99 Ways To Care For Your Physical Health (That Don't Center Weight Loss)
Loving Your Body Better
All too often, we conflate our physical health with our body image. We focus on shedding pounds, losing inches, and generally trying to look good. But what about feeling good? It’s time we focused on wellness and health, not weight loss.
To get you started, here are 99 ways to care for your physical health that have little to do with burning calories and everything to do with loving your body just a bit better!
1. Conduct a breast self-exam once a month to look for lumps, fluids, or rashes. Here’s a how-to.
2. Suffer from lower back pain? Consider these gentle stretches or yoga poses to find some relief.
3. Focus on movement rather than mileage or results, even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day.
4. Care for your muscles, tendons, and ligaments by trying strength training—plus, enjoy how strong you feel within a few weeks.
5. Find nutritious meals you enjoy making and prep them for long weeks.
6. Try avoiding inflammatory foods (whether that’s alcohol, acidic fruits, cheese, etc.) to calm your stomach.
7. Start your mornings or nighttime routines with yoga; stretching right out of bed (or even right before) can soothe you to sleep.
8. Stock up on healthy snacks whether you work from home or in the office. No more 3 PM crashes at your desk!
9. Fire off some brain cells (and flex your memory skills) with a crossword or sudoku puzzle.
10. Strong mental health supports strong physical health; try meditations or mantras to set your intentions for the day so you can keep calm and carry on.
11. Schedule your regular appointments for a physical, eye exam, or dental cleaning.
12. Join a recreational sports group you love (volleyball! dodgeball! soccer!) to get your heart rate up while having fun.
13. Stay cool in the summer and keep those limbs in shape by going for some laps in the pool.
14. Drink 64+ oz of water a day, if not more. Staying hydrated helps not just our muscles but also our skin and our brains.
15. Upgrade your water filter.
16. Weave superfoods into your diet, like acai berries, beets, kefir, and more. Reap the benefits of better gut health and higher energy levels.
17. Slow down in times of chaos; you are not your productivity, and doing too much will lead to burnout.
18. Learn to trust your body; listen and look out for clues when things feel amiss.
19. Furthermore, find a doctor you trust and feel empowered to ask for a second opinion when needed.
20. Masking and sanitizing don’t just have to be the case in pandemics; shield yourself (and others) from spreadable sickness when in public, like in flu season.
21. Aid digestion and reduce bloat by starting your day with lemon water.
22. If using a scale stresses you out, swap the scale for a daily tracker to log your moods, cravings, or any changes in your body.
23. Part with clothes that no longer fit, find ones that do, and see your confidence and comfort soar.
24. Turn your household chores into a workout or challenge with a partner; the first one to finish theirs wins!
25. Reframe your thoughts from the body negativity/positivity binary to body neutrality.
26. Get rid of dead ends and revive limp hair with deep treatments and regular haircuts.
27. Aim for eight hours of sleep every night.
28. Take a nap on lazy days when you’re feeling wiped.
29. If you can, avoid smoking. Fan of 420? Opt for edibles over vapes.
30. Prioritize your medications, if any. Don’t skip or miss days if you can help it; consistency is key!
31. Try sober living for a month or year and see how your body feels without alcohol.
32. Get tested regularly for STIs or STDs, especially if you have more than one sexual partner. You owe it to yourself (and who you’re with!).
33. Apply SPF. Always. Every day.
34. Turn off electronics or stow your phone away an hour before bedtime to avoid excess blue light.
35. Trust your gut in spaces or places where you feel unsafe; keep an emergency contact in your phone as additional safety.
36. Invest in an ergonomic chair or workstation if you’re sitting for most of the day.
37. Create a consistent, sustainable self-care routine beyond one-off spa days or luxurious baths; what can you do for your body every week?
38. Invest in massages if you suffer from chronic issues like swelling, lack of circulation, or knots.
39. Floss every day, just like you tell your dentist you do. 😉
40. Cut the caffeine if you are reliant on the energy boost; switch from coffee to tea if you can’t fully wean off.
42. Swap the plastic in your kitchen for glass, ceramic, and stainless steel (hot food in plastic is an endocrine disruptor!).
43. Make the switch to sustainable, natural period products. They’re better for your body inside and out.
44. Feeling extra tension in your shoulders? Gently move your neck in circles and hold in each cardinal direction.
45. Swap reading or watching TV on the couch for an on-the-go podcast episode or phone call to a friend, and go for a leisurely stroll.
46. Check your skin once a month for any new moles or marks. Keep an eye on cuts, scabs, and scars, too.
47. Visit a dermatologist to get a personalized skincare routine. Thank us later, and enjoy your new glow!
48. Take lukewarm showers to avoid drying out your skin, and apply moisturizer or body oil as soon as you’re done.
49. Let your skin breathe with a no-makeup day at least one to two times a week.
50. While we’re all for facials and body exfoliants, don’t overdo it either—our bodies need recovery time, too.
51. Work up (and out) to an exercise goal that would have once been impossible for you, like crow pose or a cartwheel.
52. Get the good (read: well-fitting) shoes or quality inserts; uncomfortable sneakers and high-heel stilettos aren’t worth the pain, we promise.
53. Expose your body to the morning sun each day to help regulate hormones.
54. Do things for yourself, not because the beauty industry convinced you to: shaving, waxing, facials, you name it.
55. Go to the farmer’s market and try out seasonal fruits and veggies to incorporate into your diet; you never know if persimmons, melon, or rhubarb could be your next favorite ingredient.
56. Try a food diary to see how certain meals or drinks leave you feeling.
57. Don’t focus on hard results or numbers like 10,000 steps a day; think about what goals make sense for you and adapt.
58. Breathe intentionally; inhale deep breaths, exhale fully.
59. Replace or upgrade those everyday items we use for bodily support: contacts, bras, shoe insoles, etc. You deserve to be comfortable!
60. Try a probiotic or daily supplement (but check with your doctor first!).
61. Schedule those mammograms, prostate exams, or vaccines as you reach certain milestones.
62. Ensure you have enough fiber in your diet. 💩
63. Laugh. As much as you can, whenever you can. Laughing lowers stress and blood pressure.
64. Keep an eye on your #1 and #2 when you’re in the bathroom. They can tell you a lot about your gut health!
65. Set an alert to move around once an hour or every half hour; it’ll boost your heart health.
66. Try Meatless Monday to minimize your meat intake (which can help lower your risk for illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease).
67. Traveling a lot? Stick to your normal routines as much as possible when it comes to sleep, movement, and diet.
68. While you’re at it, go for a lap up and down the aisle if you’re stuck on a long flight or train ride.
69. Invest in nontoxic, natural skincare and makeup products—your skin absorbs the majority of what you put onto it.
70. Try acupuncture to stimulate your nerves and relieve pain.
71. Get outside and be with nature, even if you’re just sitting or strolling. Every bit of Vitamin D helps.
72. Got a sensitive stomach? Keep natural ingredients around, like ginger and turmeric, to cook or drink with.
73. Wheels up! A bike ride improves strength, mobility, and posture—and lets you enjoy the scenic view.
74. Up your speed and coordination with some agility exercises, like ladder drills or cone taps.
75. Add some essential oils to your diffuser to enhance your rest, or apply topically (follow the brand’s specific directions!).
76. The vagus nerve is the main part of your parasympathetic nervous system; if you’re feeling overstimulated, calm your vagus nerve with nighttime stretches, cold water immersion, or deep breathing.
77. Don’t overdo it on a workout. Ease into an exercise regiment; slow and steady, y’all.
78. Before you get out of bed (or before you head into work!), wiggle around in bed or wiggle your toes in the grass for some light sensory soothing.
79. Cook and prep your food at the right temps to avoid excess smoke inhalation or ingesting char.
80. Learn about our ancestors’ ways regarding food, wellness, and health. There are well-known remedies that have lasted through the centuries for a reason.
81. Go outside, even if it’s for only five minutes a day, for a dose of fresh air.
82. Wear compression socks while in transit or in a heat wave; this will reduce swelling and improve circulation.
83. Be around moving water; the negative ions will make you feel happier and increase oxygen flow to your brain.
84. Spend at least five minutes daily not doing anything at all; no reading, TV, phone, or anything stimulating.
85. Cry when you need it. There’s power in a good cry.
86. Unclench your jaw. You didn’t even know you were doing it, did you?
87. And don’t forget to loosen and relax those shoulders. Avoid those painful neck cricks.
88. Improve your range of motion with pliability exercises.
89. Invest in blue light glasses and high-quality sunglasses to reduce eye strain.
90. Make the switch to natural deodorants, toothpaste, and even detergents—all of which can impact our bodies.
91. Don’t pop your pimples! Acne is normal, and our skin is better off if we leave it be.
92. Massage your scalp once every few days to boost relaxation and stimulate hair growth.
93. Learn about regenerative agriculture and then shop at your local farmer’s market or CSA to ensure you’re getting nutrient-dense produce.
94. Plant a garden; grow your own favorite fruits and veggies and get in a nice arm workout or two.
95. Don’t buy into fad or crash diets and trust your gut (literally!). Focus on sustainable, healthy meals.
96. Swap soda for seltzer, caffeine for decaf, or sugar-heavy juices for smoothies.
97. Give yourself a hug; yes, really. There are many benefits to embracing yourself.
98. Track the stats that do matter (blood sugar, blood pressure, etc.)—not the ones that don’t (aka your scale!).
99. Exhibit gratitude for your body: I’m thankful for my legs that bring me from point A to point B, I love my expressive eyes, I’m appreciative for my healthy digestive system.
Henah Velez (she/her) is the Senior Editor at Money with Katie at Morning Brew, as well as a writer at The Good Trade. She holds a Master's in Social Entrepreneurship and is a proud Rutgers grad. Originally from NJ, Henah’s now in the Bay Area where she loves shopping small, hanging with her pets, or traveling. Say hi on Instagram!