Setting a goal to ‘be healthier’ can be a bit overwhelming. Where do you start with improving your health, is it diet, sleep, exercise, mindfulness? Or all of the above?! Rather than trying to completely overhaul your life this year, start small and follow my top tips for a happier, healthier you.
5 Tips to Be Healthier in 2020
Rather than starting up a gruelling gym routine of a fitness fad that you’ll stick to for a month and then ditch when it gets too challenging, aim to move more this year to improve your overall fitness. Track your steps on your phone and if you get really into it you can invest in a smart watch that tracks your steps and heartrate and set goals for daily activity to help motivate you. Taking the stairs rather than the escalator, walking rather than catching the bus, and using your lunchbreak for a run or a walk along the river all become more appealing when you know it will help you achieve your daily targets. And of course, if you do find a sport or activity that you love along the way, go with it (I love hot pod yoga, tennis and dance classes, so give those a go for starters)! I love the Body By Simone classes because they’re such good fun.
Improve Your Sleep Health
It isn’t possible to overestimate the importance of good sleep for our overall health. So, if you’re not getting the recommended eight hours a night, it’s time to give your sleep regime a health check. Start with the basics (setting a regular time for going to bed and rising to help regulate your body clock) and then bring some other best practices in, such as regulating your caffeine intake after lunch (ideally your last coffee should be mid-morning), cutting out alcohol before bed, avoiding starchy carbs with your evening meal, and trying to get some outdoor sunlight in the mornings. Magnesium is also great for boosting sleep, and I love the Oto CBD Pillow Mist. Read my guide to good sleep for more tips.
Cutting down (or even cutting out) alcohol is always front and centre at this time of year, but if you’re not ready to ditch booze for good, check out the mindful drinking movement that is gathering ground in the UK and US. With alcohol-free drinks popping up everywhere and more and more people choosing to drink less or go sober for their health and happiness, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your relationship with alcohol and think about whether now would be a good time for you to drink less, or even stop boozing for good. This is also a good moment to remind you to drink more water. It doesn’t matter how many years go by; this will always be on my list of top tips to be healthier!
If healthier eating is the top thing you need to address, it can be hard to know where to begin. Rather than trying to completely overhaul your diet in one go, start with improved organisation. Prepping your meals for the week ahead at the weekend and doing your food shopping in advance will take the stress out of diet planning and stop you from opting for unhealthy snacks and takeaways when you’re unprepared and hungry or late home from work. It is also a good idea to have some healthy snacks prepped and ready if you’re prone to snacking, think carrot sticks, celery and olives.
Learn to Say No
We’re all familiar with wellness and mindfulness now, and their impact on our overall mental and physical health is becoming more well-known. But you don’t need to be going to south bath retreats, forest bathing, or meditating for hours every day to feel the benefits. Start small by remembering to check in with yourself and how you’re feeling and learning to say no when you’re too tired or anxious. This will help prevent burn-out (something I am always prone to with my schedule!) and help to keep you healthy in both body and mind.
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