We’re all guilty of having a few unhealthy habits; whether it be staying up too late or spending too much time watching TV.
Snapping out of routine can be tough.
We’ve put together this short guide which highlights 7 simple but effective changes you can make for a healthy and happier lifestyle. Work them into your everyday routine and they will soon add up to a healthier and happier you.
7 Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Read on to discover our top seven health lifestyle tips to boost your wellbeing.
1. Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep is essential, not only for your mental and emotional wellbeing but also for your physical health. Your body uses this shut-down time to replenish, heal and recharge.
And - it’s not just quantity that counts, it’s also the quality. To support a healthy and happy lifestyle, it is recommended to get around 7 to 8 hours sleep a night.
Poor or insufficient sleep can have a cumulative effect, leaving you vulnerable to slower reflexes, lack of concentration and lower productivity levels. Lack of sleep has also been linked to chronic diseases, anxiety and depression.
A consistent bedtime routine is key to getting a good nights sleep - aim to go to bed at the same time every day. Before bed, do some gentle stretches, read a book or have a warm bath - and keep all electronic devices out of the bedroom. This should help you relax and drift off.
2. Keep hydrated
Water is essential for our wellbeing and so for optimum health, we need to be well-hydrated. Our body is actually made up of two-thirds water and we need this H2O for a host of bodily functions, from regulating temperature to detoxifying and removing waste.
As well as impacting on our body’s efficiency, poor hydration can also affect our energy levels as well as concentration, mental clarity and vitality.
To keep sufficiently hydrated, healthy and happy, the recommended amount of water we need to drink each day is around two litres (or eight glasses) – more if you are very active.
3. Stand up and move more
The sedentary lifestyle is widely recognised as being detrimental to our health and wellbeing and the perfect antidote is to get up and get moving. Adding some aerobic exercise into your day can make a real difference and it doesn’t have to be intense. Walking for just 30 minutes a day can help to reduce your risk of chronic disease, high blood pressure and weight gain as well as helping to boost mood, cognitive function, muscle strength and flexibility.
As well as making time for exercise, there are also other small steps you can add into your day that collectively help to counter the effects of a sedentary life, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, gardening or taking the dog for a nice, long walk. And, if you do find you need to spend long periods of time in front of the computer, build in regular breaks when you get up and move around.
4. Be more mindful
In our fast-paced world, we can feel overwhelmed or distracted by everything we have to do in a day. But with so much going on, we often miss out on the smaller things that can bring a sense of perspective, calm and joy into our lives. And this is where mindfulness comes in.
From sitting down to enjoy the simple pleasure of a meal to taking yourself into the garden and spending five minutes consciously observing your surroundings, there are plenty of little mindful activities you can work into your day.
Increasing mindfulness and the time you spend ‘living in the moment’ can have a significant impact on your health, happiness and overall wellbeing.
5. Eat well
Variety is the spice of life and, when it comes to what you eat, a variety of whole foods, fruit, vegetables, good fats and lean protein is key to a healthy body and mind.
Cutting back on junk, sugar and processed foods and eating as naturally as possible will help you to get all the daily nutrients your body needs to perform at its optimum. A well-nourished body is also more able to fight illnesses, recover from exercise and positively deal with whatever life throws at you.
Aim to cook from scratch if you can and include a rainbow of colours on your plate to ensure you are getting all those essential vitamins and minerals.
6. Get outside
You should never underestimate the power of the outdoors when it comes to our mental and physical health. Spending quality time outside can be a real boost to our happiness and wellbeing.
Nature can help you to switch off from the pressures and technologies of life and rediscover a simpler way, even if it’s for just a few hours. Recharging your batteries with a walk in the fresh air can also boost mental clarity and help with anxiety and depression as well as increase your physical fitness, resilience and stamina.
So, get your walking boots on, slap on the sunscreen, grab a bottle of water and stride out for some mood and health-boosting time outside.
7. Appreciate what you have
With the demands of modern life and the pressures of wanting to have it all, it can be easy to lose track of the little things that give our lives perspective. Taking some time out to focus on what we have, rather than what we don’t, can really help you to see everything in a much healthier, holistic way. And, as it’s been said, it is often the little things in life that make you happy.
Why not start a gratitude diary and each day, write down three things you are grateful for – from that freshly brewed cup of coffee or newly-changed bed linen to an unexpected visit from a friend or the effort made to stop smoking.
Consciously acknowledging what you do have and what you have achieved will bring you a deeper sense of appreciation. And that is another simple yet essential tip for a happy, healthy and fulfilled life.