Healthy Lifestyle Changes
It’s always a good time to adopt new habits to improve your wellbeing. When it comes to your health, your lifestyle choices are more dominant than any other thing. Here are lifestyle changes that could have the most significant impact on your health.
- More movement – moving more can help improve everything from your circulation to your stress levels. Add more movement into your life. Walk a lot each opportunity you get. Walking is the best exercise. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Squat each opportunity you get. Vigorous exercise is essential, undo the negative effects of sitting for the entire day. Try taking short walks around your office at the top of every hour.
- Nourish yourself – nourish yourself with a balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins. Servings of fruits and vegetables per day helps meet your body’s demands for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber. Eat lean high quality proteins (fish, soy products, egg whites, nuts). Eat pre & probiotic rich foods every day to replenish & nourish your intestinal microflora e.g natural yogurt, cheese. Get fats in your body. This are fats from foods like avocado, olive oil, fatty fish & nuts are essential for immune system function.
- Manage your stress – stress causes an increase in cortisol levels. When it becomes excessive or ongoing, this can have a negative impact on your health. Everybody has some form of stress in their lives, but it’s how you deal with it that counts. Healthy ways to cope with stress include:
a) Getting 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night.
b) Keep being active & eating a nourishing diet.
c) Taking time to relax after work.
d) Unplugging yourself from electronics i.e. putting away your cell phone, tablet & laptop.
e) Communicating your feelings & needs to family & friends.
- Make sleep a priority – 40% of women and 30% of men have trouble with insomnia. When you don’t get the recommended 7 – 9 hours per night sleep, it can have significant impact on your physical & mental health, not to mention work performance & social life. Follow this tips if you have trouble sleeping:
a) Avoid caffeine, alcohol, & nicotine. All of these can disrupt your sleep.
b) Unplug from your computer, tablet, cell phone, before bedtime. Instead, unwind before bedtime with a bath or some light reading.
- Reduce your alcohol intake – alcohol is high in calories and dehydrating and cutting back has benefits. Keep your alcohol intake down by:
a) Setting a drink limit for yourself.
b) Eating before and while you are consuming alcohol.
c) Not drinking for health benefits.
d) Enjoying some non-drinking days every week to prevent alcohol from becoming a habit.
- Drink water at the appropriate time – drinking enough water, 8 glasses a day will lead to more energy, better skin and maybe even weight loss. Drink as follows:
a) After waking up, drink a glass of water to help with the activation of organs which in turn will help to remove toxins before your first meal.
b) Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) to help with digestion. Do not drink water too soon before eating or after, as the water will dilute the digestive juices.
c) Drink a glass of water before bathing, this will help lower your blood pressure.
d) Drink a glass of water before bedtime.
- Take probiotic – science is increasingly pointing to the vast health benefits of a healthy gut, from a better mood to a strong immune system.
It can take time to develop new habits. Be patient with yourself and remember that making healthy lifestyle changes is a long term commitment to support your health and quality of life.