Summer is a time when people often re-dedicate themselves to becoming more fit, or being healthier. There is plenty of inspiration, or even “fitspo” on the internet and social media to overwhelm the average person. Everywhere you look, there are new superfoods to try, fitness routines to incorporate, and wellness fads. Improving your health doesn’t need to be complicated or all-consuming, however. The more simple you can make it, the better chance you have for lasting success.
According to a 2013 Gallup poll, the average American adult gets about 6.8 hours of sleep a night, with 40% of Americans getting less than seven hours each night. Experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for adults, as research shows that less sleep leads to cognitive impairment and health issues. Sleep is the body’s chance to rest and restore, and perhaps even more importantly, allows the brain to process and rewire. Getting enough sleep also helps to reduce stress levels and protect against obesity. This is one of the simplest, most effective ways to immediately improve your health.
Drinking plenty of water is another easy way to have a big impact on your health. The human body is comprised of up to 60% water. Water is essential for most of the body’s functions, from digestion to cell reproduction. Although recommendations fluctuate about how much water the average adult needs each day, many of us do not drink enough. Adding some more ounces to your daily routine will have an immediate impact on your health with very little effort.
While going to the gym or heading out on a run are the stereotypical exercise behaviors that come to mind, there are many other ways to make exercise a part of everyday life. The recommendation is 30 to 60 minutes of moderate daily exercise, which can seem like a chore if you don’t enjoy the treadmill. A little creativity is all it takes to make this part of your day something to look forward to. Going on a hike, playing in the park with your kids, joining a recreational softball team, or even dancing to your favorite tunes can all be enjoyable ways to kick up your heart rate. Exercise is known to increase endorphins and help alleviate stress and anxiety, making it another simple and effective way to immediately improve your health.
Most of us suffer from too much stress these days, with busier schedules and constant information overload. Stress impacts the body in many negative ways, such as weakening the immune system and raising cortisol levels, leading to obesity. Taking some time each day to do some deep breaths or guided meditation can greatly reduce the load of stress we carry. Make it a priority to take a moment each day to stop and calm the mind.
Eating healthfully doesn’t have to be complicated. There are plenty of eating plans to choose from, but the simplest action you can take right now is to add more colorful foods to your diet. Choose from whole fruits and vegetables, and try to get as much variety as possible. Adding these nutrient-dense foods will only serve to improve your overall well-being, and is a simple habit to adopt.
Nobody likes thinking about when they’re going to kick the bucket. Until cryopreservation becomes a reality, however, death is an inevitable fact of life. Perhaps it is this reluctance to think about dying that prevents many people from buying life insurance. In fact, a study conducted by LIMRA shows that only 60% of Americans have life insurance, leaving 40% of the country’s population unsure about life insurance and why it’s needed. This begs the question, who needs life insurance?
It’s Not About You
Most insurance is geared towards protecting the policy-holder. Car insurance protects you when you have a car accident. Health insurance saves you from huge medical bills. There’s even insurance for electronics and cell phones, in the event you drop your phone and shatter the screen. Life insurance is different–for the most part, you do not benefit from having life insurance. Instead, it’s the loved ones you leave behind that need financial protection, and they are the true beneficiaries. Here are 4 benefits of having life insurance.
Covering Funeral and Burial Expenses
It makes sense to have life insurance to benefit your dependants, but what if you’re single? While you may not have mouths to feed beside your own, you’ll still leave behind parents, loved ones, and friends when you die. Chances are good you’ll have funeral and burial costs, and rather than leaving this behind as a burden, life insurance can cover the necessary expenses.
Paying Off Debt
It’s likely that you’ve incurred some debt during your lifetime. In fact, the total average debt for Americans age 35 and under is a whopping $67,400! And while it would be nice for that debt to disappear when you pass away, it doesn’t. One benefit of life insurance is shielding loved ones from unpaid debt.
Caring for Spouses
There are over 60 million married couples in US, which means a fair number of adults who pass away are survived by a spouse who suddenly becomes solely responsible for the financial situation of the household. The standard suggestion is to buy a life insurance policy that amounts to 7 to 10 times your current income. This number applies to both spouses, even if one does not work. In the event that the stay-at-home mother or father passes away, the value of the childcare and other tasks they completed will still need to be covered. On the other hand, if it is the non-working spouse who is living, having the benefit of the life insurance policy allows them time to grieve, stay home with young children, or buy some time for them to locate employment.
Providing for Children
It may seem obvious that children are one of the main reasons for obtaining life insurance, as they are dependant on their parents. Some financial gurus have suggested adding an additional $100,000 per child to the standard 10 times the income amount. Looking forward to the future, this provides children with a secure amount of savings for college.
It’s About Them
Life insurance is really a misnomer–it really could be called death insurance. It doesn’t ensure that you continue living. Rather, in the inevitable event of your passing, it ensures that your loved ones are cared for, and that an already difficult time is eased as much as possible. Whether you’re looking out for parents, spouses, or children, nearly everyone can benefit from having life insurance.