The year is 2018 and we are well and truly in the information age. Within seconds you can access information on being healthy, getting ripped, dropping a dress size etc. via web searches, social media platforms and with increasingly regularity on our TV screens. While it is fantastic that modern society is so health focused, all these different media streams can often contain conflicting information leaving the audience perplexed on how to actually achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Fear not, achieving a healthier lifestyle is not as complicated as it seems. Let’s break this down into 10 key considerations, which will be easily digestible (I mean who doesn’t love a list!?).
Things to consider to achieve a healthier lifestyle:
1. Make time to be more active - Working out in a gym, walking the dog, doing a Zumba class, take walking meetings, go cycling, go swimming, take the stairs instead of taking the lift. SIT LESS! Every day we can be more active. Prioritise having a minimum of two dedicated 45 minute activity sessions and walk at least 30 mins on the three other days a week. It will improve the quality of your life significantly.
2. Be Consistent - Be active, not for a week, not for a month, but years.
3. Stay Hydrated - Water has endless health benefits, make that your first choice of drink throughout the day. At least 2 litres consumption a day will put you in good stead, avoid drinks containing calories.
4. Sleep more - 7-9 hours is optimal for adults. Lights off, phones down, dark room and switch off. Sleep is not something you can compromise on.
5. Don’t ignore calories - You don’t have to track what you eat via an app, or stress over every single calorie you consume, but you can’t ignore it. In 2018 we have a wealth of indulgent options very accessible to us. If you decide to have a high calorific meal, create the counterbalance by eating fewer calories before/after that meal.
6. Prioritise ‘whole foods’ - Vegetables, fruit, lean meat, fish, grains, legumes. Your body will thank you if you ignore processed options and consume these as at least 80% of your daily/weekly nutrition. Make protein a staple part of every meal.
7. Prepare - Eating food is an emotional process for most people, if you leave yourself hungry with nothing prepped, your body will naturally crave the higher calorific, often sugar based options. Buy some Tupperware, learn some simple recipes, prep your lunches and plan/buy your (healthy) dinners a couple days in advance.
8. Stress Less - Life is hard sometimes. Talk through what is stressing you with a loved one, this can help mitigate your stress and their support can prove invaluable. If you are stressed then your body will be resistant to making physical improvements.
9. Health isn’t just about the body - The mind is a powerful thing, taking care of it is important. Be social, prioritise meaningful relationships and help them grow, take up a new hobby, make the time to have fun. Create that balance in your life that you can find a place that feels happy and right for you.
10. Be Consistent - Sound familiar? Sadly there is no magic pill to a healthier lifestyle. Reflect on everything in this list, maybe tackle each point one at a time but create those behaviours not for a week, not for a month, but for years.