Simple lifestyle changes for better health
You don’t have to be a nutrition nerd or a fitness freak to improve your health. Having a big goal and making sweeping changes is awesome, but often unsuccessful. Start with these 7 simple lifestyle changes and watch your health improve!
- Make water sexy
Thirst and hunger can often be confused. Before reaching for a snack, grab a glass of water. Not sure how much water your body needs? Check your urine! You want to see a pale-yellow colour indicating you’re well hydrated. If not, get your water fix. Treat yourself to a funky water bottle and add some fresh berries, lemon and basil for a sweet yet zesty tang to your water.
- Move more
Strictly You has you covered with great moves, but everyone loves a bonus in life, right?! You can burn some bonus calories by ramping up your daily activities. Park a little further away when doing the grocery shop, stand instead of sitting while at your computer or add some energy to your household chores – a 20-minute burst of vigorous vacuuming, mopping and dusting will get your heart rate up, burn calories and you’ll have a sparkling home!
- Go green
Studies suggest that by spending 20 minutes in nature you can reduce blood pressure and the hormone cortisol, which is linked with stress. In fact, even viewing ‘green scenery’ will improve your mental wellbeing!
- Become a sleeping beauty
You’re not alone if sleep seems like a mythical thing that only other people get! Sleep (and rest) is when your muscles repair and grow, so it’s imperative we find ways to get more of that elusive time. Research suggests that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week can provide a 65% improvement in sleep quality. Remember though, you don’t want to exercise too close to bedtime as this will impact your ability to dose off!
- Make your routine the hero
Routine is the cornerstone of building habits. Get into a routine that is beneficial for your health. Your day doesn’t have to be scheduled down to the last second but making exercise a part of your regular routine means you have fewer decisions to make and less resistance to overcome. A regular exercise routine will improve your mood, lower stress, boost immunity and help with weight management.
- Stop multi-tasking
Have you ever eaten a meal while looking at your phone or watching tv and realised you ate way too much? ‘Distracted dining’ is a real phenomenon that causes overeating both at mealtimes and afterwards too. So, turn off the television, put away the phone and make eating a mindful task. Chew food slowly, savour flavour and swallow before reaching for the next mouthful.
- Schedule a de-stress
Being stressed means you produce more of the hormone cortisol. If this happens for prolonged periods, your body takes it as a signal to ‘store fat’. Carve out some non-negotiable de-stress time. It could be a bubble bath, a walk, dance, swim, reading a book or even some deep breathing. Deep breathing activates your relaxation response which relaxes your muscles, lowers your heart rate, normalises your blood pressure and improves blood flow to the brain. You will find your ability to make healthier choices and cope with obstacles improves.
What small change are you going to try for better health? We love to see you living your best healthy lifestyle. So, please share the love! Post pics of your healthy habits on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram.
Words by Kylie McCorquodale BSc (Biomed) Dip.Ed.
Kylie McCorquodale is a health writer who specializes in medical, fitness, wellbeing and educational content. Her passion for healthy living is balanced by a penchant for wine and chocolate. Kylie trains daily for triathlon and is willing to dive into the deep end of almost any adventure.