With unhealthy convenience foods in the supermarkets, fast food restaurants at every corner, and busy lifestyles- sometimes staying healthy is difficult. Working long hours means most of us don’t have the time or energy we’d like to exercise. We don’t get enough sleep and can turn to unhealthy vices like alcohol to relax at the weekends. January is a time for big changes, and after far too much food, drink, and late nights over the festive period many of us are now ready to embrace a healthy change at the start of the new year. But staying healthy doesn’t have to be all hassle. In fact, there are a few things that you can do which are incredibly easy. Here are just a few of them:
Drink Filtered Water: Regular tap water has been shown to contain everything from heavy metals to plastics to parasites. While it’s not going to kill you, if you’d rather avoid these kinds of nasties there is an easy way to do so. Buy a water filter jug and pop it in your fridge. Not only do you always have cold water ready to go, but it’s a healthier option. It takes a matter of seconds to refill it and put it back, so there’s no messing around on your part. If you use filtered water in your kettle, this will also prevent limescale from building up. Limescale can be unpleasant in your hot drinks- no one likes ‘crunchy tea’!
Visit a Dentist Every Six Months: When you visit a dentist every six months, they can catch problems before they have the chance to cause major damage. This can save a lot of pain and money later down the line. People can be anxious about visiting the dentist, but putting it off will only make things worse. A regular dental checkup takes just a few minutes, compare this to hours in the chair if something major goes wrong. You only have to go twice a year, so it’s worth making the time if you have a free afternoon. A site like Dentists Nhere Me can help you to find a local dentist and take the hassle out of searching for one.
Attend All Of Your Health Screenings: Screening programs are useful as they can help detect cancers and other illnesses early on. Your age, gender, or lifestyle might put you at an increased risk, these kinds of tests will catch things before they become serious. It’s important that you attend all of the health screenings that you are invited to. For most women, this involves cervical screening, and later in life mammograms to check for any breast changes. For men over the ages of forty, it’s a prostate exam. These checkups allow you to keep control over your health. They might not be the nicest experience, but they don’t occur very often. A few uncomfortable minutes for peace of mind is well worth it.
Switch To Organic Produce: Herbicides and pesticides are used to kill weeds and bugs, but these can end up on the foods that we eat. These have been linked to all kinds of health conditions from ADHD to cancer, endocrine problems, fertility problems, and more. Organic farms don’t use these poisons on their crops, and so by making the switch, you’re able to avoid them. You will pay a little more for organic but the health benefits are worth it. There are some things where it’s not essential to buy organic. These are the kinds of fruits and vegetable which have a thick skin which you don’t eat (things like bananas, melons, and oranges). If you do eat the skin, however, such as grapes and apples, organic is your best bet. You can also buy things like organic milk which doesn’t have the same hormones pumped into the cows as regular milk. Or better still, switch to a dairy free variety. Almond (YUM!), rice, and oat milk are all great alternatives. They’re lower in fat and because they don’t involve keeping animals are better for the environment, too.
Find an Exercise Activity You Love: Exercise is hard work and tiring, and when you’re already tired after a long day of work, it’s far too tempting to give the gym or that jog around the track a miss. The key to keeping up exercise in the long term is to find something that you really enjoy. Exercise that doubles up as a hobby or even a social event if you can get friends involved, too, is way more enjoyable. You will be far more motivated to keep it up and when you’re having fun, it doesn’t feel like quite as much hard work. You could set up a team sports challenge- football, basketball, or cricket. You could play doubles tennis or badminton. You could even go to the park and set up a big game of rounders during the summer, go paintballing or hit up some laser tag. You could attend a dance class, Zumba, or pilates. If it gets you running around and out of breath it’s fantastic exercise.
Take a Multivitamin: You should aim to get all of the vitamins and nutrients you need from your diet. But it’s not a perfect world. Our bodies are complex machines so to make sure it’s not missing out on anything, a good quality multivitamin acts as an insurance policy. It shouldn’t be a substitute for a healthy diet but instead, run alongside it. It takes seconds out of your day to swallow a capsule, and you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re doing your body some good. If you put the bottle somewhere that you can see it each day, it will remind you to take it. Other vitamins that most people will benefit from is a daily fish oil capsule which is high in omega three and a probiotic yogurt drink to promote healthy digestion.
Switch From White to Wholemeal: Wholemeal bread, pasta, and rice is so much better for you than it’s stripped white counterpart. The goodness and fiber in these ingredients is in the bran and germ, both of which are stripped to get a ‘white’ variant of the product. Without the fiber, they can also cause blood sugar levels to spike which can wreak havoc on the body. Simply swapping the ingredient from white to wholemeal is incredibly easy; it’s no more expensive and you will quickly adjust to the taste, too. In fact, wholemeal varieties of things are far tastier. It might just take a bit of getting used to if you’ve always eaten the bland, white stripped versions of things. When you buy breakfast cereals, look for whole grain varieties, too.
Learn to Relax: Taking time to rest and relax isn’t just a luxury, nor should you feel guilty or lazy for doing so. Proper relaxation can help to lower blood pressure, ease tense knotted muscles, and clear your head. It prevents you from ‘burning out’ from the pressures of daily life overwhelming you. Find out what really helps you to relax and embrace that. It could be hitting the sauna or Jacuzzi at the gym or having a hot bath. It could be booking in for a massage at a spa or just kicking back on the sofa with a good book or TV show. Give yourself time to just do nothing, clear your mind of work, and focus on yourself. Afterwards, you’ll be far more motivated and productive.