With New Year’s resolutions still at the front of our minds, many of us will be anticipating a healthier year ahead. However, sticking to personal goals can be a challenge. After all, staying healthy all year round can prove to be an arduous task, and sometimes it is far too easy to slip back into bad habits. Luckily, help is at hand. To help kickstart your journey to a better you, here are five simple ways to improve your health in 2016.
1. Get more sleep
Having a good night’s sleep can make all the difference when it comes to improving your physical and mental wellbeing. However, if you lead a busy lifestyle, maintaining a healthy sleep routine can easily fall by the wayside. Over time, sleep deprivation can affect your mood and hinder your ability to function properly during the day. As a result, your performance at work, your relationships with others and your quality of life can suffer.
Luckily, there are plenty of tactics you can adopt to improve your quality and quantity of sleep. While the amount of shuteye each person needs varies, it is usually recommended that most adults get around eight hours per night. Following a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday can help you to get the rest you need. Adopting a soothing bedtime ritual can also help encourage sound sleep, such as taking a warm bath, practicing breathing exercises or reading. If you find nodding off at night a struggle, make sure your bedroom is as dark, quiet and comfortable as possible. If your current bed has seen better days, it may also pay off to invest in a better quality, more supportive model.
2. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine
Regular exercise is important for all aspects of your wellbeing. The truth is, living a sedentary lifestyle, whether at work or at home, can increase your risk of developing long-term health issues. However, as most of us will know too well, sticking to a fitness schedule can be tricky. The good news is, you don’t have to spend hours breaking a sweat at the gym to reap the health benefits of physical activity.
Whether it is taking the dog for a walk, using the stairs instead of the lift or cycling rather than driving to work, even a small amount of exercise everyday can work wonders for your body and mind. As well as lowering your risk of developing serious medical problems such as heart disease, incorporating exercise into your daily routine will release endorphins that boost your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself.
3. Improve your posture
Whether you are hunching over your smartphone or slouching at your desk, everyday life is full of activities that encourage you to adopt poor postures. While it may not be obvious at first, the way in which you stand, sit and walk on a daily basis can have an adverse effect on your overall health. As well as causing aches and pains, after a prolonged period of time these unhealthy postures can lead to a range of more serious, long-term ailments.
Being more conscious about the way in which you carry your body can help to improve your posture and reduce your risk of injury. If you work in a desk-based job, get into the habit of sitting up straight and make sure that your knees are parallel with your hips and your feet are flat on the floor when you are in your chair. Taking regular breaks from sitting down can also help to reduce your risk of posture-related problems. When standing, try to make a conscious effort to keep your body in alignment and maintain your spine’s natural shape. It is also a good idea to avoid carrying heavy bags or looking at your phone while walking, as this can strain your neck and shoulders.
4. Prepare your own food
Preparing your own food can be a powerful incentive for maintaining a healthy diet. Planning and making meals rather than ordering a takeaway or going out for dinner can boost your chances of eating more healthily. Restaurant food is often high in calories, salt and sugar, and it can be hard to monitor what you are eating. While having these types of food for an occasional treat is okay, they should not form a regular part of your diet.
By preparing your own food, you can be more in control of what you are eating and you will have a greater awareness of the ingredients that go into your meals. This can be especially effective at preventing weight gain and digestive troubles. It can also help you to think about adopting healthier cooking methods and avoid the temptation to break a balanced diet. In addition, preparing your own food can actually make healthy eating more enjoyable and satisfying.
5. Treat yourself to regular massages
Most people use massage therapy for general relaxation purposes. However, massage has a variety of wide-ranging health benefits. Muscle manipulation can be used to treat a specific ailment or injury by relaxing muscle tissues, improving flexibility and providing relief from various aches and pains. Massage therapy can also be used to improve circulation, which can enhance the delivery of nutrients to cells within the body. The circulatory benefits can also improve symptoms of various health conditions, such as swollen ankles and arthritis. In addition, it has been shown to enhance energy levels, lower heart rate and blood pressure and boost the immune system.
There are also a number of mental health benefits associated with massage therapy. By inducing relaxation, massage can help to decrease stress and anxiety and improve overall mood. To give you access to massage therapy in the comfort of your own home, you can check out our range of adjustable beds and chairs. They feature an in-built NHC Cyclo-Therapy System that provides relaxation and alleviate aches and pains.
Of course, these are just a few examples of healthy habits, but they should get you thinking about some of the ways you can enhance your mental and physical wellbeing with minimal hassle. By making simple changes to your everyday routines, you can achieve great results and enjoy a far healthier 2016.