Many people would like to adopt a healthier lifestyle but may not be sure where to start.
Here are 9 daily, healthy habits that we can all attempt to incorporate into our lives:
9000 steps per day – Getting more movement into your day is a great start. Steps can be counted with a simple clip on pedometer or via a fitness tracker or smart phone. Build up to around 9-10,000 steps per day. If you have a sedentary job, this will require some thought and effort. If you have a physical job this should be easily attainable.
8 hours of sleep – Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per day. Teenagers need more and the elderly usually manage with less. A lack of sleep can be detrimental to our physical and mental health. There is more information about sleep in this blog – Why is lack of sleep bad for your health?
7 glasses of water – Our body is made up of over 50% water. Therefore, it is vital to stay hydrated to keep everything working properly. Aim for 5-8 glasses of non-alcoholic drinks per day. Water, Squash, Milk and Herbal teas are all acceptable. Try to limit Coffee and Carbonated drinks.
6 minutes of meditation – taking time out each day to concentrate on yourself can really help to de-stress and refresh your mind. It doesn’t need to be Meditation, a peaceful drink in the garden, some reading, a relaxing bath or talking on the phone to a friend. All these can help us to maintain a healthy mind set.
5 servings of fruit and veg – Eating a wide variety of Fruit and Vegetables is the best way to provide our bodies with the necessary mix of vitamins and minerals. Try to have some at each meal as well as for snacks. Here is some more information about Vitamins.
4 breaks to stretch and re-focus – If you work at a desk or drive a lot, take regular breaks to stretch and get some movement into your body. A walk at lunchtime, coffee in the garden, some housework between meetings will allow you to get the blood flowing to your muscles and let your mind re-focus for the tasks ahead. Try to get away from your screen and rest your eyes whenever possible.
3 meals – Three meals per day plus three healthy snacks should satisfy most appetites. If you are doing lots of physical activity (work or leisure) then increase your calorie intake to match. Try to incorporate protein, carbohydrates and vegetables at each meal and reduce your reliance on high fat/sugar snacks to fill you up. These cause fluctuations in your blood sugar and increase the likelihood of craving more unhealthy food.
2 hours of no phones before bed – Reducing screen time during the evening can make it easier to fall asleep. The light emitted by smart phones stimulates our brains and makes it more difficult to switch off and relax.
1 session of exercise – Many studies have shown that regular exercise is the best habit to adopt to stay healthy. It improves our physical and mental wellbeing. Exercise should be fun and something that you look forward to during your day. Try starting something with friends, going to an organised class or signing up for a sponsored event to motivate yourself. Once you start and feel the benefits this habit is easy to continue.
Please get in touch if you need any help or advice about fitting more activity into your life.