkit”. NIH. https://www.nih.gov/health-information/physical-wellness-toolkit
- David Miers and Holly Hatton-Bowers. “5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Physical and Mental Wellness”. Cropwatch. March 4, 2019, https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2019/5-simple-ways-improve-your-physical-and-mental-wellness