7 Actions You Can Take Today To Improve Your Health

Amid striving for work-life balance and other responsibilities, aiming for a healthier life can take the back seat. Getting healthy doesn't have to be hard work. Here are 7 habits that can add up to massive health benefits.

By URLife Team
07 Apr 2023

Being healthy is a lifestyle, you must have heard this many times. From ads that claim that their product will make you healthier to celebrity endorsements of habits that can lead to a thinner waist, there are many misconceptions about what ‘being healthy’ actually is.

But holistic health is not just making a few adjustments here and there, it’s about embracing modifications in your life, habits, physical and mental health. Whether it’s taking the new booster shot, or going for a health check-up on time, being healthy requires conscious effort.


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With this very idea of improving health and raising awareness about health issues, every year, the World Health Organization observes April 7 every year as World Health Day. This year's theme “Health For All”, is aligned with the thought that health is a basic human right and everyone must have access to health services. It also aspires for equal access to better quality health services across all regions without any financial constraints.

To become healthy, you may try to completely give up your unhealthy habits. But we all know how difficult it can be to let go of old vices. For most of us, switching to healthier habits like not smoking can take a long time.

However, quitting bad habits or getting healthier doesn’t have to be done through huge leaps, but small, achievable steps. It is about the small habits and approaches that allow you to become a healthier person mentally, emotionally, and physically—all of this will build confidence, reduce stress, foster stable relationships, and support healthy work-life balance. These habits can lead to major transitions in the long run.

The main agenda of keeping our health intact is to ensure we have a better immunity for better quality of life. The immune system is the body’s method of defending itself from foreign elements such as bacteria, viruses, and other diseases. In other words, when you get sick, it's your body’s immune system that recognises germs and microbes and fights them to protect you.

Immunity can vary from person to person, and is dependent on various factors like genetics, lifestyle habits, fitness level and eating patterns. Age has a major role to play in the effectiveness of the immune system. The older an individual gets, the more difficult it becomes for their immune system to fight disease as effectively as they did when they were younger.


Related story: Stress Does Cause Premature Immune Ageing


Signs You Have A Weaker Immune System

Somebody with a weaker immune system is more likely to get infections easily, which can be more difficult to treat. These individuals may also deal with mild infections that a person with a stronger immune system would not suffer from.

1. Higher stress level: According to a 2023 study in the American Psychological Association, chronic stress causes the muscles in the body to be in a more or less constant state of guardedness. When muscles are stretched and tense for long periods, this may trigger other reactions in the body. It affects the immune system which can lead to stress-related disorders as stress decreases the body's lymphocytes, the white blood cells that combat diseases.

2. Have frequent colds: It's normal for individuals to sneeze and sniffle through two or three colds each year. It takes the immune system 3 to 4 days to generate antibodies and fight off infections and help to recover in 7 to 10 days. But, if the cold takes longer than usual to run its course, then it is a sign that you may have a weaker immunity.

3. Digestive issues: Research says that nearly 70 per cent of the immune system is found in the digestive tract. The healthy and good gut bacteria and microorganisms present in the digestive tract safeguard your gut from infection and support the immune system. If you are frequently constipated, have diarrhoea, or have bloating issues, your immune system is at risk of viruses, chronic inflammation, and even autoimmune disorders.

4. Fatigue: When a good night's sleep doesn't help in reducing fatigue and exhaustion, it clearly means your immune system is struggling. When you are tired or exhausted, your body is trying to conserve energy to fuel your immune system so it can fight off germs.

5. Wounds take longer to heal: Your skin goes into injury management mode after you get a wound. Your body works to protect the wound by sending white blood cells to the injury to help regenerate and restore new cells. The restorative function depends on healthy immune cells. But if your immune system is lagging, your skin can't regenerate, and your wounds take forever to heal.



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Effective Ways To Improve Your Overall Health

The World Health Organization is observing 2023 World Health Day with the theme “Health For All”. And we’re here to tell you the best, and easiest ways to improve your health today:

1. Increase the intake of gut-friendly foods

According to a 2022 study published by Harvard University, the gut is one of the sites of immune activity and the production of antimicrobial proteins. The diet plays a major role in deciding what kinds of microbes live in our intestines. A high-fibre diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes appears to support the growth and maintenance of beneficial microbes.

Therefore, a diet containing probiotic and prebiotic foods may be beneficial.

  • Probiotic foods: Probiotic foods contain live helpful bacteria, and prebiotic foods contain fibre. Always include kefir, yoghurt with live active cultures, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, and miso.
  • Prebiotic foods: Certain good gut bacteria break down fibres into short-chain fatty acids, which promote immune cell activity. These fibres feed microbes and maintain healthy colonies of those bacteria. To boost immunity, include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, apples, lentils, barley, and oats.


Related story: Comforting hearbal Infusions For Self-Healing And Stronger Immunity


2. Manage stress by talking to family & friends

Stress can impact your mental, physical, and emotional stability. Any type of stress, such as traumatic life events or job strain can accelerate immune ageing. It restricts your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and increases a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, hypertension, chronic anxiety, and depression. Whether dealing with chronic stress or day-to-day frustrations, reaching out to others can be a go-to strategy for managing stress. Talking to a friend or a family member about your problems can boost your self-esteem and help you get out of the pattern of negative thinking as well.


3. Take a walk outdoors for a vitamin D boost

Vitamin D is a nutrient that is present in our body naturally as well as we can consume it too. Several body organs have vitamin D receptors which are important for bone health, cellular and immune functions.

According to a 2023 study issued by Harvard University, vitamin D can decline the development of cancer cells in the body and help control infections and inflammation. A 2022 research published in the Frontiers in Immunology reveals that the body creates vitamin D3 in the skin, and is found to enhance immune functions. Thus, taking a walk outdoors to get a dose of Vitamin D is a smart way to boost immunity.


Related story: Foods To Boost Immunity This Monsoon


4. Embrace fibre, choose fruits over juices

If you love to drink juice, now might be the time to switch your preference to whole fruit. When converted into juice, many fruits lose their naturally beneficial nutrient properties and fibre. The fibre from fruits can help your gut’s microbiome produce important compounds for a healthy immune system. Besides, fruits are good sources of vitamin C, potassium, fibre, and folic acid. Also, they’re low in fat, sodium, and calories.


Related story: Five DIY Wellness Shots Recipes You Need To try Now


5. Hydrate with superfoods like coconut water & yoghurt

If you constantly feel low on energy, then you might be dehydrated. Staying hydrated regulates body temperature, retains joint movements, prevents illnesses, delivers important nutrients to cells, keeps the organs functioning properly, and improves sleep quality, brain activity, and mood.

Instead of drinking water all day, you can include water-rich superfoods to replenish water content in the body, such as coconut milk yoghurt, mint coriander juice, Kombucha, and spinach-banana-morning smoothie.


Related story: Healthy Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System


6. Put your health first by scheduling diagnostic tests

It’s more important now than ever to keep your health conditions in check. Regardless of how hectic your life is, don’t let current events put a pause on taking care of your health. In today's unprecedented time, common conditions like sore throat, high/low blood pressure, and rashes can put you at risk of suffering from long-term ailments. Get tested and seek medical care immediately to improve your health and make a full recovery.


7. Fill your plate with whole and unprocessed carbohydrate

Refined carbohydrates are totally stripped of anything nutritiousIt includes white flour, white bread, and white rice, which may increase your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Select whole, unprocessed carbs like whole wheat flour and brown rice with the added benefits of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for better immunity boost.

Unprocessed carbs to include in regular diet:

  • Unrefined whole grains: whole wheat or multigrain bread, brown rice, barley, quinoa, bran cereal, oatmeal.
  • Non-starchy vegetables: spinach, green beans, Brussels sprouts, celery, tomatoes.
  • Legumes: kidney beans, baked beans, peas, lentils.
  • Nuts: peanuts, cashews, walnuts


Related story: A Naturopathic Diet For Better Winter Immunity


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