Just for you! We have compiled 100 simple ways to be healthy and how you can change small things that lead to big results. Before long, you’ll find that these habits start to accumulate, and these changes can stick. In no time, you’ll wake up and discover that you’re leading the healthy, happy life you’ve been aiming for. This article contains the first 10 ways.
1. Sip green tea before you walk.
This habit will help you to shed those unwanted kilos. Research shows that the caffeine in green tea frees fatty acids so that you burn fat more easily. The antioxidant content in green tea has also been shown to increase calorie burn.
2. Switch out your after-work sweatpants for workout gear.
This will have two results. The first is that it will be easier for you to move, so you’re likely to put more energy into your chores and work up more of a sweat. The second is that it increases the chances that you’ll go out for a jog or engage in a little indoor strength training.
3. Oxygenate with fresh morning air.
We all know how important oxygen is for our health. Neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart says it is crucial to proper brain function. But when is the best time for us to breathe deeply? Early-morning air is optimal for a deep-breathing session, as there has been little to no traffic throughout the night and the air is at its cleanest. Want to know more? Click here to find out.
4. Disinfect your office doorknob.
Research from the University of Arizona has shown that using disinfectant surface wipes on commonly touched objects, such as doorknobs, can reduce the spread of cold-and-flu-causing viruses by up to 90%.
5. Make your own salad dressing.
While we all love to add a little flavor to our salads, most store-bought salad dressings are full of unhealthy ingredients. Don’t miss out; make your own version of your favourite salad dressing at home. There are hundreds of quick and easy, healthy salad dressing recipes online. Some of them are more cost-effective, too.
6. Read labels.
To stay healthy, you must know what is going into your body. Dietician and former president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Claire Julsing-Strydom, says there are no hidden salts and sugars. The amounts are right there on the label; you just have to look for them. It is also important to look up ingredient names that you don’t recognize, and decide which ingredients you are – and aren’t – happy to eat. Knowledge is power.
7. Know your numbers.
For better health and vitality, Dr Vash Mungal-Singh, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, advises: “High blood pressure and high cholesterol are known as ‘silent killers’, as they usually don’t present with any symptoms. It’s important to know your numbers by having your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels checked regularly, to know if you are at risk.”
8. Eat sardines twice a week.
Sardines are packed with lean protein and omega-3. Omega-3 is crucial for brain functionality, gut health and reducing levels of chronic, low-grade inflammation. This form of inflammation has been found to be the root cause of all disease, and our modern lifestyle choices make it worse. Sardines are an affordable way to get good quality nutrition and fortify yourself against illness.
9. Kick that addiction.
Addiction affects our physiology, making us more susceptible to premature aging, according to clinical psychologist Dr Sandrina Haeck. Substance addiction can lead to long-term cognitive impairment, damage to neurotransmitters, increased stress levels, sleep disorders, weakened heart muscles, increased risk of stroke, cancer, liver disease, lung disease, sexual dysfunction, infertility and a damaged immune system. Click here to find out how addiction affects your health in different ways.
10. Meditate in the morning.
Tiffany Cruikshank, an internationally renowned yoga instructor and the founder of Yoga Medicine, says: “I start my day with a simple meditation practice; it sets the tone for my day and clears my head to prepare for what is to come.”