5 Ways To Improve Your Health That Don't Involve Your Diet

It’s normal to look for ways to improve your health, both physical and mental. But many western society ideals that relate weight loss to success and happiness fall short in regards to overall health and wellness. Improving your health absolutely does not have to require any change to your diet in regards to losing weight. Rather, we encourage you to strive for optimal physical and mental health through obtainable tasks that feel welcoming, rather than an overwhelming change or restrictive challenge.

Working to Improve Your Health

It's important to work toward improving your health regularly for the good of your overall wellbeing. Among the stressful demands of day-to-day life, looking after your own health can be tricky. But many people associate this idea of improving and maintaining your health through losing weight and dieting. 

Here at Salt + Thread, we’d rather bring awareness to all the aspects of your physical and mental health that don’t have to do with dieting. “Diet culture” can be often toxic, and we encourage you to take different ideas of dieting with a grain of salt. Rather, when looking to improve your health, try to instead focus on the mindful ways you can tune into your own physical and mental health without such restrictive boundaries. We’re talking daily walks, journaling, hobbies— all that good stuff. In general, we’re aiming for a positive mindset and comfortable wellbeing when we:

  • Engage in hobbies and pursue goals
  • Express appreciation and gratitude
  • Practice mindfulness (more on this later!)
  • Savor life’s pleasures
  • Exercise self compassion through mental health awareness

Aiming for Healthy Habits

These healthy habits are examples of a few goals you can look to achieve when you want to improve your health. But executing these actions like savoring life's pleasures and practicing mindfulness can sound daunting: How do we get there? These 5 ways to improve your health that don’t involve your diet can help you get comfortable with healthy habits:

1. Regular Walks

Or other light exercises like stretching can help improve your health. Just move your body! Even a brief 30-minute daily walk can benefit you in so many ways. Regular walks can improve your circulation, alleviate joint pain, lower your blood pressure, improve your mood, and so much more! They’re also a good opportunity to practice mindfulness and simply stop to savor life’s little pleasures of the outdoors.

2. Therapy or Journaling

Checking in on your mental health is a huge part of improving your overall health. And when it comes to therapy, we encourage everyone to give it a try to help work through goals and just learn how to deal with life. Journaling helps with that, too: It’s a chance to sit down with your thoughts and maybe even learn something about yourself. But it can also be as casual as writing down little thoughts like what you want to cook, new hobbies you’ve been trying— stuff like that.

3. Hobbies like Drawing, Painting, and Reading

Allowing yourself time to both relax and exercise your brain is essential to staying healthy. Though it looks different as we grow older, this time to “play” and do things simply for fun helps you stay in the moment and work on healthy habits.

4. Prioritize Downtime For Stress Management

Just like hobbies, downtime for stress management is to help you relax and maybe plan a bit. That might mean taking the time to prepare some to avoid stress later: Perhaps that’s preparing your favorite meals to enjoy later in the week, doing boring chores that you’ve been putting off, or just taking a second to chill by yourself. This can also be a time to practice mindfulness by checking in on how you feel mentally and physically to avoid building up stress.

5. Aim for Regular Sleep

This is a big one. Regular sleep is so tricky for so many people that it's hard to suggest how to achieve it. But starting with tips like turning off the TV at bedtime and having a little bedtime routine can help your sleep patterns. Browse this page for a few more general tips on that, and why it’s so important to get good sleep.

Some Mindfulness Tips

As you work to improve your health, mindfulness tips can help you focus on the moment and understand your self better. When you make time to manage stress and have fun with hobbies, it’s easier to take a step back and enjoy your surroundings. Let yourself focus on one thing and clear your head from overwhelming thoughts. Be aware and present. And if you want, try these mindfulness tips:

  • Stop and smell the flowers: Literally.
  • Put away your damn phone: Even if it's just to watch a movie or sit down and savor a tasty meal.
  • Do good for others: Take a moment to appreciate what you can do for others, whether that be a favor for a friend or a local charity.
Meditation is all about mindfulness: If you’re interested, it can help clear your mind of stress, connect with yourself, and give you a chance to consider more personal ways to improve your health.