There is more to being healthy than just eating healthier and working out. You can also make simple healthy lifestyle changes that improve your mental and emotional health. These tweaks let you live life with less stress, greater joy and allow you to use your time creatively. Plus, you’ll find that as you gradually make these simple modifications to your life that you’ll start making healthier decisions, and have a more optimistic outlook on life.
Let’s look at how you can get started making simple healthy lifestyle changes today.
Tweak #1 Simple Healthy Lifestyle Changes: Make Time For You
Your life is busy and often demanding. So, you find it difficult to stop and unwind because there is always another job on your ‘to-do list’ to complete. As a result, you forget about taking time out for yourself. That’s something you can do later, right?
FACT – While you might think that you’ll find time for yourself later, it’s usually overlooked because you need to do another job.
So, how do you make time for you?
Research suggests that by setting 15-minutes aside for yourself daily you’ll lessen your stress, reduce frustration, and feel more appreciated. Me time can be a one-off daily experience or you can take a few ‘me time’ breaks during your day to elevate your mental and emotional health. These breaks can include:
- Taking a quick walk or doing a short workout.
- Reading a chapter of your favourite book.
- Starting a crossword puzzle.
- Sitting outside in the sunshine.
- Practicing deep breathing, meditation or laughing.
HINT – Do what you enjoy and find an activity that feels right for you at the time.
Tweak #2 Simple Healthy Lifestyle Changes: Unwind Before Bed
Rather than completing work, following-up emails or trying to cram in study before bed, switch off earlier. By unwinding before bed, you give your brain time to process information and for it to move into sleep mode. Sleep preparation can involve a number of steps that work specifically for you. For instance, you may aim to:
- Get 10-15-minutes of sunlight daily.
- Turn off your computer, put down your phone and avoid blue light an hour before bed.
- Dim the bedroom lights.
- Have a soothing and relaxing bedtime drink such as chamomile, peppermint or green tea, or milk 15 minutes before closing your eyes.
- read or meditate for 15-minutes after your bedtime drink.
- Switch off your bedroom lights and get some shut eye.
HINT – Establish a ‘going to bed routine’ and gradually you’ll find your sleep pattern improves.
Tweak #3 Simple Healthy Lifestyle Changes: Lessen Mobile Screen Time
If you’re someone who frequently flicks through their mobile phone, then consider putting your phone down at a set time daily. Absorbing content, looking at videos or sharing comments can make it difficult for your brain to shift into rest mode. This activity can also result in conditions like insomnia, depression and anxiety.
Sleep let’s your body recover, recharge and rejuvenate. Therefore, it’s crucial to get a good night’s sleep. So, aim to:
- Set the same time daily to stop looking at your phone, computer or even iPad.
- Establish a ‘no screen zone’ before going to bed and make it a habit so it becomes a set routine.
- Turn off screens so you get between 6 to 8 hours sleep nightly.
- If you’re an early riser, switch off screens earlier and go to bed.
- Take a power nap during the day to catch up on sleep if you don’t get enough at night.
Tweak #4 Simple Healthy Lifestyle Changes: Walk More
Walking is a simple form of exercise that you and I take for granted. And yet, this powerful form of movement has the ability to realign your posture, reduce ailments such as sciatica and other joint related problems, and it gives you an opportunity to relax, unwind and get fresh air. To get a walk in daily try:
- Finishing work and walking around the block.
- Going to the shop on foot instead of driving.
- Legging it to work if it’s close by.
- Getting off public transport one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way.
- Encouraging your partner or friends to join you.
- Taking your dog to the park on a lead.
HINT – Your walk need not be long. Try a 10-15-minute walk to start with and as your strength and stamina improves you can increase the time and distance that you walk.
Tweak #5 Simple Healthy Lifestyle Changes: Change Your Morning Caffeine Routine
Most people start their days off with a cup of coffee or tea when they wake up in the morning. And even though it’s soothing to have a good warm beverage when you first wake up, switching to water has a wealth of health benefits. Depending on your preference, you could drink your water with:
- An ice cube to make it more refreshing.
- A piece of lemon, to give it a zing.
- A teaspoon of honey.
HINT – Some people boil their water and add half a squeezed lemon and a teaspoon of honey.
Tweak #6 Simple Healthy Lifestyle Changes: Focus On Mobility
Your body has many joints and if you don’t use these enough then they can become weak. For instance, if you don’t increase your ankle mobility, then this can lead to poor glute and hamstring function. Other mobility issues that can arise are a lack of hip extension, and tight or frail quads and calves. Some people also complain about knee discomfort, low back pain, and other unwelcome aches and injuries.
So, what’s the solution to poor mobility? The answer is to move more. Simple resistance exercises such as push-ups, lunges and other body weight movements let you gradually increase join mobility and strength. These types of exercises can be done in your home and often in 15-minutes. Plus, these types of mobility exercises improve your capacity to perform other exercises such as squats better by increasing ankle mobility.
HINT – If your mobility is limited, start with easy exercises like rotating your ankle while sitting on a chair. Only do what you feel comfortable with and find exercises you enjoy to increase your mobility and to establish a daily habit.
Simple Healthy Lifestyle Changes Key Takeaways
Changing your lifestyle need not be difficult. By altering one unhealthy habit daily you gradually establish new habits that let you live a happier, more active lifestyle while improving your outlook on life.
Just to recap, simple healthy lifestyle changes you can make include:
- Making time for you – set aside 15-minutes daily to do activities you enjoy that let you reset your mind and recharge your energy.
- Unwinding before bed – prepare your body for sleep an hour before you close your eyes.
- Lessening mobile screen time – establish a time to put your mobile phone and other screen down daily, so you form a ‘no screen habit’ before bed.
- Walking more – get out and about on foot. It’s a great way to improve your posture, mental wellness and overall health.
- Changing your caffeine routine – if you drink lots of coffee or tea, especially in the morning, then switch to water with a zing.
- Focusing on mobility – let your body rebuild it’s joints so that it becomes stronger.
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