Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Here are 8 great tips to a leading a healthier lifestyle. It’s by no means exhaustive but adopt these changes and you could:
1. Reduce your risk of getting sick
2. Improve your mood and self-esteem
3. Become physically fitter and more resilient
1. Eat a balanced diet.
You’ve heard this one a million times, but it cannot be the stressed enough the importance of eating clean, whole foods (a nutrient dense diet). More natural foods are generally lower G.I. (Glycemic Index; in layman’s terms; they take longer to process) helping you stay satisfied for longer and with slow-releasing energy, so you don't feel sluggish by the afternoon.
2. Read nutrition labels.
Nutrition labels give us a good idea of how healthy foods are. Just because foods claim to be low in fat, nutritious, or low in sodium, doesn’t mean that they are healthy. ‘Low fat’ is a common nonsense claim (it usually means ‘high sugar’!). If the ingredients list looks like a chemistry experiment; just avoid.
3. Don’t skip breakfast.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to diet, but it’s generally agreed by experts that eating a good breakfast increases concentration, helps us focus better and controls weight. Eating breakfast replenishes depleted blood sugar levels (sugar makes your brain and muscles work best) which are low when you wake up. Skipping breakfast also increases your chances over-eating in the afternoon due to hunger.
4. Control snacking.
Again, this is a generalization, but when we snack, we commonly snack on quick and convenient foods (crisps, chocolate, lollies etc.). A great bit of advice is to only snack on fruit and vegetables (as much as you like). This stops you from visiting the nearest vending machine!
5. Get out in the elements.
We’re animals that have evolved for millions of years in nature. Exposure to sunshine and fresh air is perfectly natural! By doing so you will absorb essential nutrients, including vitamin D which are formed when the skin is exposed to sunlight (always remember your sunblock!). Sunshine will also will help your overall mood and decrease stress levels.
6. Regular exercise.
The studies on this are abundant. One such study indicated that individuals who never did any exercise lost, on average, about seven years of life compared to the ones who did. That’s pretty scary when you think about it, and a great incentive to get your sneakers on and get that heart rate going!
7. Lift weights.
As part of your exercise routine, perform some resistance training. As we age, lean muscle mass disappears. Incorporating strength training into your routine is important to prevent this decline. Strength training also helps develop strong bones to increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Being strong is very ‘functional’; it helps you lift your luggage onto a plane, tidy the garage, open jam jars and push your car when you run out of gas on a hill!
8. A good night’s rest.
Having a good night sleep does not make you lazy and self-indulgent (well, depending on how much you get!). Most of us do not get enough sleep and sleep has a huge influence on how you function during the day. You’d be amazed at how much more you can achieve both physically and mentally after getting good sleep on a consistent basis.