Exercise and diet are essential to maintaining good health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Regular physical activity and a healthy diet are two of the most important things you can do for your health.” Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and cancer, to name a few.

For example, a recent study published in the journal Circulation found that regular aerobic exercise can reduce your risk of heart failure by as much as 50%. Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that people who followed a healthy diet had a lower risk of developing heart disease than those who didn’t. And a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that people who ate a healthy diet had a lower risk of developing cancer than those who didn’t.

So why are exercise and diet so important? They both play a role in maintaining your overall health. Exercise helps improve your cardiovascular health, strengthens your muscles and bones, and helps control your weight. Diet is important because it provides your body’s nutrients to function correctly. A healthy diet can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases, promote weight loss or maintain a healthy weight, and improve your overall health.

However, they are not the only things to keep you healthy. Here are a few more you should consider prioritizing.

Sleep

Exercise and diet might be ideal for health, but sleep should accompany them. According to sleepfoundation.org, adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. A lack of sleep can lead to several health problems such as obesity, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also impair your immune system, which makes you more susceptible to infection and illness.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends setting a regular sleep schedule, sticking to a routine before bedtime, and creating a peaceful environment in your bedroom. It would help if you avoided caffeine and alcohol before bed, as they can disrupt sleep.

Avoiding your phone would also be ideal. The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with your body’s natural sleep rhythm. If you must use your phone before bed, try using a blue light filter.

Stress Management

Stress management is essential for overall health. Stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health. It can cause headaches, an upset stomach, and muscle tension, leading to health issues. In the long run, it can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

So how do you manage stress? The Mayo Clinic recommends exercise, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness. It would help to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, which can worsen anxiety.

Another way to manage stress is by getting medical insurance plans. Hospital bills are some of the most common causes of stress. A medical insurance plan can help you pay for unexpected medical bills and gain peace of mind.

However, the best approach to stress management is taking a break for mental health. This strategy can be in the form of vacations, staycations, or mental health days. Taking a break from work will help you recharge and come back feeling refreshed.

Stress can even come from your efforts to stay healthy. It might be worth it if you need a break from the gym or order a new mouthwatering dish despite exceeding your daily calorie intake.

Mental Health

Mental health is just as vital as your efforts to maintain physical fitness. Mental illness is a natural and severe problem that should not get ignored. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “1 in 5 adults in the U.S.experience 43.8 million people-experience mental illness in a given year.”

Mental illness can take many forms, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. It can also lead to substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. If left untreated, it can worsen and have a significant impact on your life.

The first step is to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness. If you’re feeling sad, hopeless, or anxious for more than two weeks, it would be best to seek professional help.

You can also try self-care methods such as exercise, relaxation, and healthy eating. You can always consult a mental health professional if these don’t work. A therapist can help you understand and manage your mental illness. The professional might even offer programs, routines, and medication to help you keep your mental health intact, even if the battle is a daily occurrence.

Final Thoughts

Prioritizing your health is essential for a variety of reasons. Exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management are necessary for maintaining good health. However, they are not the only things to consider. Other factors play a role in your overall health. So, prioritize all aspects of your health to maintain a healthy lifestyle.