We are all busy. Work, the school or nursery run, shopping, cooking cleaning, seeing family and friends – the list goes on. The last thing you need are more tasks to add to your ever expanding to-do list. But the fittest, healthiest and most successful among us will make time for healthy habits, which equate to happiness and success. Here’s our top 13 healthy living tips:
- Move more
Exercising for just 30 minutes each day is believed to be the single greatest thing you can do for overall health. If you struggle to get to the gym then there are plenty of ways you can squeeze in exercise at home.
- Enjoy the great outdoors
Some of the most successful and healthiest people admit they spend time outside each and everyday. Being outdoors can reduce stress and it alleviates the symptoms of depression as well as boosting your mood. According to experts, being outdoors also supports getting a good night’s sleep as natural daylight helps sync up your circadian rhythm, which is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It's also known as your sleep/wake cycle. So take advantage of the light nights and take your workout outside.
Approximately 50% of our bodies are made up of water. Drinking at least two litres of water a day is key to health. Mild dehydration—losing just 1.5 percent of your normal water volume, can alter your mood and one study found that dehydration is linked to fatigue, headaches, anxiety, and trouble concentrating.
It’s recommended you get 7-9 hours sleep each night. Sleep is vital for health and wellbeing as during sleep growth hormones are produced and regeneration of our bodies occur, which is vital to daily function.
Stretching helps to maintain flexibility in your muscles, providing longevity to the joints as well as flushing out the muscles. When you stretch, it’s like wringing out a wet towel. You dispose of all the toxins and by products from your metabolism that become congested and your muscles have the chance to move more freely.
- Learn something new
We are lucky enough to have many opportunities to learn new things from a new language, through to how to perfect cook a piece of fish. Successful people try to consistently learn new things. This sense of curiosity could pay off as Research has found a connection between health and wonder.
Meditation offers many benefits, especially around wellbeing and stress. Meditating for just ten minutes can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing. Harvard research finds mindfulness and meditation can ease anxiety, stress, and even physical pain.
- Reduce salt and sugar intake
Too much salt in your diet can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease. When shopping look-out for the lower salt product and avoid adding salt to your foods when cooking; opt for herbs and spices instead. Sugary food and drinks are high in energy and should only be enjoyed in moderation. Swap sugary snacks and drinks for fruit instead.
- Bodyweight exercises
Controlling your body weight is a great testament to health. A study from Brazil suggests that the easier it is for you to pick yourself up off the ground using your own weight, the longer your life will be. Many of you will already be doing some great body weight exercises such as push ups, pull ups, dips, plank and even calf raises.
- Five a day
Eating plenty of fruit and veg keeps your mind and body fit and healthy. Plenty of leafy greens are great and why not blitz your daily intake up into a smoothie to have on the go.
- Smile 😊
Smiling makes us all feel better. Smiling is believed to stimulate the brain in a way that even chocolate or our favourite past time cannot match. Simply smiling even if you’re not really feeling it can initiate and prolong a good mood.
- Avoid fizzy drinks
Researchers in the US have done some testing around fizzy drinks and the results are in! People who drank fizzy drinks (even diet ones) everyday gained 3.2 inches over nine years; those who didn’t have any gained only 0.8 inches. If you need something fizzy – opt for fizzy water!
- Human interaction
Although social media and the internet is a great way to unite long lost friends, relatives and co-workers, interacting personally with another person, even briefly gives a feeling of belonging and boosts your mood. So next time you order your coffee; strike up a conversation with the barista or have a chat to the person sat next to you on your commute.