For veterans, creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can lead to a more stable and positive post-military life. If you are a veteran in need of advice on how to stay healthy, here are a few tips to help create healthy habits.
Commit to a Healthy Diet
Eating right is arguably the most important aspect to focus on. You can significantly improve your physical health simply by choosing the right foods and eating at the correct times.
When starting your journey to better health, meal planning is an excellent starting point. Meal planning helps to avoid empty calories, and it removes the stress of preparing a new meal every time you eat.
Another simple way to better your health is to avoid sugary drinks and alcohol; prioritize water over any other beverage. Water is vital for your existence; if that is the majority of what you consume, your physical and mental health will thrive.
If you find yourself wondering how to heal your gut, it is probably related to your poor eating habits. In order to keep your stomach happy and healthy, be sure to keep up on healthy eating. Your gut affects many different aspects of your wellbeing, including acne, eczema and weight loss or gain; make sure it's happy.
Stay Physically Active
In addition to eating right, exercise is an excellent way to improve your physical health. Whether you walk your dog every morning or rock climb every other day, as long as you are moving your body, you're doing it right.
There is an abundance of activities to consider, such as yoga, martial arts, or different sports. You do not need to join a team if you don't want to, but it wouldn't hurt to round up a group of your peers now and then for a couple of games of whatever sport you choose.
Some lowkey and low-maintenance sports include volleyball, basketball, or pickleball. These sports require little planning and few purchases. If you must pay for something, it will be small like balls and accessories. Check out some of the best pickleball paddles for beginners or whatever else you may need for another sport of your choosing.
Monitor Your Mental Health
Mental health is a significant component of your overall well being. While exercise and proper eating will help repair and maintain your mental health, other options exist.
Therapy is a beneficial tool, and despite the stigma surrounding it, therapy is on the rise. If one-on-one therapy is not ideal for you, there are alternative types, such as group therapy, where you can talk to a professional and others in the same situation.
Support groups for veterans are an excellent way to maintain your mental health. These groups are similar to group therapy, although group therapy may entail working with folks who weren't in the military and are unaware of the difficulties in transitioning back to civilian life. By joining a veterans support group, you are surrounding yourself with like-minded people who face several of the same challenges.
If you or someone you know is having a hard time with mental health, do not forget about the recently updated national suicide hotline, 988. In addition to this service, there is also a veteran crisis hotline, which is the same number, but once you hit call, press the number 1. This is a 24/7 hotline, and you are highly encouraged to utilize it if necessary.
Take Advantage of Veteran Services
The VA is a great resource to get help with your health as a veteran and much more. It may feel like a hassle to jump through hoops and deal with long wait times, but they are the people who can point you in the right direction to get what you need. Look into VA clinics and medical centers. They also provide substance abuse programs specifically for veterans.
Adjusting to life outside of the military can be difficult, but keeping yourself healthy is the first step to creating and maintaining a pleasant civilian life.
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