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8 Ways to Take Better Care of Your Health

In today's fast-paced world, most of us are too busy trying to handle our work duties, financial obligations, and personal responsibilities that we tend to ignore our own wellbeing. However, taking care of your physical and mental health will enable you to better keep up with your busy schedule and your stressful daily routine. To help you kickstart your self-care journey, here are 8 surefire ways to improve your health.


1- Exercise Regularly

Between strengthening your muscles, boosting your mood, alleviating your stress, reducing your risk for various diseases, and toning your body, few things are as good for your overall wellbeing as regular exercise. While it can be hard to find the time, it's important to fit in at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your day. You don't necessarily have to hit the gym or use special equipment; instead, you can go on a deep cleaning spree, take your dog for a walk, sign up for a dance class, take up yoga, etc.

2- Eat a Healthy Diet

The food we consume can either keep us healthy or contribute to obesity and various chronic diseases. To maintain a healthy diet, focus on fresh fruits, green vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains, and keep red meat to a minimum. Also, it's important to reduce your salt and sugar intake, cut back on saturated and trans fats and avoid processed and junk foods.

3- Drink Plenty of Water

Dehydration can affect our skin, energy levels, concentration, and mood— not to mention the adverse effects it can have on our bodily functions. The amount of water you need depends on various factors, including your weight and level of physical activity. As a general rule, though, you should drink a cup of water every 60-90 minutes, and load up on food with high water content, such as cucumbers, broccoli, and apples. Also, try to cut back on alcohol, soda, and other sugary drinks.

4- Manage the Pain Naturally

No one can lead a happy and healthy life when they're in constant pain. Traditional massage acts as a natural pain reliever that can reduce built-up muscle tension, ease cramps, relieve aching joints and ligaments, and promote overall relaxation. If you don't have the time to frequent a spa, consider investing in a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit. As demonstrated on this URL, by delivering small electrical impulses to the targeted areas, a TENS unit can intercept the pain signals transmitted from the nervous system to the brain. As a result, this can help alleviate chronic pains that are interfering with your quality of life.

5- Get Enough Sleep

The quality and quantity of sleep you get can have a huge effect on your physical and mental health. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep for at least 7-8 hours every night, start by adjusting your nightly routine. Try to avoid digital screens at least 2 hours before bedtime, and stay away from caffeine and sugar at night. You should also find a way to relax and clear your mind so you can fall asleep faster; perhaps you should consider listening to white noise or meditating before going to bed.

6- Find Healthy Ways to Destress

No matter how busy or hectic your life is, you need to employ healthy techniques to manage your stress, otherwise, both your mind and body will suffer. You can go on a fishing trip on the weekend, treat yourself to a candlelit bath, put your feet up and unwind with a glass of wine, or book a spa day. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you take some time for yourself to destress, clear your mind, and simply relax.

7- Get Regular Checkups

The average adult should visit their doctor once a year for an annual checkup. Depending on your gender, health condition, age, and family history, there are a couple of screening tests that you should do periodically to detect certain diseases early on, such as breast cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and prostate cancer. Ask your health care provider about which tests you should have and when.

8- Don't Ignore Your Oral Health

Ignoring your oral hygiene can lead to more than rotten teeth and bad breath; studies have linked poor dental health to heart disease and a lower life expectancy. Furthermore, if your gums are inflamed or infected, that infection can find its way to your bloodstream and reach other parts of your body, causing potentially serious consequences. So don't skimp on oral hygiene, and visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning.

Taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing is something that you should be doing on a daily basis, not just when you're sick or drained. Getting started with self-care can be challenging, but with the right mindset and enough determination, you'll be able to incorporate the above steps into your regular routine and lead a healthier, happier life.

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.

Pre-Read

When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.

Highlight

Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.

Summarize

If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.