We are constantly reading or seeing on the news about the latest diet fads. It’s a craze that has been going on for decades. But what is healthy?
Diets don’t last, it’s a proven fact but having a healthy lifestyle can! I have been on a path of being the healthiest version of myself. Notice, how I didn’t say the healthy person because what is healthy to one person might not work for the next. However, there are things that you can do to stay healthy. In this I mean a general healthy lifestyle. NO FAD DIETS. Just you being the best version of yourself.
For me, this meant looking at what I ate overall. Not giving myself strict restrictions or diets to follow but just putting things in my body that would benefit it that I hadn’t before. It also meant looking at my water consumption which is a life necessity and yet in the past I could count on one hand how many glasses of water I drank in a week. I know! Appalling isn’t it? Finally, working from home on a ocmputer all day meant that I sat a lot. Even though I do go to the gym when I can, I wasn’t moving enough on a daily basis.
So instead of diets and crazy workout plans I find it easier to set mini tasks to live a healthier lifestyle. Here are eight little things you can do to make sure you are the healthiest version of yourself too.
- WATER – Do you drink enough water for your body to stay hyderated? I didn’t. You don’t have to get techinical and start measuring but it’s healthier to take a few sips every hour throughout the day than it is to gulp down one water bottle all at once. So spread your intake out and make sure you are getting enough to drink.
- FOOD – Make sure to eat all the colors of the rainbow. If you find you don’t eat much red or yellow or perhaps green find a fruit or vegetable that you like and try adding more a variety to your meals. Eat throughout the day don’t save up those calories for dinner and night time snacking, you need fuel for your body all day.
- EXERCISE – Get moving. You don’t have to be a gym bunny if you don’t want to be but make sure throughout the day you are getting up and moving around. I use my apple watch that alerts me when I have sat too long. I jump up from my computer and take a 2 minute break. It helps get the blood flowing in my legs again and bonsu gives my eyes a break from the computer glare too. I try to walk to the store if I can instead of drive when I need something like milk or diapers. Weekends I like to do a deep clean on the house which is always good for getting those steps clocked up in a day. Go for walks in the park after work or on weekend walk along the beach. Little things can make a big impact on your life.
- FRESH AIR – This one I think is just as important as exercise but get out in the fresh air as much as possible. You won’t believe the difference it makes when you are stuck in an office or house all day. I try to take my morning break coffee standing right outside my back door. When I worked in an office on breaks or lunch time I always stepped outside for just a few minutes if it was raining or ate my lunch outside if I could.
- SLEEP – We all know how a lack of sleep can really challenge us. Sleep is as important as eating. We all need it, some more than others. But make sure you are not running yourself around too much. It will affect your immune system and mental health as much as your physical health.
- POSITIVE COMMUNITIES/FRIENDSHIPS – Become part of a group if you work from home or if you work in an office invite some co-workers out for drinks. Hanging out with positive like minded people can be really satisfying to your mental health. Or call up some friends that you grew up with and catch up. Basically surround yourself with happy, positive people. You won’t believe how uplifting it can be if you have had a bad day, week, or even month.
- INDULGE A LITTLE BIT – Don’t cut out all the fun and goodies. Life is too short. Indulging in some ice cream or chocolate is needed to treat ourselves for being good. Skipping that gym sessions for dinner out with friends even. These things make us happy. I always say happiness is key to being health too.
- PERSONAL TIME – In a world where we do everything for everyone all the time we need to learn to slow down and take personal time for ourselves. Whether that is to listen to our favorite podcasts, read a book, just sit quietly in the sun; making time for ourselves is important. You have to put yourself first sometimes. It’s time to recharge our batteries for the busy lives we lead.
Generations before us never had to make lists of these things they just did them. They were happier, healthier and far calmer than the rat race of my generation and the ones that are under me.
Food was just healthier back then, people had gardens and ate from them, giving them a balanced diet. There wasn’t so many substitutes for water like cordials, concentrated juices, and flavored water sticks.
Life wasn’t a challenge of how much we could fit in a 24 hour period, everyday of the week. It was slow pace and enjoyable. We are pressured these days to do every sports, every school activities, every party with our kids making our weeks full of work, parenting and school almost impossible to keep up with. Diaries bursting at the seams will catch up with us one day and it’s our health that will suffer the most from it.
So don’t try to make New Year resolutions or new diet and exercise programs that you know you won’t stick to a few months in. Try changing something small, a little bit at a time, moving forward. Add more water to your daily routine than focus on eating colorful. Next time you need to go to the shop see can I walk or ride a bike instead? Just tiny things will become new healthy habits and you will feel so much better for it.
Let’s all encourage each other to be the best versions of ourselves and maybe everyone JUST SLOW DOWN A BIT! Life is here to enjoy it, not fast forward it.
* In Collaboration with Pryers Medical Negligence solicitors.