Who doesn’t want to be healthier? Read on for the top ten ways how...
Drink more water
Our bodies are made up of a whopping 60% water. If we get dehydrated, our bodies cannot function the way that they need too. When we are dehydrated, we can suffer headaches, low moods, aches and pains and much more.
On the flip side, when we keep our levels maintained and topped up, the benefits are many. You will be able to think more clearly and have quicker and more punctual reflexes.
Drinking water can also help you lose weight and flush out any nastiness inside your body.
That being said, it can be tough drinking as much water as is recommended. Our days are busy; getting water from a tap or a vending machine takes time. And so does needing to use the toilet more often! Buzzfeed did a fantastic article on 13 Easy Way To Drink More Water. You can find it at www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/how-to-drink-more-water.
Exercise is often credited with improving things like your heart rate and mental state. But did you know it can also make you age far slower? We’re not just talking about your skin; things like eyesight can be improved too. It also helps you lose and control your weight. Luckily, exercise is something that is beneficial even if done in small quantities. So, you don’t have to become a gym bunny and train ten times a week to see the difference.
In fact, just 10 minutes a day makes a difference. Mix cardio with strength training. So, cardio is things like running and swimming. Strength training is lifting weights, for example. The great thing about exercise is that you don’t have to do it alone. Stay at home with your family and learn via a DVD or YouTube video. www.youtube.com/user/BeFit is a great place to start. Head to the local gym and be motivated by others around you. Or, join a fitness class in your local area. Even just running around the park with the kids on the weekend counts.
Turn off the computer
Human beings were not made to be hunched over computers all day. Cavemen and women never did it, and neither do our close relatives in the ape world! That’s not to say using computers is necessarily dangerous. But some of the side effects can be very negative. Typing consistently can give you RSI. See www.repetitivestraininjury.org.uk/ to find out more about this.
Looking at a bright screen all day can damage your eyes. This can also give you headaches and migraines. Further down the body, sitting at desks can mean we hunch up our shoulders and neck. This can affect our posture. Whatever your job or lifestyle, you should also be taking regular breaks. Get away from what you’re doing and clear your mind.
Reduce caffeine intake
Caffeine is okay in small quantities, and for those of us with busy and hectic lifestyles, it can seem like a necessity! For improved health, you don’t necessarily have to cut it out altogether. Headaches and indigestion raised blood pressure are some of the negative effects it has on your body. As for the energy levels it raises, this is only beneficial until bedtime.
At this point, it can give you insomnia. It can also make you age faster; inhibiting collagen production in the skin is just one of the negative side effects it can have on your appearances. Not to mention the fact that it can stain your teeth and ruin your smile. Instead of beginning the day with an espresso or a cappuccino, try this. Mix a teaspoon of honey and a squeeze of half a lemon into boiling water.
Or, try Matcha Green Tea. You can find it at www.amazon.ca/Matcha-Green-Tea-Powder-Antioxidant/dp/B00DDT116M. This will not only be a great replacement for the need for a hot drink to start the day, but it is also far better for your body. You can have your coffee later in the day, but try and stick to just one each day. You can have up to 4 cups of coffee each day, but any less is even better for your health, of course. Take a break at weekends or when you’re off work if you can.
Cut down on alcohol
It can cause pretty much everything, from a bad hangover to chronic illnesses. It has also been linked to birth defects and cancer. We’re talking about alcohol, obviously. And of course, if you drink too much and too regularly, you’re at risk of alcoholism, and all the things that go with this.
So that’s the bad that it’s doing. Does it do any good? Well, aside from liquid confidence, not really. Even though you’re putting the liquid into your body, it doesn’t have a single beneficial nutrient. As with caffeine, you don’t have to cut it out completely to feel the benefits. Whether you’re male or female, you shouldn’t exceed 14 units per way. This breaks down to 2 units a day. To give you an idea of how much that is, 1.6 units is a small glass of wine. This unit counter- www.drinkaware.co.uk/understand-your-drinking/unit-calculator- can help you keep track.
Stress can be a good thing. It can motivate us, and keep us moving. It can let us know when something is wrong, and it can be a coping mechanism. However, stress in any more than low, irregular quantities can be very damaging. It can affect your body, your mood and your behaviour. The symptoms range from headaches to anxiety and restlessness.
It can even affect how you interact with people and cause social withdrawal or angry outbursts. It can truly start to take a toll on our mental well-being. An unhappy mind then leads to an unhappy body. If you are stressing too much, for example, it might lead you to binge eating. This, in turn, can make you put on weight. This weight gain can then lead to serious problems, including putting too much strain on your internal organs. Stress, too, can lead to serious mental issues, including depression. To reduce your levels of stress, start by reducing the two things above; caffeine and alcohol. As for more tips, look at www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-management.htm
Get fresh air
Perhaps you’re self-employed and work from home or are a stay-at-home mum. Maybe you work in an office, or spend a lot of time driving. For any other above, chances are you don’t get that much fresh air. For improved health, you need to rectify this.
Try and go for a long walk in the countryside at least once a week. If you live there, great! But if you live in a big city, like London for example, try and get out. The levels of pollution are high here. Even outside air isn’t necessarily all that ‘fresh’. Getting a dog is one great way of getting more fresh air. You’ll need to take them for a daily walk, meaning you get daily walks too!
Unless you never leave the house or it’s the middle of winter, you should always wear sun protection. Guys, spritz some on in the morning with your facial moisturiser. Ladies, choose a foundation or moisturiser with SPF in it. Even on a summer’s day when the clouds are out, the sun can still shine through. Not only can it give you sunburn, but it can also lead to very serious problems like skin cancer. It can also lead to heatstroke and migraines; if the sun is bright, wear a hat to protect you head.
You should also be wearing sunglasses to protect eyes. Plus, don’t forget that hot sunshine makes you sweat, depleting the body of water and making you dehydrated. Counteract this by upping your fluid levels, and avoid the midday sun wherever possible.
A microwaveable ready meal is the ultimate convenience food- after a McDonalds of course! Once again, in small quantities, your body and health will be okay. But consider the extra ingredients in these meals. From high salt and sugar levels through to chemicals and preservatives, they’re not all that innocent.
The best cure for this is to cook for yourself. This means that you are in total control and know exactly what is going into your body. Cook a batch of food on the weekends, or a free evening. Put into tupperwares and freeze. You can then defrost this during the day and warm it up at night. This will take no longer than warming up a microwaveable meal. However, you’ll be putting healthier, non-toxic ingredients into your body.
Get 7-8 hours sleep
We’ve all got that one friend who can survive quite happily on four hours sleep per night! While you might be jealous, they’re really in the minority. When we sleep, we let our bodies recharge. They get to work healing aches and pains, soothing our minds and lowering our heart rates.
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