Physical health can be a very hard thing to manage. From technical descriptions of prescribed medicines from doctors to managing our own weights, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. This is the most probable reason for the fact that 40% of people in America have poor health literacy. ARSOME Health’s goal is to improve the health literacy of the community to save money and, most importantly, to save lives. ARSOME Health uses augmented reality technology to increase engagement and help facilitate retention of health information to do just that. Health literacy has to start somewhere, so here are 5 ways you can improve your physical health starting today.
You should be getting at least 75 to 150 minutes of exercise in a week. It doesn’t quite matter how you get this time in. If you choose to do 75 minutes, it should be vigorous aerobic exercise which could be anything from running to jumping rope to following a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) YouTube video. If you can get 150 minutes or more, your exercising can be less vigorous and could be anything from dancing to gardening and brisk walking (at least 2.5mph).
No matter where you search, it cannot be denied that one of the best ways to improve your physical health is by adding some sort of exercise to your life. 10 minutes of exercise a day can largely improve your physical health. A 2008 study done with previously sedentary post menopausal women as the sample size showed remarkable results of the 10 minutes a day exercise schedule: “After six months, a group who walked an average of 72 minutes a week (~10mins a day) at two to three mph had significantly improved heart strength and general fitness, nearly matching the efforts of women exercising almost twice as long.”
At the end of the day, any kind of exercise is better than no exercise. Sometimes putting the pressure of “having to do” something makes us less willing to do things. You can recognize and start small and hopefully build a good relationship with exercising.
2. Read Labels
Calories, macros, micros, carbs, proteins, fats — what do they all mean?
It’s easy to be overwhelmed when it comes to managing our physical health. There are so many technical terms that feel like they were meant to be misheard. But you can zero in on a few and expand from there. A way to be more health conscious in terms of all of the numbers is to read the labels off the food, drinks, etc you buy. The nutrition label contains almost all of the information you need except the amount of calories you, the individual, should be eating. The nutritional facts are based on a 2,000 calorie diet and most people eat around 1500 calories so the Daily Value percentages aren’t too much off.
As you go through the label, you can begin to question things. Almost all learning starts with a question. If you don’t know what a vitamin or chemical is here, you should google it. Being more educated about the things that enter your body will improve your health literacy overall. To learn more on how to read food labels as detailed as you can, visit the FDA’s guide on just that.
3. Instead of Supplements, Try Eating a Fruit (or more) a Day
Multivitamins have been proved, for the most part, inefficient in doing what they claim to do. Instead, one should opt to just eat fruit (which in my opinion is a much more enjoyable way to get your vitamins and minerals in). Fruit has all the nutrients and vitamins that one could get from multivitamins, and the nutrients actually show a difference whereas with multivitamins, that’s questionable.
It’s recommended to eat about 2–5 servings of fruit a day — a serving being one cup. There is no real limit to how much fruit you can eat either so it’s the perfect snack for diets. Almost all fruits have benefits. You just need to get to the store, try them all out and find the favorites you can always go back to. It doesn’t have to be a cumbersome experience and the benefits are worth it. From antioxidants that help fight damaging free radicals and help with slow aging, to a high amount of fiber that not only benefits your gut health but also reduces your risk of chronic disease, fruits can truly change your life within months.
A tip for eating more fruit is spending time washing and storing the fruit you plan on eating 1–2 days ahead. If you store and cut the fruit to your liking, you’ll be more likely to eat it since there’s no effort going into it. Not only will you be more likely to eat it, but you’ll be more likely to want to try something new with it, such as integrating it into your oatmeal, cooking it, or freezing it and blending it into a delicious smoothie.
ARSOME Health hopes that these tips help you jump-start a healthier life. Occasionally, it’s important to remember that the power to improve your health is in your own hands. With technological advancements that allow us to get information easier and easier about the world, we all should start trying to learn about ourselves and our bodies.