It’s January, and everyone is on a health kick. The gyms are full and the racks in Sports Direct are empty. Every year I make a big old effort to make a major life change… and every year, by about this time, it’s all fallen by the wayside and I’m back to eating cake for dinner. This year then, I’ve decided to opt for making a series of small changes over a period of time.
If you’re thinking of making some changes this January to improve your health, here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Start taking a multivitamin. I am 100% sure that the supplements I take are the reason my hair and nails grow so quickly, but more importantly that my brain functions well! I take a multivitamin, calcium with Vitamin D3, magnesium and fish oils every day.
- Take Epsom salt baths before bed to help you sleep better. Epsom salts contain magnesium which can help your muscles to relax – along with numerous other things. But also, the warm water helps you to relax, and then cooling down when you get out of the bath helps you to sleep. And sleep is good for your health!
- Meditate. Honestly, I swear by meditation and would recommend it for anything and everything. I aim to meditate at least once every day and it really helps me with things like stress levels and keeping my head clear. I got out of the habit of meditating towards the end of last year; this year so far I have meditated every day. Read my blog posts about meditation here.
- Drink fizzy water with natural flavourings instead of fizzy drinks. Fizzy drinks are really bad for you, even the ones with artificial sweetener instead of sugar. That can make a massive difference.
- Treat yourself to some new boots. I don’t know about you, but when I have new footwear I am more inclined to go for a walk! I’m thinking I might treat myself to some Uppersole Women’s Calf Boots next month to help encourage me to go out for more walks and be more active.
- Decline all offers of a lift. And choose a hilly route if you can! S’s school is at the top of a hill, and on the way home I do my best to walk home along the route that involves climbing an extra hill. It’s not much, but it’s more steps and less time spent sitting on my behind.
- Drink herbal tea instead of coffee. Ok, I’m working on this. Really working on it. I love my coffee but I know it’s not fantastic for me. If I go without coffee, I have horrible withdrawal and that bothers me. So I’m aiming to replace at least one coffee per week with a herbal tea in the hope that I can wean myself off caffeine. Eventually.
- Drink more water. The recommendation is to drink 8 glasses of water per day, but I always get confused by what size the glasses should be! I have a 750ml water bottle which I aim to empty three times every day. I try to do that gradually throughout the day, rather than just chugging a whole bottle in one go. I find that being hydrated helps with most things!
- Sleep more. I think the recommendation is something like 7-10 hours per night. I usuall average around 7 to 7.5 hours, but I’m aiming to increase that. Importantly though, I’m aiming to do this by going to bed earlier – not by getting up later.
- Get up earlier! I have several alarms, the first of which goes off at 5:30am. Over the winter it’s really hard to get up when it goes off. But I’m aiming to do it more often. On the mornings when I get up early, my day starts better. I can meditate, read a book and just have some time to quietly plan my day. I’ve also just downloaded the TED app, and sometimes watch a talk in the morning instead. In the summer months it’s easier to get up earlier, and I often go downstairs and exercise as well.
- Plan meals ahead of time. I am awful for this, but I’m working on getting better. If I plan my meals for the week, I can plan for them and cook them – then I end up wasting less food, eating more healthily, and not getting takeout. All three of these things are good.