Your health is one of the most valuable assets that you have in this life. The good news is that there is no one else that is in a better position than you to take care of it. Now, most people think that to be healthy they need to eat nothing but salad and start running marathons. However, this truly isn’t the case. In fact, you can get some considerable health benefits from some minimal life changes. To find out what they are just read on.
Walking is great exercise! It’s low impact and so is great on even worn muscles and joints, and it circulates freshly oxygenated blood around the body. If you choose to walk outside you also get the added benefit of being exposed to sunlight which can improve your mood and boost vitamin D levels, which are great for improving your health as well.
With this in mind, why not ditch the car and walk to work each day? Alternatively, you could use your lunch hour or break time to take a stroll outside, or you could even get your other half in on the act and go for a short walk after dinner in the evenings?
You don’t have to walk miles and miles to see an improvement in your fitness and well-being either. In fact, just 10,000 steps a day can make all the difference.
Exercise for 5 minutes
When it comes to exercising it is easy to think up all sort of excuses. I’m too busy, and I haven’t got the energy, being just two of them. However, nearly everyone can find at least 5 minutes in a day, and you might be surprised that just exercising for this short time is something that can make a massive difference to your health!
In fact, university researchers have shown that a burst of just 20 seconds of high impact exercise with a short rest between, performed three times can improve your physical health. That’s a single minute of hard work! Something that even the most unfit or unmotivated of us can find the time and mental willpower to do!
Experts say this isn’t even enough to break a sweat, which means you don’t have to change into any workout clothes or take a shower afterward making it a tiny, yet easy way to boost your physical fitness.
Stand, don’t sit!
Next, experts also agree that the more movement you can do in the day the better it is for your physical health. That may seem all very well and good, but with many of us working in offices and driving to work each day, physical movement can be hard to come by.
Luckily, there is something that we can do about that, and it’s swapping out our traditional desks for an electric adjustable desk instead. These clever pieces of tech are desks that have motors in the legs that allow them to be raised up in to a position where it is comfortable to stand and work rather than sit.
This is, of course, fantastic for your physical health as you not only burn more calories by standing all day, rather than sitting but you are also likely to naturally move around much more. Something that can help prevent repetitive strain injury and what is known as laptop back.
Now, some of you may be worried about the strain on your feet if you are standing all day, but there are even anti-fatigue mats that you can buy top help with this. If you combine these with cushioned gel insoles, your feet should end up feeling fresh and comfortable all day, even while you are standing at your desk.
Drink, then eat!
Another great, yet small way that you can help your health is to learn to recognize the subtle difference between being hungry and thirsty. This can be a bit of a challenge for many of us because we often experience them as very similar sensations in the beginning.
However, many experts suggest that we are usually in need of hydration as opposed to food for the most part when we experience a hunger pang. With that in mind, it can be useful to get hold of a tracking bottle so you can check that you are keeping as hydrated as possible through the day.
Also, always take a drink when you first feel hungry instead of reaching for a candy bar. You can even drink a glass of water before you eat a meal, as this can help aid the sensation of feeling full, and prevent you from overeating.
Speaking of overeating, it is something that we have all done from time to time. You may be susceptible to this when at your favourite restaurant, and feel like you have to finish off that plate of Carbonara? Or maybe you are sitting in front of the TV and find that you have eaten an entire family size bag of chips without even thinking about it?
The thing to remember though is that our stomachs aren’t that big. In fact, they are only about the size of an orange! However they are very stretchy, and what often happens is that they give off a signal that they are full, which we then override. This means we continue eating way beyond what we need, and this can lead to weight gain and an unhealthy relationship with food in general.
Luckily, there is a way to combat this, and it is to develop some mindfulness skill around meal times. The first way of doing this is to allow yourself to feel your body’s hunger and rate it on a scale of 1-10, with 5 being the feeling of satiation.
Then, once you have determined whether you need to eat, be aware of each bite and the flavours and textures it creates in your mouth. This will help to slow the eating process down and to assist you to become more aware of how your hunger changes as you eat. This action can then assist you in stopping when you are full instead of overeating. Something that in turn can have a huge positive impact on your health.
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