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Get Unstuck: Easy, Everyday Wellness Strategies for a Healthier, Happier Life

An estimated 30 percent of the global population is obese. It’s no wonder why most of us want to get healthier. Cardiovascular disease causes one in three deaths in America, with cancer a close second. Although you can’t change your genetic predisposition for these diseases, simple lifestyle adjustments can significantly reduce your risk factors and improve your health.

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If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to health and fitness, don’t worry. These simple, daily strategies can help you get healthier from head to toe:

Healthcare and Insurance

To stay healthy, it’s crucial to follow doctors’ orders and keep appointments like health screenings or annual checkups. Especially as we age, we must keep our health care in check to prevent conditions from progressing. Health insurance helps cover the costs of doctor visits, medications, and any necessary procedures. Although you might have to pay a monthly premium, having a healthier body is priceless.

Because insurance plans change each year, you’ll need to shop around to make sure you’re getting the most out of your coverage and benefits. For example, seniors should look for Medicare Advantage plans, like the ones offered by Humana, which provide extra coverage for services like dental visits, vision care, and even access to fitness centers around the nation. Regardless of your age, you’ll want to make sure you use your benefits each year. That way, you’ll get the maximum benefit from the coverage you’ve purchased.

Reduce Stress

According to Inc.com, “stress can damage just about every system in your body.” Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can reduce your stress levels and learn to cope. If you’re still in the workforce, your job may be a factor. If switching careers isn’t an option, consider stress management techniques like yoga and meditation.

Do you have a lengthy drive to work? The New York Times recently reported that longer commutes damage our mental, emotional, and respiratory health. When possible, talk to your boss about working from home. Alternatively, you might walk or bike to work.

Fitness and Exercise

Movement helps us lose weight, reduce stress, improve cardiovascular function, and feel happier. Unsure where to begin with exercise? Start by talking to your doctor about activities that would be ideal for your body. For instance, to avoid aggravating an old injury, you might choose low-impact sports like swimming or walking. If you have arthritis or lower back pain, certain types of gentle yoga can be soothing. Even a few minutes per day is better than nothing when you’re just getting started. Start slowly and gradually work your way up to three or four days per week for at least 30 minutes each day.

Diet and Nutrition

When it comes to fighting obesity, the Washington Post offers the reminder that there’s no quick fix. Luckily, if you’re dedicated, small efforts to eat healthily will lead to weight loss over time. That’s what the residents of Huntington, West Virginia, recently learned. After being dubbed America’s “fattest and unhealthiest city,” the Appalachian town was able to lower obesity.

Although many Americans struggle with weight loss, West Virginians are most likely to suffer from obesity and its related conditions, like hypertension, diabetes, and certain cancers. How, then, did the people of Huntington improve their weight and health? They started with small steps, like mindfully reducing sodium intake. They replaced deep-fried foods and pizza with more nutritious fruits and vegetables. They started taking pride in cooking healthful meals using fresh ingredients. The steps that worked for Huntington residents could work for you, too.

To get advice for your individual healthcare needs, always speak with your doctor before starting new habits. You might even consult with a dietician or nutritionist, or join an online nutrition coaching program like Avatar Nutrition. That way, you can make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and working out in healthy, safe ways. Although your results won’t be instant, stick with it and you’ll eventually start feeling healthier and happier in your own skin.

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Stephanie Haywood is the author of Mylifeboost.com – sharing personal development, self-improvement and inspirational boost.