Thursday, March 8, 2018

Have you ever envied someone’s upbeat energy and wondered where they got their power boost? Chances are they didn’t find a lucky four-leaf clover! This spirit is a strong indicator of a healthy life – one that you too can achieve with some basic tweaks to your day-to-day life. Here are five simple, yet often overlooked ways to improve your lifestyle.

Catch up on your zzz’s

Sleep is the brain and body's way to recharge, but it is easy to skimp on sleep without even knowing it. Contrary to myth, your need for sleep does not diminish with age. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the number varies slightly, but on average adults need eight hours of a sleep. No, watching TV in bed does not constitute as sleep. Plan your bedtime, turn off your electronics and give your body and mind the rest it needs.

Boost your body with breakfast

Often the most overlooked meal of the day, breakfast is the core of a healthy lifestyle. Get in the habit of making breakfast a priority. A granola bar does not cut it. A well-rounded breakfast with foods that are rich in protein and carbohydrates are ideal candidates. These nutrients trigger both your body and brain, nourishing you so you can best tackle your day.

Take care of your (mental) self

Stress can have crippling effects on every system in your body, from the cardiovascular system to the nervous and reproductive systems. You are in control of your stress levels and how you manage them. Instead of letting stress dictate your life, find a mental release. Whether it’s going for a walk, practicing yoga or picking up a hobby, find a way to make time for yourself. Mindfulness lays the foundation for an overall healthy lifestyle.

Make green your friend

With Saint Patrick’s Day around the corner, it is a great time to add some green to your life. Incorporating vegetables like broccoli or brussels sprouts is an easy way to add fiber – a nutritional element with many proven health benefits – to your diet. Fiber can not only help lower cholesterol levels but also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the FDA. Simply tossing in some leafy greens can raise your energy levels and help fight off disease.

Find creative ways to get active

Balancing work and exercise can be tricky, and work often takes a priority. However, because the benefits of exercise are so extensive, here are some creative ways to sneak in physical activity, such as walking, throughout the day. Try using the stairs instead of the elevator. Plan a mid-day walk outside the office. Challenge a coworker to see who can take more steps during the work day. Get inventive and boost those serotonin (the hormone associated with feelings of wellbeing) levels!

Remember, a healthy lifestyle takes commitment and consistency. While good health is not fostered overnight, following these practices can have an enormous impact on your mood, energy and overall wellbeing.

PPA Can Help

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) has the singular goal of enabling patients to live longer, healthier lives. PPA is a nationwide effort to provide uninsured and underinsured patients with access to prescription medicines for free or nearly free. PPA provides a single point of access to more than 475 patient assistance programs, including nearly 200 offered by biopharmaceutical companies.

If you or someone you love struggles with affordable access to medicines, there are resources available that may be able to help: The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) helps connect patients with patient assistance programs that provide free or nearly free prescription medicines. For more information, visit www.pparx.org.