Who says health changes always have to be big?
Making small daily changes can help improve your health in numerous ways. Try to incorporate a few of these into your day.
Spend time in nature
It’s time to hang out with Mother Nature. Spending time in the great outdoors not only helps reduce your stress levels but research says that going for a walk in natural environment can help boost cognitive performance.
Get enough fibre
Fibre does more than just help keep you regular (although that’s also a good thing), it can also regulate digestion, improve inflammation, reduces blood pressure, and can lower levels of bad cholesterol. Fibre also helps keep you fuller for longer which can aid with weight loss and research has also shown that eating more fibre intake can actually help you live longer.
Walking for half an hour
Going on regular brisk walks can improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat and improve endurance. Not only that it can also reduce your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and even some cancers. Aim to go for a walk for 30 minutes a day.
Giving or receiving hugs releases a hormone called oxytocin which reduces the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Studies have also shown that a 10-second hug will not only reduce stress but boost your immune system, fight fatigue and infections and even ease depression. Oh and a hug with your dog or cat definitely counts!
Drink more water
We hear it time and time again but it really is important to drink lots of water everyday. Staying hydrated maintains blood sugar levels, boosts brain power, keeps the heart healthy, and improves kidney function, not to mention the fact it’s great for your skin. Aim to drink at least 1-2 litres of water each day.
Move every 30 minutes
Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease and even heart attacks. If you sit all day, experts suggest getting up every 30 minutes to move around and also whenever you can, choose to stand (such as on public transport) rather than sit.
Go to bed an hour earlier
We can’t stress enough the power of a good night’s sleep. When you sleep your body uses the time to repair damaged cells and also grow new cells. Being well rested improves your immune system, lowers your rate of heart disease and even helps regulate your appetite.
Have a good laugh
Researchers from the University of Maryland recommend that people laugh for at least 15 minutes per day. Why? Laughter has the potential to improve immune function, help lower blood pressure, boost mood, reduce stress and ease depression.
Listen to music
Studies have found that listening to music can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress and boost mood. Not only that it listening to music can also help you exercise harder, so you’ll reap the benefits in terms of fitness too. Go ahead and make a playlist of songs that bring a smile to your face.
Well not just anything! Try sniffing scents such as lemon, basil, juniper or lavender which have all been found to lower stress levels.