Staying healthy can seem like a challenge when you have many living demands. Perhaps you feel that you don’t have enough hours in the day to get things done or that you’ll never be able to squeeze all of the things you want to do into your average day.
Key to making healthy changes into healthy habits is to focus on what you can do in the present moment. With this in mind, here are some of the best techniques you can use to see visible differences to your overall health and wellbeing..
1. Deep Breathing
Many of us are practicing shallow breathing, yet deep abdominal breathing can encourage more oxygen to flow around the body – reducing stress and anxiety.
By encouraging full oxygen exchange, this can lower or stabilise blood pressure – a major risk factor of heart disease and as a lack of oxygen can suppress the immune system, this increases your susceptibility to colds and illnesses. Deep breathing can slow your heartbeat and lower or stabilise blood pressure.
You can practice deep breathing by trying the 4-7-8 technique – breathing in for a count of 4, holding for a count of 7 and then exhaling for a count of 8. Practicing this technique can induce deep sleep – supposedly in as little as 60 seconds.
Meditation has been shown in countless studies to reduce anxiety, helping you to work better under stress and even benefiting your health by reducing the risk of heart diseases and stroke. Regular meditation practice can bring a calm and peaceful state into your life. It starts from the mind and then radiates outwards into every area of your life.
Yoga provides the body with many physical benefits including increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone, better cardio health, improved athletic performance, weight loss and protection from injury. Practicing a downward dog for a few minutes every morning could help to build strong bones, encourage better blood circulation around the body, even improve neck or back pain.
4. Keep track of your goals
Keeping on track with your health, wellness or business goals is one of the best ways to ensure you achieve success. Setting yourself three important tasks to complete every day will mean that you stay focused on getting them done.
Once you start seeing the benefits of being productive, you’ll want to continue until you are successful. When we’re happy, we work harder and the more productive and of service we feel to society, the more we are capable of achieving according to a study published in the Journal of Labor Economics.
Smoothies have many amazing health benefits and are an excellent way to get your 5 fruits and vegetables a day. By blending fruits and vegetables, this is an excellent way to provide the body with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Other benefits include improved digestion, building muscle and improved athletic performance. Smoothies are also good if you are on a detox and wanting to eat healthier.
6. Cut Carbs
Many of us are consuming a high number of foods loaded with empty carbohydrates. Foods such as bread, cereals, pasta, pizza, pastries, cakes are all made using wheat flour and grains. It is the grains that are highly inflammatory in the body and cause so many health problems and for this reason are best avoided.
Leaky gut may in fact be caused by excessive grain consumption and there is a number of scientific evidence to suggest that grains contain anti-nutrients that can increase intestinal permeability, causing the leaky gut syndrome eventually leading to inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
Instead of starchy carbs, choose to eat more legumes as a healthy meal replacement. Combine in salads with plenty of dark leafy green vegetables and fresh cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, etc or fruits such as berries, apple or pear. Lightly drizzle with olive oil or lemon juice for a fresh tasting salad to enjoy on its own or with fish or chicken.
Walking is one form of gentle and low-impact exercise that has many health benefits for both the body and mind. Walking can reduce stress, improve your mood, help to strengthen your heart, lose weight, lower your risk of disease, prevent dementia, along with simply toning up your legs, bum and stomach. The recommended number of steps is 10,000 a day for best health and wellness.
Walking is classed as a moderate-intensity activity that can benefit so many areas of your health and wellbeing and for this reason, it’s a great activity to choose if you’re looking to get in shape – especially as it’s so easy to fit into your daily routine.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) otherwise known as intermittent training is a cardiovascular exercise strategy that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.
There are numerous anti-aging benefits to HIIT and they include less wrinkles, firmer skin, improved muscle tone, reduced body fat and increased energy levels. HIIT has been shown to boost endurance, keep you burning calories for hours and may even benefit heart health – as one study looking at people with coronary artery disease found that HIIT wasn’t only safe but better tolerated than a more moderate level workout.
10. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is vital for good health. The body is made up of around 60% H20 and therefore getting enough water is essential for proper bodily function including blood circulation, creation of saliva and maintenance of body temperature.
When the body is dehydrated, headaches, fatigue, sluggishness and fainting are all common side effects. Water is required by the body for so many processes and to keep it healthy. it’s recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
11. Prepare Fresh Meals
Processed meals provide very little nutritional benefit and can play havoc with your health, so for this reason are best avoided. They are often high in saturated fats, chemicals and preservatives. Processed foods have also been shown to contribute to obesity and chronic disease worldwide according to the World Health Organisation. Preparing meals from fresh with fruits vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes is the best way to make delicious food and to stay healthy in the long-term.
12. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting enough sleep may help to avoid inflammation that has been linked with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and premature aging. Sleep can help to improve your memory, keep your attention span and focus on daily tasks, lower the stress response and steer clear of depression. For best health, aim for between 6-8 hours of sleep per night and try to go to bed before 10pm.
Which of these 12 healthy habits are already a part of your daily routine? Looking through this list can determine what’s working for you and any areas that need improvement. Feel free to share your favourite health and wellness activities with us in the comments below.