5 Things I Learned About Health in 2017

As the writer here at BFT, I’ve delved into many different health topics this past year.

Out of all of my readings and research, there are a few things that have stuck with me. These are by no means a comprehensive list of important health to-do’s for this year, but these are beneficial health concepts that we could all stand to focus more on in 2018.

Read on below.

1. Eat Real Food

All of the best diets in the world can be boiled down to one concept: eat real food. It’s a simple idea, but in a world were pre-packaged and processed foods are readily available, it’s difficult to eat healthy.

A simple way around this is to do “meal prep”, that is, prepare multiple meals in one cooking session. Doing this has saved me time, money, and has contributed to my health by allowing me to have balanced meals during my busy days.

If you’re interested in starting meal prep (whether for lunches or dinners), check out this helpful blog.

2. Make Exercise Enjoyable

Often times exercise can seem as if it is divorced from the rest of your life. You HAVE to do it. Get in that jog. Do some crunches, etc….

Rather than developing your fitness in isolation, integrate it into your life!

Get outdoors, take a bike ride, go paddle boarding with your spouse. Exercise doesn’t have to be isolating if you don’t let it. Get outdoors and do it with other people!

3. Sleep Is Vital

We all tend to underestimate the benefits of sleep. We all have hectic schedules, and sleep is usually the last thing to get prioritized.

But skimping on sleep is a mistake.

After researching the benefits of REM sleep (and non-REM as well), I realized that sleep is crucial for the success of my day. If I can help it, I try and get a minimum of 7 hours in per night.

Whether it’s going to bed a little earlier, or sneaking a nap in during the afternoon, getting 7+ hours of sleep per day will increase your productivity. This boost more than makes up for the time you lose while asleep.

4. Gratitude Is Important

We could all stand to say the words “thank you” more. Gratitude is important. In fact, a study done in 2012 noted that people that people that are more grateful have healthier, happier lives (source).

A good way to be more grateful is to keep a gratitude journal. You don’t need anything fancy, simply grab a paper and pen and write down 3-5 things every day that you are thankful for.

You can do this in the morning or at night, whatever works best for your schedule. I like to do it at night, it helps me to unwind and reflect on my day.

5. Live In Community

Whether you are introverted or extroverted, being with other people is important. Seeing how other people process things and how they live life is life-giving.

Strive to not only live in community, but to also serve others.

Through giving we get.