Leading a healthy lifestyle sounds simple in theory, but when delicious treats constantly tempt you, or when an evening in front of Netflix sounds more appealing than going to the gym, it’s far too easy to give in and choose the easy option.
That’s not to say we don’t get enough education on how to improve our health — we do, a lot. But that’s half the problem too because with so much information flowing in from all directions, there’s just too much to process.
A third of us feel stressed due to the increasing amount of digital information we are expected to consume, make sense of, and act on, in our day to day lives. Subsequently, it’s difficult to pick out what the most important information is, as well as what is specifically relevant to us — so we either follow the wrong information or stop listening altogether.
So what’s the solution to leading a healthier life without getting bogged down by complicated science and buzz words? We need to go back to basics and build up from there. You’ll most likely already know about the following five lifestyle changes, but a friendly reminder never hurt anyone and they’re super easy to slot into your daily routine.
1. Get Six to Nine Hours Of Sleep Every Night
Getting a good night’s sleep is the key to looking and feeling our best because even one bad night’s sleep can affect our mood, concentration and alertness, while long-term sleep deprivation has far more serious consequences.
A comfortable bed is vital to enjoying a good night’s sleep and it’s recommended that we should replace our bed once every seven years. However, if that’s not feasible or if your mattress is fairly new, yet it’s still giving you aches and pain, consider using a pressure relief mattress topper instead. This helps to distribute pressure effectively and is an especially helpful bedding item. For more helpful information about mattresses and other bedroom essentials, you can check the review website MyBestMattress.com.
You can also try cutting caffeine down (or have your last tea/coffee six hours before bed), as well as reducing your screen time in the last hour. Try reading a book instead as it will prepare your body for sleep.
2. Drink Six to Eight Glasses of Water Every Day
A story that will stick in your mind once you’ve heard it, is that the moment you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. While you’re not close to any danger at that point, this mantra should guide you towards drinking more water as it is so vital for us.
As two-thirds of our body is water, hydration helps digestion, temperature control, our heart and circulation — and ensures our brain can function well. It’s essential for our health to thrive and luckily, it’s easy to access, so there are no excuses.
If you struggle to fit in several glasses of water over the day, find interesting ways to consume it more readily. For example, you could place a full water bottle at your desk, or always carry one in your bag. It’ll always be there, ready for when you need a sip, as opposed to waiting until lunchtime or when you’re home.
3. Walk Many Steps Every Day
There are many health benefits of walking, such as increased heart and lung fitness, stronger bones and improved balance. Walking is great for your self-esteem and mood too.
You may remember the Fitbit craze, which starts everyone off with a goal of 10,000-steps per day. This adds up to about five miles and satisfies the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
However, 10,000 steps per day might not make sense for everyone. You may need to step more if you want to lose a certain amount of weight or take fewer steps if you’re new to fitness or recovering from an injury. Instead, you should vary your step goal depending on your needs, which can also shift over time. Get off the bus a stop early, or stroll around the park to your favourite tunes — however you choose to do it, make sure it’s sustainable.
4. Eat like a Child
Now hear me out — this does not mean you have to cut your portions in half or make a gigantic mess — instead, you can learn a lot by looking at a young un’s eating habits.
Kids are mindful eaters as they only eat when they’re hungry and stop once they’re full. It’s a mindset we lose as we get older, once we’re faced with unlimited options and view food as a way to improve our emotions. Kids also don’t multitask or run through a to-do list while they’re chewing, so next time you’re wolfing down a sandwich at your desk, get up and go for a walk (steps!) instead.
Another tip to help get your five portions of fruit and vegetables every day is to eat them as finger food servings, just like a toddler would. For example, for an afternoon snack, add some chopped up apple pieces, blueberries, cucumber, carrot sticks and a little cheese to a plate. It’s a fun snack, well portioned, and you get a variety of colours and textures — all of which are great for you.
5. Think Positively
Is your glass half-empty or half-full? Interestingly, positive thinking does more than make you feel good. The positive thinking that usually comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management, which, in turn, has many associated health benefits.
To improve your positive thinking, you can approach unpleasantness more positively and productively. Therefore, instead of assuming that the worst is going to happen, try to make an effort to think the opposite. Positive thinking can promote better coping skills during hardships and times of stress, as well as better psychological and physical well-being.
There you have it — five very simple, but extremely effectively lifestyle changes that will go a long way in improving your health. While you don’t need to try all five straight away, pick two that seem achievable and see how you go from there.
Bonus: Learn a New Skill
Learning a new skill is both a pleasant and productive distraction. Instead of browsing social media and other things to see on the internet, you can take this time to unplug, unwind, and have me-time by yourself. A great idea is to acquire a hobby that makes use of your hands like lock picking.
This post has been sponsored by Airospring
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