Personal hygiene and health are closely related. Small daily habits can make a huge difference in your long-term health and you’ll save time, money and avoid extra trips to the doctor when you’re older.
The good news is that you don’t even have to make any big lifestyle changes — you can reduce your risk of age-related health problems with just 4 easy tips.
Tip #1: Get a Good Amount of Sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep on a consistent basis, you may be facing bigger problems than a groggy day at the office. An insufficient sleep schedule has been linked to health problems like weight gain, diabetes, and hormone imbalances.
Worried that you’re running on too few Zzz’s? Remember that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to sleep. Don’t focus on getting more sleep, necessarily, but rather make better sleep your goal.
Improve your sleep quality with tips like cutting back on electronic screen time before you go to bed, cutting caffeine in the late afternoon, and laying off the spicy foods in the evening to make sure that you sleep soundly at night.
Tip #2: Use Sunscreen Properly
Think you’re protecting your skin if you only use sunscreen at the beach? Think again. No matter what you’re doing or where you are, you need to wear sunscreen if you’re outdoors. It’s important to make sure you’re using the right kind of sunscreen and using it correctly.
Make sure that you use a sunscreen between SPF 15 and 30, and remember to reapply every two hours that you’re in the sun. Also look for a “broad spectrum” sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Using sunscreen will lower your risk of skin cancer and help fight the signs of aging.
Tip #3: Protect Your Hearing
Hearing problems are dangerous because their onset is usually subtle and gradual. Many people don’t even realize they’ve been experiencing hearing problems until it’s too late. Lifehacker clarifies:
“Noise-induced hearing loss comes when you listen to loud noises for long periods of time that damage the hair cells in the inner ear. Typically, the hearing loss develops gradually.”
Consistent exposure to loud sounds can lead to serious hearing problems later in life. Tinnitus, for example, is a condition that causes sufferers to experience a constant ringing that never goes away.
If you’re going to be in a loud environment, like a concert or sporting event, make sure that you wear earplugs (and read the directions to make sure you’re wearing them properly). Earplugs are cheap and readily available at your local drug store or in the health supplies section of most grocery stores.
You can also protect your hearing by lowering the volume on your iPod and cutting back on the amount of time you spend listening with headphones.
Tip #4: Brush and Floss on the Daily
There’s a reason your mom always bugged you to brush your teeth after every meal. By simply brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis, you’ll avoid a number of long-term health problems and costly dental bills.
Diseases like gingivitis can set in and mess up your gums if you don’t take care of them often enough. Even worse, periodontitis can make all your teeth fall out if you don’t watch yourself.
Simple behaviors like these are really important when it comes to saving money and keeping yourself in perpetually good health.
Do you have any pro tips for staying healthy and fit? Let us know in the comments!