10 steps to a healthy new year – Part one

Make 2019 your healthiest year it can be! In this and our next article we give you 10 easy ways to look after your health.

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.

Avoid using technology for at least half an hour before going to sleep because it stimulates, rather than relaxes your body so it negatively impacts your quality of sleep.

2. Eat your veggies!!
Fresh vegetables are excellent nutrition and digest slowly, causing blood glucose to rise less while 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 fresh 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 taste of water – try it with a squeeze of lime or lemon.

4. Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine
Beverages with a high level of caffeine, commercially available fruit juice, soft drinks and coffee should be avoided as much as possible. 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 gradually. Ideally you will exercise for 20-30 minutes every day. Lack of exercise can decrease circulation and lower the levels of nutrients in the blood, leading to arthritis and joint problems.

Do something for yourself this New Year and make the time to care for your wellbeing and make the right life choices for you.

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