Are you happy with the way you are living your life?  Do you hear about others leading a healthier lifestyle and wish you could do the same?  Not everyone takes their health as seriously as maybe they should.  Eventually this lack of care takes its toll and the body doesn’t work as efficiently or effectively as it should.  Signs of premature ageing, sun damage and various forms of illness may result.

Ultimately it’s up to each and everyone of us to take responsibility for our own health and the sooner we become proactive and start to make positive changes, putting our health first the sooner we reap the benefits.  Although many of us find that time can be tight that doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to lead a healthier life.

When we’re young it’s all too easy to take our health for granted.  Illnesses may be hidden in some cases and in some instances your body seems to work well and you have nothing to complain about, that doesn’t mean that is actually the case.

People get sick with chronic illnesses at different ages.  Some of you may be aware my daughter became ill in January and it wasn’t until April that she got better.  Her illness was totally unexpected and luckily she did recover but it just goes to show that you never know when illness may strike and who it will affect.  This has made me alter the way we live our lives slightly as the health of my family is very important.

I’ve written a guide to simple lifestyle switches that should help those of you that also want to take that step to be healthier in 2018.  Just a few simple swaps will make you feel so much better.

Swap Processed Foods For Whole Foods

 Processed foods are often cheaper to buy than whole foods.  Some can taste great and are super convenient especially in this day and age when there are never enough hours in the day to make home cooked meals from scratch if they take a little while too cook.  The one thing that processed foods are not is healthier than whole foods.  If you want to lead a long and healthy life you need to take your health seriously regardless of your age.  This means ensuring that whatever your age you are mindful about what you’re eating.

Eating healthily isn’t as difficult as you would think, it’s actually much easier than you would imagine, once you get into the swing of it. The hardest part is often actually making time to make each meal – cooking isn’t something that comes naturally to some people.  Once you get into the rhythm of making healthy, homemade food, you won’t even think twice about doing it plus there is a sense of achievement when you see your family happily eating a meal you have prepared from scratch.

Make Home Cooking Easier

Something I need to look into doing is investing in a slow cooker.  These can be used to make so many different, delicious and nutritious recipes.  They are also handy as you can throw in all the ingredients, switch it on, and then eight hours later dinner is ready. Doing meal prep. in advance can also be advantageous, that way when it’s time to make the dish all you have to do is add everything into a pan or an ovenproof dish and pop it in the oven or on the stove.  Batch cooking can be a great way of making healthier ready meals.  Simply portion the food out, label and freeze it so it’s ready when you need it.

Switch Caffeine for Herbal Teas

Too much caffeine can be bad for your health, both in the long and short terms. Studies have shown that drinking more than four cups of coffee a day can lead to an earlier death.  Excessive caffeine consumption can also cause raised blood pressure, an increase in the risk of heart attack at a young age, breast cysts, incontinence, insomnia, and reduction in fertility, among many other health problems.  A coffee might be what you need to wake you up in the morning, but if you have too much caffeine it can have a serious impact on your health.  Luckily I don’t have it too often so I don’t need to worry about my intake but many do, so, it may be time to rethink your caffeine intake if you drink four cups or more a day guys.

Bearing that in mind, if you want to lead a healthier life, it’s a good idea to switch from caffeine to herbal teas.  Most herbal teas are caffeine free, making them a great alternative to caffeinated drinks. Obviously, there’s also decaffeinated coffee, but for a healthier drink, herbal tea is what’s recommended.  Not a fan of any of the herbal teas on the market? You could always opt to make some yourself – there are plenty of fantastic herbal tea recipes available.  For some unique herbal tea ideas, visit https://www.ideahacks.com/best-herbal-tea-recipes/ and have a browse.

Jasmine petals and pearls tea at the Waldorf hotel 

Avoid Alcohol

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can have both long and short term effects on your mind and body.  Many people don’t realise just how detrimental to your health excessive alcohol consumption can be.  In the short term, alcohol can cause mental health problems like anxiety and depression, it can also cause hallucinations, blackouts and addiction.  Long-term, people who drink copious amounts of alcohol are more at risk of a range of health problems, from cancer and diabetes to heart disease and liver damage.

White Peach and Rhubard Bellini at Monmouth Kitchen

It’s all well and good having a drink on the weekend with your friends, but drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on a daily basis or binge drinking on weekends can result in serious health implications. If you want to ensure that your health is not impacted by your drinking, you need to reduce the amount of alcohol that you drink and swap to non alcoholic drinks, personally I favour plain water, water infused with fruit and herbal teas.

Swap Cigarettes for Vaping

We all know smoking is bad for us but do we heed the warnings?  Well I sure do I’ve never smoked in my life.  But then not everyone is a goody two shoes like me.  While a lot of people do still smoke, the health implications are well known including; yellowing teeth and skin, breathing problems, and ‘smokers’ cough’ in the short-term to COPD, lung cancer and increased risk of various other cancers in the long-term.

Quitting smoking can be difficult to do, which is why so many people struggle and fail.  The good news is that there are various products on offer than you can try to help reduce your cravings and make the process of quitting easier for you. Doctors can offer nicotine patches, sprays and gums to help reduce cravings, there’s also the use of e-cigarettes that many people find useful – you can learn more about these via https://www.ecigwizard.com.  Quitting smoking is doable, it’s just a case of using the right products to help you and having the mindset that you need to succeed. There’s plenty of support available, so there’s no need to struggle.

Be Active

Many people are not taking part in enough daily activity, no wonder obesity is on the rise.  It’s important that we all make time to be active each and every day.

Aim to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week to keep your body in tip-top shape. Whether that’s walking, running, cycling, swimming, running around a park in a unicorn onesie it doesn’t matter as long as you are doing some form of physical activity.

Being healthier is much easier than you would initially think.  It’s just a case of taking steps to give your health that boost it needs.  The hardest part is get into a routine but once you’ve overcome this first hurdle you will find it much easier to lead a healthy life.

What do you do to try and live a healthy life?

 

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20 thoughts on “Simple Lifestyle Switches For a Healthier 2018”

  1. You definitely need to get a slow cooker! Great time saver as well as being able to make really healthy options in there too. I’ve been trying to make healthier lunch choices, was too easy to grab a calorie-laden sandwich at work , now making my own, so lots more salad in them (and not lkaden with mayo!)

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  2. I changed my diet from a vegetarian to whole foods plant based in January and I feel so much better than before when I was eating more processed foods. I also have given up flour and sugar. It’s hard but worth it!

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  3. Eating whole, unprocessed real foods are definitely the way to go. I have an 80/20 rule…80% whole, unprocessed (brown rice, barley, steamed vegetables, greens, etc…) and 20% whatever I want (vegan Ben & Jerry’s, glass of wine, etc…).

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  4. Being active is the best thing, agree that illness can crop up at any stage – my mummy have lung collapses and surgeries and has only just got back up and running pain free. Diet and wellbeing really does go hand in hand x

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  5. Avoiding alcohol can really make a difference! I gave up alcohol a couple of years ago and I really don’t miss it! I have the odd drink here and there but nothing major!

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  6. I’ve already tried to implement some of these things in an attempt to shift a few pounds and feel better during the summer! So far it’s going ok, but I still get cravings 🙁 x

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