When we’re starting our journey to living a healthier life, it’s not always about meal prep and calorie counting and hitting the gym 5 days a week. Long term health is a series of sustainable habits where we start being mindful of what we consume, how we move and how we think. Starting small can lead to big changes and can be the stepping stone to you feeling better and living that #healthy life!
Drink More Water
Our bodies are made of about 60% water, and this means our brain needs some of that good stuff, too! Staying hydrated keeps our brain working optimally, reduce headaches and improves your mood. Water also helps flush toxins out of your body and keeps your cells happy as it is essential for cell function. We should be drinking on average 2 litres of water per day.
Tip: Fill a 1 litre bottle of water and use that to track intake. Keep another one in the fridge for when bottle #1 is done!
Eat More Plants
Your body needs minerals and vitamins to function properly, and it’s best to get it at source! Fruit and vegetables have all the micronutrients we need, as well as powerful antioxidants that help keep us healthy and fight off toxins. Things like Vitamin C keep our immune system stable, and Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. Magnesium helps keep blood pressure normal, bones strong, and the heart rhythm steady.
Tip: Add one additional portion of vegetables by sneaking them in to your meals. Add spinach to your soups or stews, add in some mushrooms and tomatoes to your eggs. Or if you’re really pressed for time and creativity, throw together a smoothie!
(Read here to see how you can eat more vegetables and less animal products)
Get Enough Sleep
Our bodies all require long periods of sleep so that they can restore and rejuvenate, grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones. Getting enough sleep ensures your memory is also in tip-top shape. 30% of people are sleep deprived – this means that 1/3 of people are not letting their bodies and their minds get the chance to heal and grow. Studies show that we need 7 – 8 hours to get the full benefits of that beauty sleep.
Tip: no phones 30 minutes before bed. All that screen time prevents our brains from releasing melatonin, a hormone that tells our bodies it’s nighttime – which means it’s going to take you longer to fall asleep.
Start Moving More
By now most people know the benefits of exercise: it makes you feel happier, gives you energy, reduces your risk of chronic disease, keeps your bones healthy and the list goes on. It’s a brilliant way to reduce the effects of having a desk job. But moving more doesn’t necessarily mean start running marathons – it can be as simple as getting up from your desk every 30 minutes and doing some side rotations or going for a walk around the office. Getting that blood flow going and giving those muscles a chance to break out of the same position will go a long way to fighting off muscle weakness, postural issues and it’ll help keep your concentration up!
Tip: Set a reminder on your computer or phone to move around.
Work That Mindset
It’s not always easy to keep chins up when times are tough or when we’re stressed, but finding tools to manage our emotions and stay positive are important for mental health. Not only will this make life more enjoyable, but our thoughts have been shown to directly affect our physical health. The “mind-body” connection is possible because of a type of chemical messengers (neuropeptides) which help our body’s organs communicate directly with the brain, and vice versa.
Tip: Develop positive thoughts. Whenever you have a negative thought, think of a positive one to replace it (for example: I can’t afford that -> I am choosing to spend my money on something that I need / want more this month. I am abundant). Keep doing this more and more and your outlook on life will change to a much happier one!
I hope these tips help you start making those small changes for your body and your mind. Your health is important and it’s easier than you think to start on your health journey.
Always moving forward