10 small health changes that make a big difference
Optimise your health in 10 simple steps
Yes, we all know the easy and effective ways to boost your health; drink more water, get more sleep and eat healthier. Yawn. Trusting that you already know these things, we’re bringing you 10 inspirational ideas for some small lifestyle tweaks to maximize your health.
Eat a fiber-rich breakfast
Here’s a yummy, easy breakfast idea that will make a big difference to your day. Choose a cereal that includes at least 10 grams of fiber and top it with Greek yoghurt and raspberries. Greek yoghurt includes three times more protein than normal yoghurt, while raspberries are packed with tummy-filling fibre. In fact, this breakfast recipe contains around 22 grams of fiber, meaning that you’re less likely to visit the snack cupboard before lunch time.
Take regular walks
You don’t need to hit the gym or run a marathon to stay fit and healthy. In fact, a study published in the American Physiological Society’s Journal of Applied Physiology states that a two minute walk every 20 minutes can have a positive impact upon your cardiovascular system function, metabolism and reproductive system. If you’re sedentary at your desk for long periods of time, make sure you take regular walking breaks – just a quick stroll outside for fresh air with a colleague or making a drink will do the trick. It’s only a small change, but the results are significant.
When you’re busy rushing around during the week, it’s easy for meals, exercise and relaxation time to slip your mind. As a result, it’s equally as easy to find yourself binging on junk food, ditching exercise and scrimping on sleep. Don’t let your days or weeks turn into a whirlwind – factor exercise, healthy meal plans and relaxation time into your days and you’re more likely to stick to these healthy changes.
Eat more often
Here’s a health change we can definitely commit to making. By eating smaller meals throughout the day, the body functions more efficiently and we decrease our chance of bloating or hunger pangs, while the digestive system struggles with large meals. The ‘little and often’ approach also makes it easier to include a variety of healthy foods.
Household cleaning products expose you and your family to a large amount of toxic ingredients, which can be particularly harmful for children and pets. Not only are homemade cleaning products both effective and safe but they’re a lot cheaper too. Our favourite homemade cleaner is made up of equal parts of vinegar and water – it works just the same as an all-purpose cleaner except it’s a lot cheaper and safer.
Add natural flavour to your water
We all know that we need to keep hydrated with plenty of water each day to stay healthy, but do you really stick to the ‘eight glasses per day’ mantra? If your sweet tooth means that you’re not drinking as much water as you should, try adding some calorie-free flavour with cucumbers, limes or lemons. The taste may not match up to your favourite carbonated drink but it’s certainly a lot better for you.
Graze on nuts and legumes
Nuts and legumes such as beans, peas, soybeans and alfalfa sprouts are all rich in protein, fibre, vitamins and unsaturated fat. Graze on them as an alternative to crisps and biscuits to stave off hunger pangs and to fuel your body with healthy nutrients. Swapping sugary snacks for natural ones will give you a good energy boost too.
Leave shoes by the door
A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about you – it’s about your surroundings too, and perhaps one of the quickest changes that can make a huge difference to your health is simply leaving your shoes by the door. A massive 60 per cent of house dust originates outside and can include hazardous chemicals such as lead and arsenic. By walking through your home with shoes on, you can spread these harmful chemicals around your house. Make sure everyone leaves their shoes by the door for a healthier home.
Use the extractor fans
Extractor fans aren’t only there to get rid of bad smells – they also eradicate harmful emissions produced when cooking in the kitchen or showering in the bathroom. While water vapour is probably something you’re used to seeing each day, it can be a breeding ground for mould. Simply using your extractor fans will help to make your home a safer place to live in.
Take to Twitter
Got a health or fitness goal? Take to Twitter and other social networking sites to keep others updated on how you’re doing. Having a support network will really spur you on to achieve your goals and seeing others post about how their healthy lifestyle efforts are coming along will make you want to push yourself harder. Find a hash tag for a health or fitness group on Twitter or ‘like’ a few healthy living pages on Facebook – a fast, easy and social way to make some progress.