The start of the autumn season and the change in weather spurs on many of us to make some changes to our lifestyles. If your summer was anything like ours then you too had one too many cocktails and slices of pizza on the many warn and sunny days that graced us this year. It’s time to regain some balance and see the end of the year through with a healthier mindset that’ll set you for the new year and beyond. Below are some easy tips to help make your lifestyle healthier and happier for years to come:
It’s extremely easy to overindulge. Which one of us hasn’t taken a break from a long day in front of the computer with a cup of tea and a few biscuits? Or felt too tired after work and just ordered a takeaway? Unfortunately, the calories do add up and there comes a point when the jeans start to feel a little tight and a feeling of sluggishness settles in because the body isn’t being fed properly.
We all know what healthy eating looks like: lots of vegetables and fruits, proteins and unprocessed carbohydrates. It doesn’t have to be complicated or involve endless bunches of kale (unless you really like kale). Start with small tweaks, if you’re not having breakfast in the morning maybe try some whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and banana or keep boiled eggs in the fridge, if you’re more of an on-the-go eater. Replacing heavy carbs on your plate with vegetables a few times a week can also make a big difference after just a few weeks. Changing your diet can be scary but try approaching every meal mindfully, and choosing something a little healthier than usual, instead of thinking you’re on a diet (lifestyle changes aren’t diets!) and then have some cake without guilt.
Very few people in this country get enough exercise or match the NHS guidelines. Wit daylight diminishing rapidly, going outside to work out will sound like the worst possible thing to many. Don’t think of it as working out, which can be daunting, and start my simply moving and feeling your body, stretching out all those muscles feel cramped throughout the day. YouTube has endless exercise videos available for free – have a browse of some low impact routines and start out with short, 10-minute videos. Commit to doing the same short video a few times a week and feel the changes taking place; maybe doing five squats in a row stars to feel easier or you enjoy your stretches more. Focus on how things feel instead of the scale or the mirror to build healthy habits that stick.
Rates of smokers in the UK are declining but it could be even better. The risks of smoking cannot be overstated, it’s a scientifically proven that smoking damages your health by negatively affecting not just the lungs but the heart too. 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking and smoking-related illnesses. It’s never too late to give up the habit. Quitting outright is understandably difficult so if you’re not ready to give it up altogether, transitioning to an e-cigarette, like the discreet option from JUUL, with a view to quit in the future, can be a good plan. Motivate yourself by saving the money you would have spent on cigarettes in a separate account and pledge to spend it on a treat or a holiday in 3, 6, or 12 months’ time – you’ll be amazed just how quickly that money will add to something substantial, pushing you to keep going and quit for good!
What are your tips for living a healthier lifestyle?