1. Get plenty of sleep
Good sleep is vital if you want to achieve good health and wellbeing. Sleep helps protect your body against mental and physical illnesses, and helps improve your quality of life. Seven and a half to eight hours of sleep each night is recommended.
It’s very important to unwind before we go to sleep, so our bodies can achieve level five deep sleep patterns. Increased brain activity occurs during stage five of sleep, as well as rapid eye movement and increased respiration. Most dreaming occurs during stage five of sleep, due to increased brain activity.
Using technology before going to sleep is not recommended because it stimulates, rather than relaxes and thus negatively impacts your quality of sleep.
2. Eat your veggies!!
Fresh vegetables are excellent nutrition and digest slowly, causing blood glucose to rise less and also helping you feel fuller for longer. Foods such as chickpeas, lentils, flaxseed, oatmeal, berries, tomatoes and asparagus can help to increase levels of friendly bacteria in the gut. They also contain fibre, which helps to remove excess fats in the body.
3. Drink plenty of water
Water helps to flush out the kidneys, removes toxins and waste matter, supports the cells and helps blood flow to the organs. Your body is most dehydrated during the night, so keep a bottle of water by your bed. Water can also reduce pain levels, plump up the cells and reduce lines in the skin. If you don’t like the bland taste of water – try it with squeeze of lime or lemon.
4. Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine
Avoid beverages with a high level of caffeine, commercially available fruit juice, soft drinks and coffee. These stimulants dehydrate the body, drain it of energy and can lead to pain and swelling in the joints and tissue. Excess sugar actually drags more fluid out of the body, placing burden on the kidneys.
5. Get your body moving
Walking or gentle exercise lowers the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. It’s also a great way to burn energy. Exercise can start small, try doing 15 minutes daily or 10 minutes twice daily and build up to 20-30 minutes several days a week. Lack of exercise can decrease circulation and lower the levels of nutrients in the blood, leading to arthritis and joint problems.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Stress can lead to poor quality sleep, skipping meals or overeating. If you get stressed easily, try some breathing exercises to relax your system. Stress is all about perception, so next time you feel stressed ask yourself – is it worth the worry? Helpful tip – treat yourself to a massage every now and again.
7. Have a snack
Eating snacks throughout the day keeps your blood sugar levels stable, and prevents overeating at meal times. Quality snacks include rye crispbread with avocado or cottage cheese, veggie sticks and humus, plain popcorn, a mug of soup, or low fat low sugar yoghurt.
8. Eat lunch
It’s easy to work through lunch, especially if you are in a busy or stressful work environment. People who skip lunch tend to eat and drink later at night, go to bed later and wake up feeling tired.
9. Treat yourself
Try to do something special for yourself. It could be a luxurious bath, curling with a good book, a walk in the garden to smell the roses and listen to the birds or watch your favourite video.
10. Break bad habits
Unhealthy eating is often just a bad habit. It’s easy to fall into a routine of eating unhealthy foods, always finishing your meal and ordering dessert even though you feel full. The key to breaking any habit is to do it slowly. Gradually remove one or two bad foods, such as chocolate or chips, and replace them with vegetables and fruit.