Often, we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve ambitious health goals. However, making small changes to your lifestyle can have huge health benefits for yourself and it doesn’t have to be such a daunting challenge.
After a long year of lockdowns some of us have slipped under the healthy radar and picked up some bad habits along the way. This guide will give you some useful tips and tricks that you can use to help better your health in 2021.
Reduce Your Salt Intake
Reducing your salt intake can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and also decrease your blood pressure. Salt is a key ingredient in almost every food we eat such as bread and breakfast cereals. Many of us shake salt over our meals without actually tasting it and you’ll find that more often than not you didn’t need it.
To help reduce your salt intake it can be useful to look at the nutritional information of the products you buy on your weekly food shop. You will be shocked at how much you can reduce your salt intake by just swapping products for different ones. Try to opt for more healthier snacks like fruit and avoid salty crisps or crackers. As adults, we should be consuming at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day, so don’t be afraid to swap that packet of biscuits for some carrot sticks.
Partake In De-Stressing Activities
Stress is experienced by many people, and it can have an effect on your overall health. We experience stress from all aspects of life such as from our jobs. You can experience physical symptoms from it such as headaches and trouble with sleep. However, you can also experience emotional problems such as depression and panic attacks. There are some steps you can take to help de-stress in these situations.
Regular exercise and breathing techniques can be useful in helping you de-stress but also partaking in activities you enjoy can also have the same effect. For instance, if you are a music fanatic then taking some time to relax and listen to your favourite band can help you switch off. De-stressing has been linked with change in a wide range of health issues. Taking time out to find a de-stressing activity can help improve your mood, sleep, appetite and it can even help prevent the risk of heart disease.
Look After Your Gut Health
A healthy gut is a happy gut. You should be making an effort to eat foods that are good for your digestive system and try to avoid foods that can cause you feeling lethargic. If you notice certain foods don’t agree with you and make you feel bloated/nauseous, then you may have a food intolerance. Check My Body Health offer food intolerance tests to help you identify foods that upset your digestive system.
Eating foods that you are intolerant too can make you feel ill and often in ways that may surprise you. Food intolerances can give you migraines, heartburn and even make you feel irritable. It is advised that you get tested to ensure that you are putting the right ingredients into your diet which can work towards a healthier gut and a happier you.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to feel so dull. In fact, with the help of the internet, there are now millions of recipes readily available to you at the click of a button. If you aren’t a fan of vegetables, then don’t be afraid to experiment. Blend up your vegetables to make soups and pasta sauces and try to reduce your portion sizes. If you are the type to throw in the whole bag of pasta, start weighing out your ingredients so you aren’t overindulging.
Changes to your diet can be hard but it is advised that small steps are effective. Those that try to make drastic changes from day one are less likely to stick to their diet. Take small steps to achieving your goals. Patience is key.
It may sound obvious but making the effort to walk more can have positive health benefits and can also be an easy introduction into regular exercise. Since the emergence of the pandemic, a lot of people are now working from their own homes. This has meant a lot of us are missing out on the usual exercise of going to work. It is important to take time out to walk around the house or your local park.
Walking is ideal if you are not a fan of exercise, and you can even arrange a weekly walk with a family member or friend to keep you motivated. You’ll be surprised at how long you can walk for when engrossed in conversation. Setting yourself goals is also a good motivator. Try to aim for 10,000 a day and always do your best to beat your record from the previous day.