This time of year reminds us to be thankful. We are reminded to be thankful for what we have and for the people we love. Also, take the time to be thankful for your health. We often don’t appreciate our health until we don’t have it. Part of being thankful for your health is making sure that you are are making daily, healthy choices to ensure good health in the future.

Below are some simple tips for maintaining good health so that you can be thankful for your health in the years to come.

Move More

Motion is the key to life. A body in motion stays in motion. It is important that you keep up with your mobility as you age. The ability to get in and out of a chair on your own is directly linked to if you will need assisted-living later in life. Find an exercise that you enjoy doing and stick with it. Try to exercise 3 to 5 times a week for 20 to 30 minutes, even if it is just taking a walk. Get out there and get your body moving.

Sleep Better

Sleep is an important part of your overall health and well-being. Research shows that lack of sleep can cause many health issues such as lowered immune system, increase blood pressure, increase risk of cardiovascular disease, and even increase hunger and appetite. Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. If you struggle with sleep try following these suggestions from an earlier blog.

Stay Hydrated

80% of your body is made up of water. Staying hydrated is crucial to your overall health and wellness. When you are dehydrated it can cause many symptoms such as constipation, fatigue, poor skin health, and even sugar cravings. Try to get at least 64 oz. of water per day. You can use herbal teas and water enhancers (fresh cucumber, mint, lemon, or lime). Also eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables will help with your water intake.

Eat Well

Obviously making healthy food choices affects your overall health and well-being. Poor food choices can create a whole host of health issues from obesity, to diabetes, to even cancer.

I recommend eating the rainbow, which means getting all the colors of fruits and vegetables (purple, green, orange, yellow, red, and white). I also recommend to eat seasonally and organic when possible. Stay away from processed foods and foods that have high amounts of sugar in them. Choose meats that are organic and grass fed or pasture raised. Try to eat healthy fish 2 to 3 times a week to make sure you are getting a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

Nurture Relationships

Social relationships are an important part of your mental health and well-being. Get off of social media and nurture your relationship with your friends and family. Go on a lunch date, make a phone call or even write a letter.

Maintain Good Posture

Your spine is the core strength and health of your body. Healthy spinal alignment and healthy posture will help prevent your spine from accelerated aging (spinal decay). Practice good posture habits by making sure you are sitting “deep in your seat” and not slouching at the computer. When using handheld devices, make sure you are holding them up to eye level and not bending your neck forward.

Having an “attitude of gratitude” when it comes to yourself is important for both your emotional and physical well-being. Researchers have discovered that gratitude is linked to feeling happier, living healthier, and making better lifestyle choices. It also fosters greater connection with others. When you focus on what’s good in your life, rather than on what is bad or lacking,  you develop a more positive outlook that can help you over hurdles and through challenges.