Try these super-easy tweaks and hacks for major health benefits
For many of us, complete diet overhauls and regular workouts can seem like an intimidating uphill climb. Perhaps the stresses of life have taken over and ‘healthy living’ has taken a backseat for a while, making it feel too late or too difficult to attain when you have to start from scratch. Fortunately, achieving good health doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing situation – there are plenty of easy adjustments you can make to your lifestyle that can greatly benefit your overall health and wellness.
There’s a reason it’s called the most important meal of the day. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, making it easier for your body to burn calories, provides you with much-needed energy to tackle the day ahead and increases your focus. If you’re used to either skipping breakfast or grabbing a quick sugary treat to satisfy your hunger sometime before lunch, you’ll definitely feel the benefits of this change. If you aren’t generally hungry in the morning, try a light breakfast, like a nutritious smoothie or some fruit and oats. You’ll definitely feel more energised and be less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks later in the day.
Pay more attention to your gut
Instead of setting strict or unattainable diet goals, start paying attention to how you feel after each meal. Often we don’t pay close enough attention to the link between what we put into our bodies and how it affects our gut. For instance, your morning latte could be the reason you start experiencing cramps and discomfort later in the day, so you might want to switch to a dairy-free milk like almond or soya. If you feel bloated or have an upset stomach after certain foods, your body may be communicating that there’s an intolerance.
Fill your home with plants
Certain indoor plants, like aloe vera and spider plants, have been shown to improve air quality by absorbing harmful chemicals in the air. These natural air filters also help to reduce stress and studies have shown that being around
plants can improve heart rate and blood pressure.
Drink more water
Our bodies consist mostly of water and need to be properly hydrated in order to function optimally. Your level of hydration helps prevent your temperature from reaching harmful levels, balances the contraction and relaxing of your
muscles and keeps your joints flexible and lubricated. Get yourself a large water bottle and sip regularly throughout the day – you should be drinking around two litres a day.
Organise your fridge
Keep your fridge stocked with healthy choices and arrange them in a way that’s easy to navigate. Put fruit and vegetables in clear containers on the middle shelf, where they’re the first things you’ll see. You can also group foods according to healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner ingredients, making it easy to put together a wholesome meal.
Stock up on healthy snacks
During a long working day, it’s easy to grab a muffin or chocolate bar as a ‘pick-me-up’. However, refined sugars don’t provide sustained energy and usually result in a slump later in the day. Stock up on healthy snacks like nuts and fruits, which are easy to take to work each morning, for an energy boost that will last.
Go to bed earlier
Staying awake until the wee hours to work, read or watch TV can take a massive toll on your health. Go to sleep when you’re tired, even if it seems early. A good night’s sleep can improve a range of health issues, including stress
levels, mental clarity, gut health and skin condition.
Stretching reduces your risk of joint pain and muscle damage, and offers a variety of health benefits, including:
- Increased blood flow to your muscles for better circulation.
- Better flexibility and range of motion. Improved posture.
- Reduced back pain.
- Less stress and muscle tension.
Focus on stretching your hamstrings, calves, the fronts of your thighs, hips and pelvis, as well as your neck, shoulders and lower back at least three or four times a week.
FEATURE: CAITLIN GENG PHOTO: FOTOLIA.COM
The content here is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Always Consult your GP or a doctor for specific information regarding your health.