IMPROVE YOUR OVERALL HEALTH DOING THESE EIGHT THINGS REGULARLY

1. Make healthy substitutions: There are many different diets for all kinds of people but simply trying a few healthy substitutes is a great start to better eating. Choose whole grain breads, rice and pasta instead of the white versions. Eat leaner meats rather than those rich in high fat. Opt to drink water instead of soda or other sugary drinks. If you are a big snacker, go for raw nuts or fruit rather than candy and chips.

2. Plan your meals: Planning and preparing your meals ahead of time will help you to stick to a healthy diet and avoid giving into cravings when you are hungry. Try to break up your consumption so that you do not get too hungry before your next meal. With regular healthy snacks and meals, you will have consistent energy and blood sugar levels.

3. Walk often: For example, during a break at work. Walking for short intervals works heart muscles and improves overall health. Try to walk whenever possible like going for a stroll on your lunch break at work, taking the stairs whenever you have the option, and hiking outside to enjoy the fresh air and nature. Even choosing to stand rather than sit helps.


4. Strength-train: While many think that cardio is the healthiest type of exercise, weight lifting and other strength exercises can alleviate chronic pains, improve flexibility and posture as well as increase metabolism and bone density. Getting stronger will also boost your stamina and energy for other kinds of healthy workouts. Strength training does not mean lifting weights either. Pilates, yoga, and other methods of exercise can all work as strength training.


5. Drink water: Not drinking enough water results in many common health problems including muscle pains and headaches. Aside from preventing health problems, drinking adequate water contributes positively to improving your overall health. Water prevents dehydration, regulates your body’s temperature and aids in proper circulation of nutrients.


6. Alleviate stress: Prolonged stress can lead to many health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and ulcers. Take the time to engage in stress-relieving activities like meditation and breathing exercises. Meditation can include just five to 10 minutes of reflection in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to sleep. You can even reduce stress through enjoyable activities like reading, taking a bath, listening to music, or hanging out with a pet.


7. Get a good night’s sleep: Lack of sleep can seriously affect your physical and mental health. If you are not getting enough sleep at night, cutting out or reducing your intake of caffeine and alcohol can help you get the rest you need. Certain foods, such as dairy products, oats, cherries and flaxseeds are believed to be good sleep-inducing foods. You can also try going to bed just a little bit earlier every night.


8. Use preventative services suggested by your doctor: It is important to use your health insurance benefits even when you are healthy. Getting necessary screenings, routine checkups and counseling is a great way to detect and prevent other health problems down the road. Some preventative services are free or less costly with health insurance.


What are benefits for Texas residents?

The State of Texas offers a wide array of benefits and services to the residents of Texas at home and abroad. These benefits include health care, housing assistance, unemployment assistance and a variety of programs for families to assist with food and health expense. Many individuals and families qualify for several of these programs. Complete the survey and download our guide to find helpful information on all of Texas Benefits along with details about eligibility and instructions for how to apply here.


Who is eligible for Texas benefits?

The State of Texas extends benefits to those who qualify. Families, individuals who have lost their job, persons with disabilities and elderly residents are usually those who will benefit the most from Texas's social welfare programs. For a comprehensive list of the requirements for each of Texas' programs please complete the survey and download our guide.

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