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4 everyday ways to improve your physical and mental health

Alice Gomstyn By Alice Gomstyn

Has your doctor ever suggested you work out more, eat better, cut down on stress or go to bed earlier? You’re not alone. Experts widely consider exercise, good nutrition, relaxation and sleep crucial to healthy living. While these so-called “four pillars” of good health help keep your body running, they also do wonders for your emotional well-being.

The key is to pay equal attention to each pillar, as ignoring one could impact your ability to sustain the others, says Dr. Gabriela Cora, a board-certified psychiatrist and a medical director for Aetna Behavioral Health. Eating foods that are heavily processed or high in sugar, for example, could leave you feeling sluggish, slow and heavy, making it harder to stay active and energized. Likewise, you may find it hard to fall asleep if you’re still tense about something that happened earlier that day. “The more we balance the four pillars within our lives, the better our chances of feeling good in the long run,” Dr. Cora explains.

Here’s a closer look at how each pillar can impact your mood, plus simple ways to work each element into your daily routine.

4 pillars of health infographic

About the author

Alice Gomstyn is a veteran parenting blogger and business reporter. She is an admitted sugar addict but plans to cut back on the sweet stuff and load up on veggies like never before. Bring on the broccoli!