Who, on a Sunday night sits in front of the TV, reflects on the past week and wishes they could be a little healthier? Telling yourself, “things have to change” and “I’ll be good next week”. But it’s hard right? You’re busy. You’re juggling family, work, home, social life and sometimes your health and wellbeing features low on your priority list.
Don’t despair and certainly don’t beat yourself up. Here’s our simple four-point guide to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle so you can rest easy on a Sunday night knowing you’ve had a good week 😊
- Let’s get physical: Exercise is a wonder drug. In 2015 the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges produced an incredibly thorough report, which called exercise a “miracle cure”. There were many studies in this report but one is notable as it looked at mostly middle-aged men who had suffered a heart attack. Regular exercise reduced all causes of mortality by 27 percent and cardiac mortality by 31 percent. Exercise has also been proven to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Now think about how you can get your family moving more. Can you walk the kids to school instead of driving? Can you fit an exercise class in at lunchtime? Can you go on a family bike ride at the weekend or join a local sports club?
- Go to bed sleepy head: Sleep. Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep? Sleep is good for you, there’s no denying it and studies have shown adequate sleep can support your immune system, metabolism, concentration levels and even help you lose a few extra pounds. Getting on average seven to nine hours sleep per night is recommended and one study at the University of Chicago found that 56% of dieters who slept well, lost more fat than those who were sleep deprived. What’s more, dieters who had less sleep also felt hungrier when they awoke.
- Walk away from the donut: Healthy eating. Enjoying a healthy diet is known to reduce the risk of serious illness and disease such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes and cancer. But there are so many benefits of eating a well-balanced, healthy diet. Eating foods which are nutritious will boost your mood and your energy levels. A healthy, balanced diet includes all the food groups and you shouldn’t feel like you’re depriving yourself. If you’re looking to improve your diet there are some easy and simple steps to follow. Look to replace refined grains (such as white bread and pasta or cereal) with whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal or whole-grain bread. Look for lean cuts of meat and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Stay away from foods that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar.
- Arrrggghhh! Reduce your stress levels. Stress at work has reached an all-time high according to a recent study for the TUC. It’s likely most of us have felt the unfortunate side effects of stress and anxiety but long term stress can have a lifechanging effect your health and wellbeing. Symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and a lower sex drive to more serious issues such as chest pain and depression can all be consequences of too much stress. But stress can be beaten by enjoying a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep and enjoying regular exercise and physical activity. So, if you’ve had one of those days where your boss is chasing you for work or you feel the pressure of home life try and make time for yourself and maybe go for a swim or get to that exercise class. We promise you’ll feel better after!
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