Feeling run down? Sluggish? It’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits, like eating out too much or skipping the gym. Those habits take their toll on our bodies and our spirits. Don’t wait until January to focus on your health and wellbeing. Start building healthier habits into your daily life now to reap the benefits.
Start an exercise class
If you’re constantly saying that you’ll go to the gym tomorrow or head out for a jog next week, an exercise class might help. Knowing you’re going to exercise at the same time every week makes it easier to plan for your workout and means you’re more likely to stick to it. Different classes suit different people. While some women love sculpting and strengthening their body at a barre class, others want to work up a sweat in a cardio session. Our advice is to try a few different classes to see which ones give you the biggest buzz.
Fuelling your body with nutritious, home-cooked food is one of the fastest ways to feeling healthier. Plan ahead to make eating well as easy as possible. That could mean packing your own lunch the night before, stocking up on nuts, fruit and veg each week, and batch cooking healthy meals that you can freeze and then reheat when you don’t have time to cook from scratch. Remember, it’s not about denying yourself treats, it’s about giving your body what it needs to stay strong.
Cut down on sugary snacks
Constantly snacking? It can help to keep a food diary for a few days to spot any patterns. If you’re always reaching for a sugary snack by mid-morning, it could be that you need to add more protein to your breakfast. Bored of fresh fruit? Try some different healthy snacks. Kale roasted on a baking tray for a few minutes until crispy and then topped with a light sprinkling of sea salt can be a great substitute for crisps, for example. And chocolate-covered nuts can be a healthier alternative to a chocolate bar.
Live in the moment
Mindfulness and meditation can help to calm your mind, ease anxiety and reduce stress levels. Try downloading a meditation app like Headspace or a guided meditation video. Or just set aside ten minutes of each day to focus on your breathing and your senses.
Get more sleep
Easier said than done, we know! If you’re struggling to sleep at night, it might be that you need more routine. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even at weekends. It can also help to try aromatherapy oils, such as lavender, rose, frankincense and chamomile. Avoid caffeine after 5pm and keep your phone, tablet and other screens out of your bedroom. (Invest in a traditional alarm clock if you normally rely on your phone to wake you up.)
Women often see massage as just a treat, but it has numerous benefits for mind and body. For a start, it can relieve stiff muscles, increase flexibility, alleviate pain and improve circulation. It can also help to reduce stress and boost your energy.
Take time to do the things you enjoy doing, whether that’s swimming, reading or just sitting and watching a desert sunset. And spend at least two hours a week outside, even if you’re just lying on the beach, as it’s been proven to have several health benefits.