5 Teeny Tiny Changes That Will Actually Improve Your Health
At this time of year, we all feel extreme pressure to jump on the health bandwagon.
It can actually be a little overwhelming, with people shouting from all angles about their new diets, health regimes, gym memberships, cleanses and more. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for people taking ownership of their health and managing it well - but wouldn't it be lovely if they didn't feel the need to shove it in everyone's face, like a child with a new toy? Social media has taken over our lives, and with that, we have a blurred view of reality - or specifically, our 'friend's' realities. Social media can make us feel bad about ourselves, because we are constantly comparing our own lives to the instagram-perfect lives of our social media friends.
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Please remember - most people only share the highlights of their lives online. The best bits, so to speak. They too have days where they barely get chance to wash their face, or change in to an outfit that doesn't have baby spit up or vegetable puree dried in to it. They just don't post about it! It's ok to not partake in the January rush for the perfect summer ready body. It's fine to not spend an hour a day meditating, or to only eat green vegetables for three days straight. Just as it's fine to do those things if you reeeeaally want to.
Wellbeing Month on eumom.ie is all about the little things you can change or add to your daily life to make your day happier and healthier. We’re skipping the quick fix New Year diet and heading straight for a more realistic way of living, both in body and mind.
And with that in mind, we have put together this list of 5 tiny changes you can make that will have a big impact on your overall health. No gym membership required! (But, of course, if you have one of those too, fair play, just don't tweet me about it!)
1. Drink More Water
"Well thanks for that tip, captain obvious!", I hear you cry. Yes, ok, it might not exactly be breaking news, but how many of us are guilty of not drinking enough water, even though we know we should be doing it? *Raises hand*
READ ALSO: 6 Easy Cooking Methods For Healthier Meals
Drinking water in the morning before your usual caffeine laced beverage will help get your metabolism going and wake you up. Chugging down a few pints first thing will have you feeling refreshed and energised in no time.
Top tip: Buy a nice water bottle. Preferably one in a bright colour. Keep it on your desk at work, or wherever you are, and the bright colour will catch your eye, reminding you to top up throughout the day. Simples.
2. Write it Down
By simply writing down the foods you eat, you are being accountable for your actions. It's so easy to mindlessly munch away on snacks while watching your favourite programme, or reading a book (RIP to that family share bad of popcorn I destroyed last night), so by actually writing down what you consume, you can first of all realise that an entire bag of popcorn is probably not the best idea, but you can also spot where you might need to uptake your intake on certain foods. For instance, if your day has been particularly carb heavy, the following day, you will make more of an effort to balance things out. Top tip: You really have to be honest with this one. If you don't want to write it in the book (family size dairymilk, anyone?), then you probably shouldn't be eating it!
3. Walk for an Extra 5 Minutes
If part of your daily routine involves a walk to work or school, add an extra 5 minutes on to your route. Increasing your daily activity by just a few minutes at a time can really help in making you feel better and improving your health. Go the long way around, walk twice around the block, go up and down the same road twice - whatever works for you! Top tip: If you can gradually build that 5 minutes up to and extra 10 or 15 minutes, you'll be flying it!
READ ALSO: 12 ways to slim without the gym
4. Take the Stairs
Another obvious one, I know, but I am so guilty of spotting an escalator and breathing a sigh of relief. And I'm sure
hope I'm not the only one. There are a gazillion reports which back up the benefits of climbing stairs, so just do it wherever possible. It's a quick win really. (Although, an escalator would in theory be quicker. But no. STAIRS.)
5. Sleep Well
Easier said than done when you have a house full of little ones, a hectic job or a busy social life (when I say social life, I really mean Netflix). We need to give our body time to recover from a hard day of stair climbing and water drinking. While we sleep, our bodies are essentially rebooted. What happen when you interrupt your laptop mid-reboot? It goes all crazy, freezes up and some functions just don't run properly afterwards. You see? Top tip: If 7 nights of uninterrupted 8 hours is not realistic for you, aim for at least 3. Put down the ironing, turn off Netflix, leave the dishwasher. It can wait.
Improving your health doesn't have to cost you a fortune, nor does it have to involve an entire new workout wardrobe, or the latest fitness DVD. Little changes can make a big difference. However, if you are concerned about your weight or your health, and feel you need a bigger change, do speak to a professional about getting some help. Ignore the social media show-offs and do what's best for you and your own health.
As always, we would love to hear your opinions. Please leave a comment below.