Like most people these days, I’m constantly on the lookout for ways that I can improve my health and well being. I’m a busy girl balancing the demands and responsibilities of being an online business owner, part time employee, mum, home owner and social butterfly. To always be at my best I need to make sure I look after myself.
The problem that I find though is that there is so much information out there on all kinds of new age things you ‘should’ do to stay healthy. It can all get a little overwhelming and to be perfectly honest if it involves too much time, preparation, money or involves me having to go too far out of my way, I’m not that likely to actually do it.
Thinking about this prompted me to create my own set of easy to follow health tips for the average guy or gal that won’t leave you feeling like you have to completely reinvent yourself and can easily be incorporated into your own busy lifestyle. So here they are..
7 Easy To Follow Health Tips
1. Drink More Water
Now I know we’ve all heard this before right? But are you? Ideally you should aim for 8 glasses of water per day. If that seems just a bit too much for you, start with less. If your water consumption is really low or non-existent even, any amount of water you add to your day will be beneficial.
Try having a glass as soon as you get up in the morning and for an added health kick add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a spoonful of apple cider vinegar. If possible have another glass of water half hour before your meals.
Personally I drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning and I then keep a 750ml bottle on my desk with the aim to drink one full bottle during the morning before lunch and one through the afternoon after lunch. That way it’s easy for me to keep track of how much water I’ve had and getting through them means I’ve drank a total of 2 litres of water for the day, perfect.
There are many benefits of drinking water including, but not limited to:
Weight loss, clearer skin, greater energy levels, fewer headaches, improved moods and drinking water also helps to keep you regular. Sounds like a winner to me!
2. Good Dental Hygiene
This is an interesting one. Of course we all know that brushing keeps your teeth healthy, clean and white. Brushing also prevents bad breath but did you know that having healthy teeth and gums also reduces your risk of:
Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, lung infections, kidney problems, infertility, preterm birth, erectile dysfunction and even cancer?
Pretty crazy huh? Create a healthy habit of brushing twice a day, use a mouthwash, floss several times a week and have regular check-ups at the dentist each year to keep on top of any nasty little build ups and avoid unwanted surprises creeping up on you.
3. Cut Down Sugar
More and more research is showing the deadly effects sugar is having on the general population. Excess sugar intake is ranking right up there with being as harmful as smoking and drug taking!! It can lead to:
Heart disease, kidney disease, obesity and diabetes.
Now I’m the first to admit that I love a bit of chocolate or a muffin so let’s not go too crazy here. You can quite easily though, start cutting down the excess sugar from the foods and drinks that you regularly consume. Drinks are often the biggest culprits when it comes to sugar. Soft drinks, cordials, flavoured milks and even fruit juices all contain way more sugar than you need. Try to also cut out or at least cut down the sugar in your tea and coffee or better yet swap a couple of cups a day for some herbal teas such as green, peppermint or camomile. It may take a little getting used to but it can be done!
Also check how much sugar is in your breakfast cereal. Stick to the basics like oats and weet-bix then add some fresh fruit such as bananas or blue berries for some extra flavour. Try to avoid over processed foods and all the stuff that is generally white, for example: white bread, pastries, white rice and white pasta. Go for the wholemeal or brown varieties where you can as your body won’t convert them to sugar as readily as their white counterparts.
4. Add In Super Foods
Here’s a term we’ve heard thrown about a lot in recent times. Super foods are those that are naturally dense in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Like I said before, personally I’m not that interested in going too far out of my way to find these things. There are however a whole bunch of super foods readily available at your local supermarket that you can quite easily start incorporating into your diet. Try adding some of these and rest assured you’ll be doing yourself a flavour:
Blueberries, sardines or salmon, spinach, raw nuts, dark chocolate, chia seeds, red capsicum, beans, oats, pumpkin, apples, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, avocado, asparagus and coconut oil.
I’ve started using coconut oil in all my cooking in place of olive or canola oil. It reacts better to heat and it has a range of amazing health benefits. For more info on coconut oil, click this link: Body and Soul Coconut Facts
I kick start my day with a super food breakfast which consists of oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, honey, frozen blueberries and almond milk. It’s best prepared the night before if you want to eat when you first get up however I take mine in a container to work and eat it a couple of hours after I make it. It’s delicious and keeps me going til lunchtime.
We all know this one as well, you need to keep moving and as the song goes – ‘I like to move it, move it!’ Spending too much time sitting down is another enemy of good health. I’m not suggesting that you need to become a marathon runner or gym junky but you do need to get yourself moving. Even incorporating little things into your daily life can make a difference.
Try parking a little further away from your destination so you need to walk a little further, take the stairs instead of the lift, walk the dog, go dancing, play with the kids, get outside and do some gardening. Aim for a bit of variety and make what you do fun. Listen to music while you walk or get a friend or partner to go with you.
Personally I’m on the treadmill 3-4 times a week as it suits my lifestyle having my daughter home with me. I also have Zumba DVD’s if I want to shake it in the lounge room, I go to Yoga once a week and on the weekends I like to go for either a hike or beach walk and given the opportunity I love a boogey on the dance floor!
Exercise is beneficial for the mind and body alike with benefits such as:
Improved mood and sleep, reduced stress, weight loss, muscle gain, increased bone strength and reduced risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Increase your exercise and you’ll feel happier, look better and improve your overall mental and physical health.
Never underestimate the importance of sleep. How much you need will vary from person to person. Adults generally need 6-8 hours a night. Make sure the hours you do get are quality sleep by avoiding things like caffeine, alcohol or large meals before bed. Keep electronic devices out of reach or out of the room. Make sure your room is dark, kept at a comfortable temperature and shut out as much noise as possible.
Maintaining quality regular sleeping patterns will improve your:
Metabolism, concentration, mood, decision making, immune system, looks and even your sex life!
Hmm can’t knock any of those now can you?
7. Quit the Baddies
I don’t want to bang on here too much about quitting your vices but let’s be honest. If you’re smoking, drinking excessively, taking drugs or eating a lot of junk food, you’re body just ain’t gonna thank you for it. The good news though is that as you start making little changes to improve your health and you start feeling better, the bad stuff will become less appealing. The more healthy habits you make, the less time you’ll have for the bad ones. Some tips to keep in mind are:
Smoking is less appealing after you’ve eaten fresh fruit. You feel less like eating junk food after exercise. Exercise reduces stress and improves your mood in a much more lasting and effective way than drugs or alcohol. Cutting out or cutting down the baddies will not only make you feel and look better, they will also leave you with more money in your pocket.
Win/win if you ask me!
Remember that you don’t have to tackle every area of your life at the same time to make a difference. Work at making little changes every day and over time you will notice that you are living an overall healthier lifestyle that’s easy to manage and you will create your own new ‘normal’ standards.
Do you have any other simple health tips? I would love for you to share them in the comments below.
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Here’s to your health! 🙂