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With the New Year upon us, many of us will be considering a New Year’s resolution and chances are that living a healthier lifestyle is something you’ve been contemplating.
We appreciate that this can be a daunting prospect; with so many different tips and advice online it’s hard to know the best way of planning and tackling your resolution. We have put together a few suggestions to inspire and motivate you in your venture to improve your lifestyle and wellbeing.
Every piece of advice is just a suggestion, and you certainly aren’t expected to take on everything. Every individual is different and therefore not all plans will suit you and your body. Consider deciding on one or two of the following tips so you’re not overwhelmed, and if you find that you are really struggling to stick to your plan, adapt it!
Make a plan and record your progress. Everyone has different motivations: maybe you want to lose some weight, tone your body, lower your cholesterol or just improve your lifestyle and wellbeing. Decide what it is you want to achieve and plan accordingly. Print it out, write it in your calendar or save reminders in your phone – make a structured plan that you can follow. It’s also a good idea to keep track of your progress so you can look back and be proud of what you achieve. This may also help motivate you to keep it up and inspire others to follow suit.
Water is such an important substance for your body: depending on the surrounding environment and the induvial, we could survive for 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water! It can be easy to forget to drink water, so try carrying round a bottle that you can refill a set amount of times throughout the day to try and help you remember. The recommended daily allowance is 3.7 litres for men and 2.7 litres for women but if you can’t manage this just set yourself a realistic target. On average our bodies are made up of 58% water and it is essential to maintain and refresh that balance. Many drinks such as tea, coffee and alcohol are actually dehydrating, so don’t presume that your morning cup of coffee acts as a substitute for water. There are other hydrating and nutritious drinks that you could try such as watermelon, coconut or cactus water. However, these drinks come with calories so consume in moderation.
Dieting shouldn’t be about starving yourself or eating like a rabbit! You should still be able to enjoy your meals and eat when you feel hungry. Instead, dieting should be about planning and maintaining a balanced diet for a healthy lifestyle. Try to reduce the amount of processed food you eat and avoid foods that are high in saturated fat. Don’t avoid carbohydrates or sugar etc. just ensure that you are consuming the right amount and the right kind: natural sugars found in fruits are a great source of energy to keep our brains and muscles active. Fruit, vegetables and white meats are extremely good for our bodies and minds. A great tip for dieting is watching what’s in your fridge – if you don’t buy it you can’t eat it! We often give into our weaknesses when the temptation is available to us, so it’s a good idea to buy healthy alternatives to snack on when you’re feeling peckish. Popping down to the supermarket often turns into a much longer, more expensive trip than anticipated. To avoid all of the offers and enticements it’s a good idea to sit down with your laptop and do on online order, where you can organise what you need and plan a cost-efficient balanced diet.
It’s so important that we stay active; for our bodies and minds alike. With so many different ways of exercising available to us there is no reason for you to begrudgingly traipse off towards the gym. Instead, find something that you enjoy doing to turn a chore into a hobby! Maybe you and your partner could take up a Salsa class, you could join a local netball team, or even just going for a country walk. Even the smallest things can make a great difference: add 10 minutes onto your dog walk each day, take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to the shop instead of driving – over time you will notice these efforts pay-off. It is also very important to remember to keep moving in the work place. Just doing the coffee round or going on a short walk at lunch will keep your circulation active and contribute to your well-being.
Having a good night’s sleep is vital if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t have a decent amount of quality sleep you are more likely to experience stress, depression, irritation and weight gain. Sleep deprivation can also impair your cognitive process, making learning and concentrating challenging. There are serious health risks associated with lack of sleep, putting you at a greater risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. Try going to bed half an hour earlier every night and see if you notice a difference after one week. The recommended length of sleep for adults 18-64 is 7-9 hours per night and for adults 65+ it’s 7-8 hours.
‘Healthy Mind, Healthy Body’ – having a healthy mind is just as important as being physically fit and well. Apart from everything else, if you aren’t in the right mind-set to motivate yourself then you will never achieve your goals. Everything mentioned above will contribute to an all-round healthier lifestyle: drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, resting and eating a balanced diet. Why not transform your resolution into a social event by encouraging friends or family to participate. This will not only help motivate you but also make it a more enjoyable experience overall resulting in a happier, healthier mind.
We hope that this has helped you plan your New Year’s resolution and make your goals seem a little more realistic. From everyone at Dreams Doors we wish you a very Happy New Year and the very best of luck with your resolutions for 2016!