14 Ideas & Resources To Improve Your Physical & Mental Health

As we look forward to 2021, it's a great time to reflect on our health and try setting ourselves a few new challenges. Perhaps you're looking to lose weight, boost your mood, or perfect your cooking skills? Instead, you might be looking to learn stress coping strategies or try a few health supplements? To get inspired and set some new health goals, these resources and tips may be useful.

1. Improve your sleep
A lack of sleep can have drastically negative effects on both your physical and mental health. When you're struggling to sleep at night, there are a few things you can try. Firstly, there are several sleep apps on the market, designed to help users improve their sleep. One of the best applications is ‘Pzizz', providing a range of sleep soundtracks and audio sessions, to help you to relax and drift off.

Another option are supplements; for instance, you could try taking Melatonin before you go to bed. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to influence our sleeping patterns. A lack of melatonin is sometimes responsible for sleep issues, so taking a supplement can be useful. Magnesium is another useful option to promote a better night's sleep.

2. Drink more water
Many of us don't drink enough water; the recommended daily intake is eight glasses per day. Drinking more water has mainly health benefits, for example, reducing fatigue and improving energy levels; and removing toxins from the body. When you drink more water, you can also encourage weight loss and improve your complexion. If you don't enjoy the taste of plain water, you can always try a few recipes from the Infused Water Recipes app. Here there are lots of simple recipes, including blackberry, lemon and ginger, or blueberry, lavender and mint. With a few tasty recipes, it'll be far easier to increase your water intake.

3. Boost your immune system 
To improve your physical and mental health, it's essential to keep your immune system strong. One of the easiest ways to do this is through your diet. Ensure that you get plenty of vitamin B6, which is found in foods like bananas, potatoes, salmon or chicken. You should also make sure that you get plenty of vitamin C, by eating citrus fruits, and vitamin E by consuming spinach. To support your immune system further, it's beneficial to reduce stress and get regular exercise. Next time that you're learning a few new recipes, focus on foods that boost your immune system.

4. Boost your vitamin D
Vitamin D involves many different bodily functions, including supporting the immune system and the nervous system. Vitamin D also aids the absorption of calcium and may prevent the symptoms of depression. Spending time in the sun can boost your vitamin D levels, but this isn't always easy during the wintertime! To boost your vitamin D levels, you can try eating plenty of seafood; taking a vitamin D supplement, or purchasing a UV lamp. While the sun doesn't shine so frequently in winter, there are bound to be a few bright days. Get yourself outside for a few winter walks, boosting your endorphins at the same time.

5. Cold water therapy
Coldwater therapy is a great practice to improve your immune system and support the digestive and lymphatic system. Coldwater therapy can also help to increase circulation and blood flow. A few studies have concluded that it may also be useful as a method to reduce stress and depressive symptoms. To learn about and to practice the method, you can book into a cold water immersion therapy workshop. You can also practice yourself, with simple techniques like cold showers or cold water swimming.

6. Reflexology
Reflexology is a health practice similar to massage, reflexologist will stimulate various parts of your body by touch, including your feet, hands, ears or face. There are many health benefits such as balancing the emotions, increasing blood flow, and eliminating toxins or impurities. Reflexology is also useful to eliminate tension, and ease muscle pain. If you're looking for a natural way to ease stress symptoms, a reflexology session is a fantastic option. You might prefer a full body massage, which can help you to access many of the same benefits.

7. Learn breathing techniques
When we feel anxious and stressed, it's easy to panic, which only worsens the situation. To support your body during stressful times, it can be a good idea to teach yourself a few breathing techniques. One of the best breathing techniques to ease anxiety symptoms is ‘three-part-breath.' To practice this technique, you need to take a deep inhale, to fill your lungs. You should then breathe into your stomach and your upper chest. Hold for a few seconds, exhale fully, and then repeat the process.

Another technique you can try is a longer exhale, when we exhale we connect to the parasympathetic nervous system. The process helps our body to become calm and relaxed. Before you inhale, try taking a deep exhale instead, and push the air completely out of your lungs.

Health resources & apps

8. Grateful
A number of scientific studies have identified a connection between happiness and showing gratitude. To help you use this concept to your advantage, be sure to download the Grateful application. Here there are plenty of fun and simple activities to help you to be more grateful! There's a journal; question prompts, games and more. If you're looking to focus on your positive experiences, and improve your health in the process, Grateful is the application you need in your life. Once you start using the grateful app, you'll wonder how you lived without it!

9. Health Tap
The HealthTap application allows users to contact certified doctors, whether they have health insurance or not. You can connect with doctors for advice, by video call, or text message, in minutes. HealthTap doesn't require you to answer lots of questions beforehand, making the process simple and stress-free. HealthTap doctors can send prescriptions directly to your chosen pharmacy, recommend specialists, or order lab tests. Once you've had your virtual doctors visits, you'll be provided with ongoing reminders and simple health instructions. For further useful adult health care resources, you might want to check out Tarrant County.

10. Glo
Yoga is a great activity to boost your physical and mental health. There are so many reasons to jump on this fitness trend, including improved posture, flexibility and strength. With the Glo app, you can access classes for yoga, meditation, or pilates. Glo caters to a wide variety of different levels, whether you're looking to try advanced Ashtanga for beginners Hatha. 

Glo provides users with class recommendations, depending on their level, goal and yoga interest. Using the Glo app, you can learn the ropes with the help of some of the very best teachers on the yoga scene. Classes vary in duration so you can easily fit these into your schedule, (even if you're pushed for time)! Once you've learnt the basic poses, you'll be able to brave more advanced classes.

11. Nike Training Club
Nike Training Club is an exercise app which provides plenty of fun-filled workouts, whether strength training, aerobics, yoga or HIIT. There are plenty of curated workouts, categorized into different themes, for those of you with special fitness goals. A few examples of these include ‘Abs, Arms and Glutes' or ‘Boost Your Mood'. Features of Nike Training Club include personalized recommendations, training plans and Apple watch support. When you're working out from home, it can be difficult to motivate yourself. With apps like this, you can give yourself some inspiration and stay on track.

12. PlateJoy
With the PlateJoy app, improving your diet has never been simpler. You can use this application to create meal plans, set fitness goals, and write healthy grocery lists. There are lots of meal plans here, whether you're looking for low-fat options, vegan options, or menus for weight loss. Firstly, you'll need to take a lifestyle quiz, and with this info, the app can determine your preferences. Eating healthier is easy said than done, but with a little support and motivation, you'll soon be on the right track.

13. Epicurious 
Epicurious has lots of delicious recipes and foodie videos to inspire your healthy eating plans. There are many options, no matter what your diet preferences are. Epicurious includes many popular dishes which have previously been published on Gourmet or Bon Appetit. The application allows you to search for seasonal foods and create your own personalized shopping lists. Anyone who's looking to learn new recipes and boost their nutritional health will just love the Epicurious app.

14. Journey Cloud
Journey Cloud is a type of journaling app where you can write your memories, goals, daily summaries, or your emotions. Journaling is a fantastic practice to let go of negative feelings, brainstorm solutions to problems, track achievements, and discover your personal development ambitions. The practice of journaling has been associated with many benefits, including reduced stress, improved healthy habits, and a better night's sleep. There are plenty of journaling techniques to learn, and Journey Cloud can show you how.

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