5 steps towards a healthier lifestyle
Let me preface this by saying that I am in no way suggesting that I am an expert when it comes to healthy living (or a great example) but I do have an interest. So while I believe that this post is probably relevant to a lot of us, its also a reminder to me! Also, i’m aware that this list is very basic and a little patronising but i wanted it to be easy to remember and simple.
Step 1. Consider what you eat.
Okay I know this seems a little too obvious but it has to go on the list! We are all becoming more and more aware of what we should and shouldn’t be eating (to the point where you might well feel like shouting at the TV after an evening of watching adverts preaching on and on about it). The fact is that most of us (or is it just me?) could probably come up with a few things to consider within a few minutes. Here are mine:
- Make less food. Because once its cooked there’s no way I’m throwing it away.
- Only eat what was on your plate. As apposed to finishing off my girlfriend’s leftovers also.
- More vegetables. I brought a cookbook (this one) which has a section about interesting ways to cook vegetables rather than just boiled potatoes and broccoli.
- Replace crisps with fruit and nuts.
Step 2. Change your lifestyle so that exercising comes naturally.
The hardest thing about exercising, i find, is finding the time to do it. The mornings are unbearable this time of year so getting up before I have to is beyond the question. Once I get home from work it is normally 6pm, I like to relax then cook dinner which makes it about 7.30-8pm before I feel like I have any spare time.
The best way i’ve found to get around this problem is to build exercising into my day. This also solves the problem of my car not starting half the time. By walking to and from work I get about 1 hour and 25 min gentle exercise a day during which time I can catch up on podcasts or listen to music so it doesn’t really feel like hard work. The only problem with this approach is that it isn’t particularly hard work! Walking burns around 135 calories per 30 minutes compared to 240 for jogging, but every little helps!
Another way in which you can build exercising into your lifestyle is to take up an active hobby like mounting biking or surfing.
Step 3. Raise your heartbeat for 30min 5 times a week.
This reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. It can also help you sleep, reduce stress and give you more energy. One of the most common ways of increasing your heartbeat is jogging but many people find this a strain on their legs and back (as most of us have to jog in urban areas, on tarmac.) A good alternative is swimming as it is low impact and exercises more muscles than jogging.
Personally I lift weights and occasionally jog along with the walking to work I mentioned earlier.
Step 4. Drink more water
According to The British Dietetic Association we should all aim to consume 2.5 litres of water a day of which 1.8 litres should be from beverages. For me this involved cutting out a few coffees and replacing them with a class of water. I still haven’t got to 1.8 litres a day though, that seems impossible for those of use who can’t work sitting on a toilet.
Step 5. Relax.
“Work-related stress, depression or anxiety account for an estimated 13.8 million reported lost working days per year in Britain.” (Health and Safety Executive)
What use is all that exercise and healthy eating if you don’t get to chill out on the sofa afterwards?! I’m not going to patronise you (more that I have so far) by telling you how to relax. Just remember if someone asks you to get back to work or do the washing up tell them that this is part of your new healthier lifestyle so leave you alone!
Filed under: fittness, food, getting fit, health | 2 Comments
Tags: cycling, diet, exercise, fitness, food, health, jogging, lifestyle, swimming, water