If you want to change your life and boost your health it can feel overwhelming to know where to start. Here are some simple changes you can make, starting today.
Many people struggle with getting a proper night’s sleep. Go to bed and wake at the same time each day (as much as possible) and aim for at least 8 hours of sleep a night to help your body to establish a routine.
Try and aim for 30 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Home workouts are readily available online from HIIT to aerobics or if you prefer, try and get out for a walk or run. If you are finding yourself sat down for the most part of the day, try and get up every half an hour to move around. Exercise has the power to transform your day and the best time to do it is usually when you least want to!
Eat a healthy balanced diet
Eat nutritious foods to fuel your body and help support your immune system. Aim to eat 5 or more portions of different fruit and vegetables each day to ensure you’re getting adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Choose wholegrain options to keep you fuller for longer and try to incorporate other foods high in dietary fibre into your meals such as beans and pulses.
It’s also important for your wellbeing to eat your favourite treats in moderation too, as no foods should be forbidden. Whether that means occasionally tucking into your favourite fish and chips from the chip shop or treating yourself to a gooey brownie. Moderation is key!
Pre-planning what you’re going to eat for the week will allow you to ensure you’re eating the foods your body needs as well as saving you time and money. Sometimes when we are rushing to think of what to have for dinner because we are hungry, we tend to make poorer food choices.
Controlling your portions is important for your body to eat what it needs instead of mindlessly over-indulging. Small changes such as buying smaller plates can really help with weight control!
Keeping hydrated is important for many reasons, such as preventing infections, regulate body temperature and keeping organs functioning properly. Try to drink water frequently throughout the day and when you feel thirsty. Everybody is different but aiming for around 8 glasses or more of water per day will keep you hydrated. Make sure that you drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to replace the water lost through perspiration.
Take time for yourself
Staying healthy doesn’t just mean looking after our physical health, it’s also hugely important to look after our mental health as well. Check-in with how you’re feeling and be sure to talk to your loved ones. Take time for yourself when you can, whether that’s reading a book, doing some meditation or having a hot bath.
Spend time in nature
Studies show that spending time in parks and green spaces has the power to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels and reduce stress. As well as this, getting outside daily is important for your vitamin D levels, with regular sun light exposure (10 minutes a day several times a week) being the most natural way to absorb vitamin D.
Limit caffeine and alcohol
A lot of people love their coffee and rightly so! However, like a lot of things, caffeine is best drunk in moderation to limit the negative effects of over-consumption such as headaches and insomnia. It can be beneficial to not drink caffeine past 2pm or at least 7 hours before bed to ensure it doesn’t negatively affect your sleep.
In terms of alcohol, by sticking to the government’s guidelines of no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, you are greatly reducing your risk of alcohol-related diseases. This is about 6 pints of average strength beer or four 250ml glasses of wine.
Humans are naturally social beings and we rely on social connections in order to thrive. Staying connected with friends and family is not only important for your emotional and mental health, but studies have also shown that social connections strengthen our immune system and help us live a healthy lifestyle!
What little changes could you make this week to start improving your lifestyle and health?