We all know that healthy living is important and something that we should all strive for but it’s not always easy to start with. There is so much advice and differing opinions out there that it’s really confusing for people who are just looking for simple ways to improve their health.
That’s why we picked seven healthy things for you to try, backed up by experts who know what they’re talking about, explaining how they will have a positive impact on your life. Give them a go and feel the benefits.
1. Try yoga
If you’ve never tried yoga before, don’t worry – there are plenty of classes for beginners and you can watch easy videos online to get you started. It’s a safe and effective way to increase your physical activity that focuses on strength, flexibility and balance.
NHS Choices notes the evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress. It’s also popular with people with arthritis to improve flexibility, strength and mobility.
2. Cut down on caffeine
Are you one of those people who can’t start their day until you’ve had your morning tea or coffee? It might make you feel alert, but you end up needing more to fuel your energy. Caffeine consumption turns into a bit of an endless cycle.
If you can cut down or quit, you can expect improvements to your skin, you will feel calmer and eventually you will feel more energetic. But it’s not an easy journey, as one Women’s Health writer found out. You’ll need plenty of dedication.
3. Give juicing a go
Trying to fit five portions of fruit and vegetables into your diet can be a struggle sometimes – and with recent suggestions we should actually aim for 10 portions which makes the task even more difficult. Luckily, juicing offers a healthy solution to add more valuable nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants into your diet.
Vouchercloud suggest having a juice in addition to your normal diet, or in replacement of a meal – such a carb-heavy breakfast – to help you to hit your fruit and veg target easily. Cooking fruit and vegetables can destroy some of the great enzymes, nutrients and antioxidants but juicing the raw ingredients doesn’t have the same effect.
What’s more, the process of juicing extracts insoluble fibre, meaning it’s easy on the digestive track and nutrients are better absorbed by your stomach.
4. Spend time away from technology
Whether it’s a walk at lunchtime or turning your phone off an hour before you go to bed, dedicate some time in your day away from screens. We tend to spend too much time absorbed by the digital world – it’s good to have a break and re-focus. In fact, some of us have an unhealthy attachment to our devices and unplugging from them can remove the feelings of jealousy, envy, and loneliness associated with social media, according to researchers.
5. Stop people pleasing
Similarly, it’s easy to spend more time trying to please or impress other people than we do focusing on ourselves. Good friends will always understand when you need time to yourself. You shouldn’t feel guilty about prioritising yourself from time to time. What’s more, you should do this sooner rather than later as people pleasing can become an unhealthy pattern of behaviour that could lead to you suppressing resentment or even prevent you from maintaining a healthy weight.
6. Get creative
When was the last time you did something creative? Greatist refers to the thoughts of some psychologists that creativity can produce substantial happiness, “the kind that lasts longer than the pleasure we get from eating a good cookie.” But many of us lose touch with our creative side over the years. But things like photography, drawing, writing, cooking, or dancing can help us feel better about ourselves. More than anything, though, it’s about devoting time to something you enjoy and have fun doing.
7. Embrace mindfulness
It’s tempting to dismiss mindfulness as a bit of a recent fad – after all, everyone has seen the number of mindful colouring books lining the shelves in shops. But don’t discount it just yet. It’s about making it work for you. Getting into the habit of focusing on the present, without distractions, can do wonders for your mental wellbeing. It will help you to manage thoughts and feelings and is recommended by NICE as a preventative practice for people with experience of recurrent depression.
How do you stay healthy? I would love to hear how you keep your body or mind healthy, just comment below.