1. DRINK MORE WATER
- Water makes up two-thirds of a healthy body; we need water to function properly it is involved in nearly every chemical reaction in our cells.
- We also need water so that our blood can carry nutrients around the body and get rid of waste,
- Water is well-known as a simple detoxifier,
- It is recommended that women drink about 1.6 litres of fluid (about 8 glasses) and men about 2.0 litres of fluid (about 10 glasses)per day.
Tip; Fill up a water Bottle before you leave the house and set reminders on your phone to take regular drink breaks!
2. DITCH THE FIZZ
- Fizzy drinks aswell as other soft drinks, energy drinks and even ‘vitamin drinks’ claiming to be healthy are filled with chemicals and sugar even the diet versions are terrible for you.
- They do nothing for your body, they can leave you bloated and on a sugar/ caffeine high and then you crash and crave more amongst other negative effects!
- Here is a video from YouTube to show you just how much damage fizzy drinks can do to your teeth(imagine what it’s doing to your insides) :
Tip; Avoid drinks with added sugar, If you still feel the need to enjoy a fizzy drink consider diluting some no added sugar fruit juice with sparkling water.
3. MOVE MORE
- You might have heard the saying ‘move it or lose it’? Muscle can deteriorate if you don’t keep up some sort of regular movement.
- Aim for 30 mins of movement a day 🙂
- Movement is good for your well-being your muscles, your cardiovascular system(lungs and heart)and your digestion.
If you can, walk or cycle to work! Choose the stairs over the lift/elevator (even if you can only manage to get off one floor before and walk one flight of stairs it’s a start)! Walk instead of driving when you can and park the car further away when you can’t avoid driving.
- Lots of people gain weight and lose muscle when they are in jobs that involve sitting all day (such as office work)
Tip; Here are some great ideas to get you moving at your desk,
4. MAKE BETTER EATING DECISIONS
If grains are apart of your diet swap white pasta, rice and bread for brown whole wheat.
- White sources of carbohydrate in comparison to brown/whole wheat have very low nutrients and fibre.
- White produce often contain higher amounts of added sugar, it can leave you feeling bloated it also makes you more susceptible to gaining weight.
- 80% of bowel cancer is caused by diets lacking in fibre, diabetes is more common in children and adults who consume white refined produce, Heart attack and stroke occur less in people who eat a high fibre diet.
- There are many vitamins in whole wheat grains that are essential for a fully functioning body and a well-balanced diet, those vitamins are lost in the processing of the ‘wheat’ to make white bread.
5. GET FOOD LABEL SAVVY
Processed food can have some really nasty ingredients hidden inside, and while cooking from scratch is always a better option (because you know exactly what goes into it), here are some tips for buying processed foods.
- Calories, sugar and fat are not the ONLY things you need to consider when purchasing food,
- It’s in your interest to know what’s in the food you buy, avoid hydrogenated and saturated fats, and chemicals, if you don’t understand what an ingredient is the chances are it’s not good for you.
- If you are unsure what an ingredient is look it up before you purchase an item.
- RDA stands for recommended daily allowance, now a days all food items have to have a break down of what is in them,
- Don’t get caught out some percentages are based on a slice of cake or a 50g portion of a food not the whole packet, always read carefully.
6. MAKE BETTER SNACK CHOICES
Lots of people snack between meals but what you snack on makes a big difference to your health, your waste line and your body functions including concentration and how alert you feel…
- Choose things that will fill you up for longer (fibre and protein) release energy slowly and are full of nutrients FUEL YOUR BODY 🙂
- Keep a well stocked Fruit bowl full of brightly coloured fresh fruit. Banana or an apple is great as a grab and go food if you’re running late.
- Fill a mini snack pot with dried fruit and unsalted nuts and take it with you in your hand bag to deter purchasing high sugar high fat snacks.
- Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate or cocoa nibs although the taste takes some getting use to but the antioxidant properties are high and a little could curb your cravings.
- Swap crisps for baked crisps and whole wheat or multigrain crackers.
- Cereal is not just for breakfast! Low fat Low sugar, high fibre slow energy releasing cereals include porridge, wheatabix, oatibix, bran flakes, Muesli and you can add fruit, nuts, spices (vanilla/cinnamon) and honey to give yourself variety.
Tips; Here are some examples of good sources of slow releasing energy snacks, hummus and cut up veggies, home-made or natural almond/peanut butter on whole wheat toast, unsalted nuts. Dried fruits are a great natural alternative if you have a sweet tooth, there are lots to choose from, last longer than fresh fruit and are full of vitamins and minerals.
7. EAT BREAKFAST
An average adults sleep for 6-8 hours and before that the last time you should have eaten would have been in the evening, (so approx 8-13 hours without food), Don’t make your body run on empty!
- It’s a terrible habit to get into and will affect your concentration and decision-making in the morning.
- A sudden sugar crash, leaving you feeling shaky or an over whelming hunger is common if you haven’t eaten with in the first 2/3 hours of waking up and usually that’s when people reach for something quick and easy and usually that means something high fat/high sugar.
- Make sure you choose something good to put into your body that is high fibre low-fat and sugar and that will release energy slowly; porridge with mixed berries/fruit/cinnamon/vanilla/honey/nuts, wheatabix, shredded wheat/ oatibix/ whole wheat and fruit pancakes/ whole wheat toast/bagels with natural peanut/almond butter or cream cheese are all great choices.
- Car crashes are more common when drivers and pedestrians haven’t had enough sleep AND a slow release energy food source because it affects concentration!
If you are one of the hundreds that claims they have ‘no time’ for breakfast, prepare a drink (bottle of water or travel cup with hot drink) and either a piece of fruit or a home-made breakfast muffin (these freeze well-you could take it out the night before), and take it with you. They also sell a selection of fruit hot drinks and porridge at major stations if you are a commuter!
8. LEARN TO RELAX AND BE HAPPY
- Stress puts strain on your heart can cause head aches, tight muscles and stomach ulcers, long-term stress left untreated can lead to depression and all sorts of internal problems.
- Your well-being and mental health has to come FIRST.
- Put your worries and stress on hold for a little while, take time out for you. That can be anything that makes you feel good and isn’t damaging, it doesn’t matter when, it doesn’t matter how long for as long as you do it regularly.
Tips; Ideas to have a happier life, seek counselling for problems and emotions you cannot work through on your own, (sometimes talking to a professional is what is really needed to over come issues and you deserve to be happy), take time out to socialize and have a change of scenery, don’t under-estimate the power of nature and being away from electrical devices and the fast paced life that you live, Meditation and Yoga are notorious for calming the mind, exercise can release endorphins and give you a natural high, colour can have a major impact on your well-being wearing bright radiant colours or painting a room in your house can lift your spirits, taking time alone is equally important like having a bubble bath or reading a book.
I will write a separate Blog post all about this subject and other ideas you can try.
Find some positive ‘me time’ that heals you from the inside out.
9. MAKE SOME ONE SMILE AND BOOST YOUR WELL BEING
- It has been proven that it is mutually beneficial to help others, it releases endorphins when you help others and gives you a euphoric feeling or a ‘high’.
- It boosts your morale and in many cases the ripple effect or domino affect ensues.
- It goes something like this, if one person helps another it boosts that persons mood, it brings a sense of community to the people who witness a kind act, it makes the person who has been helped feel better, grateful, appreciative, hopeful and when that person gets a chance to help some one else they are more likely to and so on.
Tips; what you can do, find out about volunteering in your local area, be helpful to any one you can, be a good neighbour, give some one a break, be verbally appreciative, SMILE – it is human nature to mirror the body language we see, so see how many people you can make smile; with your smile and create a ripple effect!
10. SLEEP WELL
Sleep is so underrated in regards to people’s health, who would have thought that so much goes on inside us while we are asleep!
- Insufficient sleep can increase the risk for problems with obesity, Diabetes,Cardiovascular disease, lower sex drive, decrease fertility and a lower the Immune system,
- On average we need 8 hours of quality sleep per night but some people function better with more, some less,
- caffeine and energy drinks can seriously disrupt your sleep patterns
- Sleep is the time the body undergoes repair and detoxification,
- Growth hormone is produced while we sleep,
- A cancer killer called TNF (tumour necrosis factor) pumps through our veins while we sleep, the less sleep you get, the less that is produced.
Tips for a good nights sleep; organisation laying out your outfit, items you’ll need, making lunch the night before, setting an alarm for the next day are all things you can do to feel more restful when you go to sleep, Listening to soothing music half an hour before you sleep, making sure you are at a comfortable temperature, shutting out bright lights, having enough blankets and correct thickness of pillow to suit you,Turn your alarm clock away from you so you don’t ‘clock watch’, at least 1-3 hours before you sleep do not use things that will stimulate and effectively wake up your brain such as internet/video games, Tv, Music and caffeine.
I will write a separate post about Insomnia.