If you read the newspapers, you’ll probably have come across hundreds of different ideas that claim to make you healthier and less likely to develop an illness. But really, healthy living can be much simpler than it sounds. Making positive choices and thinking about your body and mind can make a real difference to the way you feel and look, as well as your health and often, making these changes is a lot simpler than you would think. Here are 12 easy ways of living a healthier lifestyle:
1. Hit your 5 a day target, every day
Healthy Lifestyle-Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients, minerals and vitamins and eating 5 portions per day will ensure that your body gets the nutrients it needs to function properly. Aim for different fruits and vegetables every day and vary your food choices. You don’t have to eat 5 pieces of fruit, for example; you can include soups, salads, sauces and smoothies as part of your daily total.
Exercise is really important for good health and ideally, you should try to do at least 3-4 30 minute sessions of moderate physical activity per week. If you don’t like the gym, join a new team sport, sign up for an exercise class, discover the outdoors or even exercise at home with a fitness DVD.
3. Give up smoking
Smoking has a negative effect on almost every organ in your body and giving up will do your health the world of good. There are various groups you can join, or you can ask your dentist or GP for advice and information.
4. Look after your teeth and gums
Your oral health is incredibly important, especially as studies have linked poor oral health to an elevated risk of heart disease and strokes. Brush twice a day, floss and keep an eye on your diet. If you have orthodontic problems, this can also have a negative impact on your oral hygiene, so it’s worth looking at discreet braces such as Invisalign and lingual braces like Incognito.
5. See your dentist every 6 months
It’s normal to only see your doctor when you feel ill or you are due to change medication, but it’s essential to see your dentist every 6 months, even if your teeth look and feel fine. Regular check-ups allow dentists to watch out for signs of decay, gum disease and oral cancer.
6. Swap the lift or escalator for the stairs
Making small changes, such as walking up the stairs, rather than getting in a lift, contribute to a healthier, more active lifestyle.
7. Watch what you drink
Many people drink more than they think and this can contribute to an increased risk of health problems. Experts recommend no more than 2-3 units per day for women and 3-4 for men, which equates to 1 large glass of wine or 1-2 pints of lager or bitter.
8. Keep an eye on your weight
Carrying extra weight, especially around the midriff, can be dangerous. Obesity and being overweight are linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, infertility, heart disease and strokes. The BMI (body mass index) gives you an idea of how much you should weigh based on your age and height. If you are classed as overweight or obese, you should consider taking steps to lose weight.
9. Check your blood pressure
It’s a good idea to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, as there are often no symptoms of high blood pressure.
10. Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. Ideally, you should aim to get around 8 of sleep per night.
11. Avoid stressful situations
Stress increases the risk of physiological and psychological health problems. It’s sometimes difficult to avoid stressful situations, but it’s worth trying to find ways to cope and identifying triggers so that you can try to avoid them. Give yourself plenty of time to get laces and do things, leave your work at work and take time to unwind when you get home and ask for help if you need it.
12. Spend time doing things you love
Most of us have to work to earn a crust, but it’s important to give yourself some time to play. Spend time with people you love, catch up with old friends, try new things and indulge your interests and passions. This will make you feel happy and content and boost your confidence and self-esteem.