Health matters: 4 ways to make a healthy lifestyle easier

Health matters

We all know that our health matters! Find out how you can make the change towards a healthy lifestyle easy and accessible.

Have you ever felt like you’ve wanted to become healthier, but just haven’t found the motivation to do so? Well, you’re not alone! According to a survey, 41% of Britons have made resolutions in the past to improve their diet, with a mere quarter actually sticking to them (1). This begs the question of whether a healthy life is really achievable… We think it absolutely is! We’re here to show you how to make a healthy lifestyle accessible and how to actually stick to it.

Let’s take a look at our 4 top tips:

Top tips for a healthy lifestyle

Break it down

In our hectic lives it can seem difficult to include healthy habits. A takeaway seems so much more tempting than cooking, and the gym is simply much further away than your sofa.

But a healthier lifestyle is only impossible until you make it possible! Setting ourselves goals that we know we can achieve can really help shift our attitude. Let’s take the example of exercise: Instead of feeling forced to spend 2 hours at the gym every day, why not break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks? A 30-minute brisk walk in the sun is an easy and efficient way to get your body moving and heart rate going (and is only half the length of the average episode on Netflix). It’s currently recommended to do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week (2), so walking 5 days a week easily fulfils this criterion. Put on your favourite podcast and get moving!

Changing your diet is another challenge that we understand can be daunting and time-consuming. This is why the Reset Your Health plan wants to make things as easy as possible for you. We include a weekly shopping list as well as delicious recipes that are easy to follow. The more accessible a healthy lifestyle is to you, the more likely you are to maintain it!

Stick to a routine

But even after making things more accessible, it’s still very easy to say that you simply don’t have enough time to incorporate healthier habits into your routine. This may be because you aren’t being consistent with your scheduling!

Make room in your schedule every day to dedicate to your health (both physical and mental) and make sure you actually honour the time you’ve set aside. Studies have shown that once you’ve made something like exercise part of your routine, it becomes a habit and the likelihood of you persevering rises significantly (3).

Another helpful thing you could do here is prepare some meals over the weekend when you have a few more hours on your hands. This means that instead of worrying about cooking during the week, you’ll have some healthy meals just sitting in your fridge ready for you to grab!

Practice mindfulness

Are you the type of person that is kept up at night worrying about problems that are simply out of your control? You’re not alone! According to the NHS, it is thought that a third of Brits will have experienced insomnia at some point in their lives (4).

While some levels of stress are inevitable, many people are failing to realise that mental health matters just as much as physical health, as the two are mutually dependent. So, how do we improve our mental health?

One technique that has proven to be effective is mindfulness. Mindfulness essentially means being focused on the present, listening to one’s body and breathing instead of dwelling on any anxieties that may be building up. Research has shown that mindfulness is extremely effective at combatting stress and also at building resilience against episodes of anxiety and stress in the future (5). A study has even shown that a mere 15 minutes of meditation a day led to participants experiencing lower levels of stress and being less likely to feel overwhelmed (6).

Check out some more tips on how to take care of your mental health and combat stress in our blog post: 7 ways YOU can effectively manage your stress for a happier mind, body and soul!

Health matters, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

It’s easy to think that being healthy means cutting out loads of food and drinks and only eating chicken and broccoli every day. Luckily this just isn’t the case!

Of course, if you love chicken and broccoli that’s no problem either, but being healthy doesn’t mean limiting yourself completely. Instead, adopt the 80/20 principle: Eat whole and nutritious foods 80% of the time and indulge on the treats you love for the other 20%. Being healthy shouldn’t be a chore! Pick an exercise program that suits you best, find recipes you actually like eating and create a routine that you’re excited to commit to. If you’re enjoying what you do, you’re far more likely to actually want to continue doing it! 

References

  1. Quarter of Brits will make a New Year’s resolution. [Internet]. YouGov. [cited 2020Sep10]. Available from: https://yougov.co.uk/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2019/12/31/quarter-brits-will-make-new-years-resolution
  2. Physical Activity. [Internet]. World Health Organization. [cited 2020Sep10]. Available from: https://www.who.int/health-topics/physical-activity#tab=tab_1
  3. Rebar AL, Gardner B, Verplanken B. Habit in Exercise Behavior. Handbook of Sport Psychology. 2020. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781119568124.ch48 (no pubmed link available)
  4. Insomnia. [Internet]. NHS. [cited 2020Sep10]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia/
  5. Creswell JD, Pacilio LE, Lindsay EK, Brown KW. Brief mindfulness meditation training alters psychological and neuroendocrine responses to social evaluative stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24767614/#:~:text=Conclusions%3A%20The%20present%20study%20provides,reactivity%20to%20social%20evaluative%20stress.
  6. Ostafin BD, Snippe E. The relative impact of 15-minutes of meditation compared to a day of vacation in daily life: An exploratory analysis. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 2019. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439760.2019.1610480 (no pubmed link available)