Healthy living sounds easy, right? Eat well and exercise; that’s it.
The truth is, many of us find it tricky to find time to exercise regularly and to remove junk food from our diets altogether.
We’ve assembled some surprising tips you may not have heard previously that can help you stay in tip-top condition.
1. Prioritise Sleep
Getting adequate sleep comes with tons of health benefits, including weight loss, improved mental health, and better focus during the day. People who sleep well most of the time not only feature sleep in their routine as an afterthought, they actively prioritise it.
The more consistent your sleep pattern is, the better your sleep will be since you’ll sync up your body’s natural body clock - the circadian rhythm.
If you snore or suffer from sleep apnea and it affects your sleep quality, consider investing in an adjustable bed. That way, you can adjust the angle of the headboard’s incline and increase the flow of oxygen to your airways, therefore reducing the chance of snoring or sleep apnea.
2. Move Naturally
Spending hours in the gym during the evenings but spending the rest of the week sitting at a desk isn’t actually the best way to stay fit. Cultures around the world that have lived the longest say the secret to their longevity is natural movement.
But what exactly does that mean?
Natural movement is exercise that occurs naturally, in the sense that you’re not doing the action with the sole intention of exercising. Examples include taking the stairs instead of the lift, cycling to work, or carrying your shopping bags home.
It may be worth investing in a standing desk for work to avoid the health risks that accompany a sedentary lifestyle.
3. Drink Herbal Teas
Many herbal teas contain powerful antioxidants and polyphenols, which fight cells’ oxidative stress.
Green tea, matcha tea, rooibos, and other herbal teas have been shown to have a range of health benefits. Green tea, in particular, has been shown to increase metabolic rates, which can support weight loss.
Many herbal teas are caffeine-free, so they’re perfect for people who are sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Plus, a caffeine-free herbal tea makes a great replacement for caffeinated drinks such as coffee in the afternoon. Reducing your caffeine intake later in the day can lead to better sleep at night.
4. Look After Your Mental Health
Many people focus on their physical health at the expense of looking after their mental health.
To reduce anxiety and boost your mood, consider mindful activities like yoga and meditation. It’s also important to put time aside for self-care and to reach out to friends or a professional when we experience stress and mental health concerns.
Becoming healthy sometimes requires saying no. Opting out of an overflowing social calendar can occasionally be necessary - to avoid burnout, set boundaries, and reduce stress.
5. Buy Health Tracking Gadgets
Nowadays, the technology market is booming with gadgets that can track your steps, how many calories you burn, how long you sleep for, and much more.
Health-tracking gadgets such as fitness watches let you easily keep track of your exercise levels and quality of sleep. Some fitness watch models even feature blood glucose monitors, or oxygen levels, giving you a holistic overview of key health markers.
Fitness watches can help you prioritise your health by drawing attention to health markers such as daily steps that you previously may have paid little notice to. If you turn your step count into a challenge, you’ll notice your steps quickly increasing. Bonus points if you get into competition with a friend!
6. Take Vitamin D
In many countries - especially in the global North - we don’t get enough sunlight. Sunlight is our main source of vitamin D, a vitamin which keeps teeth, bones and muscles healthy.
Too little vitamin D can have serious health consequences, so eating foods fortified with vitamin D or taking vitamin D supplements is vital.
7. Lift Weights
Many people know the health benefits of cardio but massively underestimate the health benefits of strength training. Strength training can improve cardiovascular fitness in the same way that running, cycling, or swimming can.
Building muscle can increase your basal metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories doing nothing than you would with fewer muscles. Strong muscles also improve bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis in old age.
The Bottom Line
Aside from the obvious advice to eat healthily and exercise regularly, there are some lesser-known tips and tricks you can implement to stay healthy no matter your age.
From prioritising sleep to incorporating natural movement into the day, even small changes can have a considerable impact.