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5 Science-Backed Ideas for Healthy Living

healthy living

We know that taking care of our well-being is important, but when work deadlines are calling or the family needs your attention, your own wellness can easily fall to the bottom of your priority list. Fortunately, many healthy lifestyle habits don’t require much time or money, and can even be an enjoyable break from your everyday to-dos. Here’s why healthy habits are key to improving your health and six ideas to try when you need some “me time.”

Why is personal care important?

When we’re overworked, stressed-out, or exhausted, it can be difficult to take care of our own daily maintenance tasks, let alone do activities we enjoy or make time to help others. And when we neglect our own care, it can leave us feeling burnt out, anxious, or depressed—states that affect everything from our performance at work to our relationships at home. 

Studies suggest that carving out “me time” is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Healthier habits and lifestyle adjustments have been linked to lower levels of stress and higher quality of life, as well as lower levels of morbidity and reduced healthcare costs. And it can start with just a few minutes a day and cost nothing. Here are five science-backed lifestyle practices that your current (and future) self may thank you for. 

1. Practice meditation and mindfulness.
You don’t need to ascribe to a certain religion or spend a month on a far-flung retreat to meditate or reap its benefits. Numerous studies suggest that even a few minutes a day of meditation can have many health benefits—from helping reduce anxious and stressful thoughts to curbing insomnia. Apps like Headspace or Insight Timer offer meditation basics at low or no cost. You can also ask at your workplace to see if services like Modern Health are offered.

2. Try breathing practices.
We know breathing is essential to life, but since it happens automatically, many of us don’t pay much attention to it. But research suggests that certain breathing techniques can help improve everything from your focus to your sleep. Studies have also found that practices like nasal breathing and pursed-lip breathing, as well as the deeper diaphragmatic breathing involved in yoga practices can be helpful in managing symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as asthma.

3. Cook a meal at home.
From picking out a new recipe to gathering all the ingredients, cooking at home for yourself or for others can be a relaxing multi-sensory wellness practice. It’s also often a healthier option than grabbing take-out. For this reason, studies suggest it as a top self-care practice to help those with diabetes avoid hospital visits and other health implications.

4. Do something creative.
When it comes to the arts, you don’t need to have mastered a craft to enjoy it. The act of expressing in an artistic way can be enjoyable regardless of the outcome. And studies show that doing something creative—strumming a guitar, singing to yourself in the shower, or writing creatively—can boost your mood and emotional health as well as contribute to reducing stress and feelings of depression.

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5. Stay on top of your medications.
While this may seem obvious, forgetting to take essential medications is more common than you might think. In fact, studies have shown that up to 20-30% of medications are never filled, and that nearly 50% of medications for chronic disease aren’t taken as prescribed.  Alto can help make sure your prescriptions are delivered on time, as well as connect you with a pharmacist to answer any questions about dosage or side effects.

It's essential to be your own advocate when it comes to your health and well-being, and we’re here to support you with exceptional pharmacy care every step of the way. Talking with your healthcare provider about healthier habits and lifestyle adjustments can be just as important as discussing your medications. 

Our team of patient care pharmacists at Alto is available to chat whenever questions come up. Feel free to reach out any time via in-app secure messaging or phone at 1-800-874-5881.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.