Styles come and go, and fashion is a fickle thing. Whether people are wearing turtlenecks in July or shorts in March, it can be difficult to be a fashion-conscious person in today’s hyper-connected world where the latest “hot take” can quickly turn into a cold shoulder. However crazy the clothing world may be, rest assured that there some things in life that never go out of style: cute photos of puppies, hot coffee, and good health (to name a few). While it may be hard to obtain a quality puppy or the perfect cup of coffee, you always have control of your health. You can take steps to improve it every day just by changing your habits or gaining more knowledge on nutrition, sleep, and exercise.
It has been said that “health is the true wealth.” You may never be able to afford to live in the ideal climate (Hawaii, anyone?) or eat the most expensive food, but you can ALWAYS be striving toward ideal health by sticking to proven knowledge and following updated medical advice from professionals and your own health care provider. Instead of taking a surface-level dive on “skin care tips and tricks” or “ways to improve your gut health,” let’s take a comprehensive review into the style that never falls out of favor: optimal health.
Your Doctor is Your Friend
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is how the old adage goes, but why would you want to keep your doctor away when you’re trying to become the best version of yourself? If anything, you want to bring them in as a trusted confidant and guide in your life when possible. Whether you’re closest to your family doctor, general practitioner, or OB/GYN, confiding in your own personalized medical professional is not an opportunity you want to squander.
Gone are the days when being scared of the doctor should be in vogue: your doctor is there to help you with anything in your life, even if it’s not their specialty. Your doctor is also ethically and legally obligated to stay updated on current health science to help you improve. Not only can they prescribe medication and recommend you to other specialists, but doctors have also truly seen it all: they can provide skin care tips and tricks (without the luxury cost) just as easily as they can diagnose a cough or recommend generic antibiotics.
When choosing a doctor, remember that not all doctors are created equal. They may have gone to the same medical school and studied the same books, but they are unique professionals that have their strengths and weaknesses. According to United HealthCare, choosing a primary care doctor can be as simple as going with your gut or asking around for personal recommendations. Remember, you want a personal relationship with the person that is going to be monitoring your health because you want them to know you as an individual, not an abstraction. Taking the extra steps to find a quality provider can mean the difference between headaches and homeostasis down the road.
It All Starts With Diet
As the famous philosopher Hippocrates used to say, “Let thy food by thy medicine.” What was once a pithy saying know is backed up by decades of scientific research into the effect of diet on health and well-being. Just like how visiting your doctor can be the easiest way to find quality, updated medical advice, following both the latest food science and nutrition research can be extremely beneficial to changing old habits or starting radical new ones.
Next time you’re browsing an article, trying to find the latest “skin care tips and tricks” or interesting ways to get back with your ex, trying perusing some articles on nutrition and diet. You’ll be surprised at how much you don’t know and will learn, just from everyday terms like “fiber” and “saturated fat.” You might find out that you don’t need to buy that expensive Vitamin D tablet, because the Florida sun will actually give you a better bang for your buck. You might also discover that your favorite sweet potatoes have the adequate amount of Vitamin D for your lifestyle. In fact, a recent article from Harvard Medical School indicates that a healthy diet and being aware of the “premium fuel” that you put into your body can make all the difference. Good nutrition can also help your mental health and prevent the need for dental work later on. The more you know, the more you grow.
To Supplement or Not?
There are many people who are so health-conscious that they treat their body like a classic car: does it have the right vitamins/minerals/superfoods? Are they getting EXACTLY 6.25 hours of rest before exercising with an elevated heart rate for 12 minutes? People can get so specific toward calibrating their body for health that it can almost seem illusory, having a magical and otherworldly quality to it that isn’t backed up by science or common sense. Just like sleep and exercise, discuss any supplements you might be taking with your doctor. They will be able to point out what’s beneficial and what’s probably worth skipping, while also noting that supplements are not regulated the same way that medicine is. In fact, in the U.S., dietary supplements are regulated as food and may not even contain what they say on the bottle!
Sometimes, the best supplements to life are right in front of our eyes. If you’re looking for some quick skin care tips and tricks without having to buy expensive supplements or creams, remember that two of the best things for your skin are free: water and the sun. The key is to remember moderation, as both can be harmful in large amounts. When spending more than 15 minutes in direct sun, remember to use sunscreen often and wherever you’re most likely to burn. When drinking water, try to eat something to balance out its diluting effects or keep your electrolytes from depleting.
Skin Care Tips and Tricks
Your skin is your largest organ and helps protect you from the constant pathogenic assault of the outside world. Before spending a fortune on lotion, fancy balms, snd masks, realize that all your skin needs to be hydrated is water, proper food, sleep, and some oils that you can find in nature. For example, some of the best skin moisturizers are commercial-grade olive oil and coconut oil, two ingredients that you will undoubtedly see on the materials list of any fancy skin care product. And yet, you don’t have to pay $50 to buy a small tub that contains a minute amount. You can buy an entire bottle of premium olive oil at the grocery store for $12 and rub it on the affected skin just like the ancient Greeks. If it was good enough for ancient Olympians, it’s good enough for you. Try find that in the latest “skin care tips and tricks” article from a major magazine who’s trying to sell you the latest and greatest product.
Exercise and More
If you’re not exercising, then you have already committed one of the cardinal sins of good health. It now common medical knowledge that light to moderate exercise provides almost nothing but positive health benefits, and as long as you don’t overexert yourself and guard against injury you’ve got nothing to lose but stress and flab. It can even help with your mental health by warding off depression and anxiety, which is excellent news for the 350,000,000 people around the world who are affected with some sort of depression. This proven remedy will do wonders that a “skin care tips and tricks” article or Facebook post won’t because the easiest way to solve a problem is to actually start attempting to take action. If you want to lose weight and feel great, move your body and eat well. It’s as simple as that.
Don’t have a gym membership? Remember that any physical activity can be considered exercise as long as it gets your heart rate up and keeps you active for 30 minutes or more. This includes yard work and home repairs if done correctly, so don’t be shy about tree and shrub trimming or finally getting that bathtub replacement done! Just try and be safe around power tools and in the great outdoors. The hazards of being outside can be numerous and include insect/animal bites, too much sun exposure (resulting in terrible burns), exhaustion, and electrolyte depletion. Always let someone know when you’re using power tools or going to be outside for an extended period of time in case something happens.
Some healthcare innovators have even gone beyond exercise and recommended that cool down workouts, spa stays, and coolsculpting sessions can help get rid of stubborn fat while being low-impact and having minimal risks. There is always some sort of new trend happening in exercise/nutritional science to help out with a specific or generalized problem. The trick is in finding out whether those “skin care tips and tricks” or “ways to hack your sleep schedule” are actually backed up by data rather than hearsay. Rather, actually going to the spa and taking better care of your mental health are two ways to improve your health overall.
Don’t Neglect Sleep
In taking steps to maximize your health, it can be relatively easy to overlook sleep. After all, there are so many beverages and pills that give you “energy” these days to combat the lack of sleep, right? Well, this isn’t always the case. Sleep is one of the foundations of good health, and a lack of it creates negative consequences that reverberate throughout our body. When we don’t allow our body to rest and regenerate, we tend to get more stressed out, which raises the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies and can actually cause physical illness. By simply going to bed on time and getting quality sleep, our immune systems remain in tip-top condition and are actually enabled to fight off any pathogens it encounters.
Generalized tips that seem to work for most people regarding sleep include: avoiding blue light (such as phones, computers, TVs), taking natural supplements such as melatonin, and drinking a hot liquid (milk, tea, etc) to relax the body and prepare the mind for sleep. Ask your doctor if there are any conditions that prevent you from getting restful sleep and see what solutions you can implement on your own.
The Little Things Count Too
It can be easy to check routine health claims off your list and think you’re on the right track: diet (check!), exercise (check!), sleep (check!), but what about taking care of your teeth and hair? This is simply something that doesn’t cross most people’s minds but can be extremely important, lest you want to invest in possibly painful dental work (including cosmetic dentists to fix unsightly teeth).
But one of the most obvious signs of good health on your body is your hair. Take the basics into account: if you style your hair, try not to burn it, scorch it or put harsh chemicals in it via creams, lotions or sprays. These are just several components of poor hair care that might have you scouring to find a hair replacement service later on.
Stick with what works and makes your hair naturally look the way that you want it to. If it helps, think about your hair just like your skin: it’s fragile yet resilient, but relatively thin. You can live without it, but most people find that quite painful. Treat it correctly, and do your part in researching how to take care of your particular hair type/color just as much as you would try and find skin care tips and tricks without having to pay for expensive lotions or creams.
At the End of the Day, You’re Always in Control
There are a lot of things in life that we can’t control, like the weather or a sudden cold. It can seem chaotic and random, leaving us with no sense of control or purpose which can quickly spiral into feeling bad. But rather than give in to whatever new “skin care tips and tricks” article is being passed around as legitimate science, you have the power to educate yourself holistically on your own personalized health and build the body, mind, and spirit you’ve always dreamed of.