We all know how hard it can be to stay healthy in our busy modern world. With 9-5s, traffic, kids and social media to contend with, putting healthy habits into place can seem like a herculean task. However, staying healthy doesn’t have to mean eating granola for every meal and jogging to work – these quick tips and tricks will help you stay healthy without any drastic changes to your already-hectic schedule.
Create a meal plan that includes all your main food groups. Plan to make bulk meals when you have some free time, so you’ll always have a healthy meal to pop in the oven when you’re too busy to cook.
Write a shopping list and stick to it. This will ensure that you don’t get tempted by tasty yet unhealthy meals and snacks, and stay dedicated to the healthy meal plan you have created.
Switch to whole-grain instead of refined bread. While refined grains have been linked to several health issues, whole grains are a great source of fiber, B vitamins and a range of health-boosting minerals. The same can be said for wraps, rice, and other starches.
Switch to water instead of sugary drinks to drastically reduce your sugar and calorie intake. Make sure you’re drinking enough water every day by marking your water bottle with times of the day to ensure that you’re hitting your hydration target.
Choose healthier oils. Highly-processed seed and vegetable oils, such as sunflower and canola, are deficient in omega-3s and can lead to inflammation, heart disease and more. Swap to extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil to ensure a heart-healthy omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
Take omega-3 and vitamin D supplements to combat deficiencies found in the Western diet. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and immune system function, while omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for heart health and brain function.
Create a consistent workout routine to instill healthy habits and ensure that you have planned times when you are free. It’s better to work out in short, regular bursts than to do nothing all week before punishing yourself with a full day of sweat.
Find ways to exercise without equipment. This will help you avoid the ‘no gym’ excuse and keep up your fitness while you travel. The 7-minute exercise is a full-body workout that requires nothing but a wall and a chair, and your own body weight can be used for resistance training.
Find an exercise buddy. This will really help on those cold mornings or lazy afternoons, when procrastination becomes a very tempting choice. You and your exercise buddy will keep each other motivated, and minimise habit-breaking temptations.
Listen to music while you exercise to increase motivation and reduce distractions. Find some upbeat music between 145 and 160 beats per minute for some serious drive!
Enter a race to give yourself a concrete goal to work towards. The feeling of achieving your fitness goals is about as motivating as you can get, and will inspire you to reach further and train harder.
Take body-boosting supplements to ensure that your body is operating at its best while you exercise. Omega-3 will help with effective circulation and heart health while reducing inflammation; calcium will assist with strong bones and joints; vitamin C helps metabolise carbs for fuel; and magnesium can prevent and treat muscle cramps.
Get enough sleep. Poor quality sleep can have drastic health impacts, such as disrupting your appetite hormones and reducing your physical and mental performance. Calcium (possibly in the form of a warm glass of milk) helps manufacture sleep-inducing melatonin, while magnesium is known for easing tension and relieving insomnia.
Leave the screens before bed. Most of us enjoy some TV or aimless smartphone meandering before we hit the hay, but the blue light in LED screens seriously impacts on your sleep quality. Some phones and laptops have a setting to remove this light spectrum, but it’s best to leave them alone for at least half an hour before going to sleep.
Treat your body as a temple. If you’re feeling unhealthy, the first thing to do before implementing good habits is to cut out the bad. Try avoiding cigarettes and drugs, and only drink in moderation – a glass of wine every now and again is absolutely fine, but excessive drinking can have dramatic health effects.
Take care of your mental health by maintaining good social relationships, engaging in calming meditations, and monitoring your thoughts for negative or self-damaging thinking. Making sure you’re getting the right nutrients is important too – magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 are all crucial for battling anxiety, stress and depression.
Take a general multivitamin to ensure that your body has everything it needs to function at optimal levels. Make sure you’re getting the right mix by finding a multivitamin that is geared to your age and lifestyle, and take a good probiotic to balance your gut and effectively absorb all the nutrients from your supplements.
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Article provided by BFC Pharma