Life shouldn’t be all about diets and restraint it should be about enjoyment and balance and I truly believe that by making changes to our lifestyles we can all live a healthier life. These changes do not need to be big or dramatic changes they can be small and easy to implement, swapping one thing for another, enjoying low calorie snacks or introducing something new. As long as you are consistent with the changes they will eventually have a big impact and soon become part of your routine and part of a new normal that you embrace naturally. Before making any changes it is advisable to do some evaluation so that you have something to compare to later on down the line. These evaluations can be statistics such as height and weight that you can take yourself, they can include fitness levels or how energetic you feel on a daily basis and it is also important to do a mental health check too. Ask yourself how happy and content you currently feel, what you want to change and why and what results will make you feel happier. For more in depth evaluations such as blood, cholesterol and iron levels, you can visit your doctor and request a blood test or order an online blood test and have a comprehensive full blood test which is a great idea for monitoring your ongoing health and for helping you choose what changes to prioritise.
So here are my top tips for living a healthier life
1) Swap pop for water
Water is good for us for many reasons but this doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything else and try and drink gallons of water every day, this will only become very boring very quickly. Instead aim to swap one glass of pop or juice with a water at some point in the day, then aim to introduce one extra glass of water everyday, perhaps it could be the first drink of the day or the last drink before bed. Or you may find it easier to try carrying a water bottle around with you for water on the go with the odd sip here and there. As you long as you are increasing your water intake you are making a positive change and little by little you can introduce more water as time goes by. If possible try and invest in a water filter. Not only will you find it easier if the water is already cold and in the fridge but having a water filter will remove any impurities that might be lurking in your tap water making it even healthier. This one by Zero Water is great as it is the only water filter certified to reduce both the lead and chromium levels of the water. It also holds up to 12 cups of water at any one time so will keep you going for a few days.
2) Move more
We all know that exercise is important. We also know that in the run up to summer the gyms are full and the pool is busy, usually with people wanting to create their summer bodies. However, the sudden increase in exercise is going to be hard to maintain for most people and the novelty will soon wear off. In order to make this about creating a healthier life you need to move more generally. Could you walk to work, the shops or the school run instead of taking the car? Think about recording your steps, and take the stairs more often or park at the end of the car park if you do need to drive. Incorporate movement into family life with nature walks and family trips to trampoline parks where you get involved to. Exercise does not need to be boring or rigid, move more, laugh lots. Also having some gym equipment at home and using them as a family like hula hoop competitions, circuits in the garden or doing resistance bands workouts together can be a fun way to get active and set a good healthy lifestyle example to your children.
3) Reduce the alcohol
Again living a healthier life isn’t about stopping the nights out and never drinking again, it’s about creating a balance. Perhaps reduce the number of nights you drink in a week, or replace one or two drinks with low alcohol or alcohol free versions. Nirvana Brewery has a wide range of beers, lagers, stouts and IPAs that are very low in alcohol and low in calories but big on delicious flavours.
In addition to cutting down the alcohol when drinking you can also try and reduce the number of opportunities you find yourself in where alcohol is an option. For example instead of thinking of dates with partners or friends that involve going for a meal or drinks why not suggest something different like the cinema or a fun activity you can do together.
4) Swap the cigarettes for vapes
We all know the dangers of smoking but this isn’t about stopping everything and giving up the things we like and enjoy, it is about making changes for a healthier life, so when it comes to smoking why not swap from cigarettes to vapes. This is an easy change to make as vape products are readily available online and they are so much more socially acceptable that you will see more than just health benefits.
5) Create a sleep routine
Sleep is important and yet generally talking people don’t give it much thought, they just go to bed when they can and hope to fall asleep as quick as possible which isn’t always that easy. Creating a bedtime routine is just as important for adults as it is for children. Consider the time you go to bed and what you are doing for the hour before that, allow time to switch off and avoid technology and if you do have trouble sleeping then there are a number of herbal remedies that can help.
6) Have regular check ups
We take our cars for MOT tests every twelve months yet we don’t give ourselves the same respect. Instead we wait till something has gone wrong, we fill ill or in pain, then eventually go and get checked. However, lots of things can be caught earlier or even prevented if we give ourselves regular check ups. For example, make sure you go to the dentist every 6 months, get your hearing checked somewhere like The Yorkshire Hearing Clinic, see a chiropodists and have regular massages too.
I hope these small changes will have a big impact on your ability to live a healthier life. If you are wanting to make bigger changes but don’t know where to start then check out this article with top tips form a fitness expert.