Staying healthy is built around four main areas of your life.
These broad categories are: sleep, food, exercise and stress management.
We need all of these in our lives, so it makes sense to figure out easy ways to address all of them.
Here are some quick ideas on how you can make small changes to your habits that will pay dividends to your body in the long-term.
Swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes and white pasta for brown
It’s really boring science, but too many simple carbs are just not that good for us. They get converted to sugar, which then stores as fat when not used.
Complex carbs are a better idea because they keep your blood sugar under control, have more fibre in them (which is great for your gut health) and give you more energy over a longer duration.
Get in more vitamins with a protein smoothie
We get it. It’s hard to look after yourself when you’re on the go all the time.
So many nutrients to think about: vitamin B12, omega 3, antioxidants…
So how can you get all these in without lots of planning? Get yourself some packs of protein powder (great for keeping you feeling full) and flaxseeds, maca powder, chia seeds and cacao (try somewhere like Aldi to keep costs down) plus a vitamin supplement, and you can make a great milkshake with your blender. Consider adding some almond butter or nuts for extra good fats.
The Body Coach said it, Jamie Oliver’s probably said it, perhaps even your mother did. Well, they are all really wise.
Batch cooking means that when you cook, you make a large amount and put the food into small Tupperware containers (or recycle takeaway containers) so you have a little portion for the rest of the week without going to all the effort of cooking preparation and lots of washing up.
Buy a motivational water bottle
Drinking water is dull, but it’s essential to get at least 1.2 litres a day down you to keep everything ticking along nicely.
Pick yourself up a reusable water bottle that gives you measures for what to drink each hour. It’s only a small amount, and soon enough you’ll get through 1.5 litres or more.
Do ten minutes of exercise a day
Forget lengthy gym sessions, running, cardio, buying a cross trainer. All unnecessary. Go online and find free HIIT workouts – They are out there. You could do 15 to 20 minutes of high intensity if you want to improve your health. If you’re working up to it, try something slower like beginner’s Pilates to build up your strength. Don’t go beyond 45 minutes as this can raise your stress levels and inflammation (unless it’s something you really enjoy – then it’s different!).
Every day you should do one thing that makes you happy, such as reading a book, studying a language or singing, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. This will curb negativity because you are checking in with your soul and calming down your stress levels.