If you’ve vowed to hit the gym every day and never have a cheat meal, you’re probably being too hard on yourself. Being healthy doesn’t mean being a complete saint! Instead, there are lots of easy ways to become healthier, and we’ve whittled it down to ten of the best ideas. How many of these are you going to try…?
1. Grow your own organic vegetables
So long as you have a little bit of outdoor space, or even just a sunny windowsill, a packet of seeds and the right gardening magazines for some tips (in fact, if you’ve found yourself searching for magazine subscriptions UK now’s a good time to sign yourself up!), you’ll be pulling up your own organic veg in no time!
2. Cook from scratch
By preparing all of your meals at home (which means forgoing jars of sauce and anything that just requires heating before eating), you’ll be controlling the amount of salt, sugar and fat you’re consuming. You’ll also reduce your calories, avoid artificial additives and be eating tastier food!
3. Try to have a positive attitude
A healthy positive attitude helps to improve your immune system and will enable you to make better choices – both in relation to food and other areas of your life. Why not listen to podcasts by motivational speakers like Les Brown and Eric Thomas?
4. Eat lots of vegetables
We all know that we should be eating at least five portions of fruit and veg a day, so add some more salads and soups to your diet. Just be careful not to count these in your 5-a-day!
5. Exercise every day
Even 10 minutes makes a difference. You don’t have to sweat in the gym for it to count – in fact, you could just run up and down your stairs, do an at-home yoga video, or dance around the kitchen!
6. Make simple changes
Stop taking the elevator and take the stairs instead. Park your car in the furthest corner of the car park, and walk to wherever you need to go – like a meeting or a lunch date – as often as you can.
7. Get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep will help to improve your memory, prevent inflammation, increase creativity, boost your attention span and help you to maintain a healthy weight. It also lowers the concentration of stress hormones in your body, reduces your risk of causing a car accident and helps you to maintain a balanced mood.
8. Drink plenty of water
Aim to drink two litres of water every day. It is possible to drink too much (so don’t go too far with it!), but those who drink enough water will find that their kidneys function well, their muscles perform, and their skin looks fresh and full.
9. Reduce your caffeine intake
A little bit of caffeine can be a very good thing (some studies show that 4-5 cups a day can actually make you live longer), but too much of it can cause restlessness, anxiety, insomnia and a fast or irregular heartbeat.
10. Try to curb your sweet tooth
The sugars we eat too much of are called ‘free sugars’ and are added to food and drinks.
To become healthier, reduce your consumption of things like sweets, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks and juice drinks and keep an eye on sugars added to food you might not expect to contain added sugar, like cereals and bread.
Article by Patrick Vernon on behalf of Magazine Subscriptions UK.