Improve your health one step at a time
As we head towards Autumn and the winter months, it is important to take stock of our general wellbeing. The new year brings natural instincts for change and renewal, to lose weight, to try the new media obsessed diet, to get fit and to feel less stressed. These are all good intentions but as so often happens our enthusiasm soon starts to diminish and we revert back to our bad old ways.
A good way of improving our wellbeing is to crowd out our bad habits by making small changes slowly to our lifestyles so we do not feel bound by unrealistic goals.
Here are some ideas we can adopt to try and help our health and mental wellbeing.
Try to consume everything you eat into a 12hr window eg 7am to 7pm, this will leave time for the body to digest and de-toxify before sleeping. The body uses an enormous amount of energy digesting the food we eat and if digestion is still taking place as we retire for bed this can alter our sleep patterns and hence affect our energy for the day ahead.
Most of the food we eat in the UK is processed, low in vitamins, minerals, fiber and essential fatty acids, and unfortunately it can also be incredibly tasty and addictive. If we think that most of our vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients come from fruit and vegetables, then this can be an easy problem to fix. Start crowding your plate with colour, start thinking about your meal and begin with what vegetables you are going to have and make this the majority of your plate before adding protein and carbs. Look at your plate and think the more colours I can see - the more health giving nutrients I am getting. Try to change the colours of your vegetables everyday - red tomatoes give you different nutrients to green spinach. Try homemade soups, stir fries, add a raw salad to a bland looking meal, change sugary snacks to heathier options such as crudités and humus, nuts, pieces of fruit etc.
Try to increase your hydration of liquids to at least 8 glasses spread throughout the day. Most of us have been found to be seriously dehydrated - so making this small change could dramatically improve our health and wellbeing. Water, herb, fruit, and green teas, diluted squashes can all help you reach your goal.
You know the saying 'Use it or lose it'
Most of us are living a very sedentary lifestyle these days, with working from home now being the new norm. And many of us do not meet the minimum amount of physical activity to keep us healthy. This can be very dangerous to our overall health and can cause chronic health conditions to increase.
Try these simple tips to keep your body moving.
Stand rather than sitting down on public transport.
Give yourself some break time if you are working from home, use this time to get some fresh air and go for a short walk.
Always park the furthest away in the car park when shopping and use your shopping bags as make shift weights as you walk back to the car.
Always use the stairs instead of the lift. Try going up two stairs at a time to make your heart work harder.
GETTING THROUGH THE STORM.
There is a saying that people often quote when going through hard times 'Life is not waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain'. Simply put it tells us that we all go through challenges and distress that can give us great hurt and pain, but with a sense of gratitude for what we have and the love of our friends and family, the 'storm' can pass and we can find peace again. Making the most of every moment and noticing the many wonders that life has to offer can make us feel grounded and more content.
Most of us now know what choices we need to make to have a chance at overall good health, you can make small simple changes that can make a big difference to your physical and mental health. No unachievable goals, no restrictions but small steps towards a healthier you.
GOOD LUCK on your journey!