Linda Forshaw likes to write about local haunts and far-flung lands. She lives in Liverpool, England, and spends her free time exploring new places and planning adventures with her little girl. Follow her on Twitter @seelindaplay
Published November 17th 2014
Simple Tips You Can Put into Action This Weekend
Living a healthier life is not just about making sure you down five portions of fruit and veg each day - although that will certainly help. Check out these ten quick tips for a happier and healthier you.
Ever noticed how energised you feel after a stroll in the sunshine? That feel-good factor is the result of a healthy dose of vitamin D. Natural light is linked to numerous health benefits, but don't limit yourself to the sun. Scented candles and fairy lights around your home can have an equally beneficial effect on your mood. The more relaxed you feel, the healthier you will be.
Learn Something New
When was the last time you did something new for the first time? You might think taking a course is solely about having better career prospects. That's not true. Learning can result in a bolstered sense of pride, new rewarding relationships and better time management. All of these benefits equal a happier and healthier you. There are tons of fascinating courses out there, so go ahead and set yourself a challenge.
Ditch a Bad Habit
Most of us have a bad habit or two. Perhaps you smoke the odd cigarette, indulge in more units of alcohol a week than you really should or spend way too much time on social media. Maybe you have all three of these bad habits - and then some. While it's a good idea to break the cycle, most experts recommend that you concentrate on changing one thing at a time. Choose one of your worst habits and stop. Like now.
A prolonged lack of sleep has the potential to cause all kinds of ill-effects on the human body: obesity, diabetes and heart disease to name a few. Getting less sleep than you need can also cause premature ageing, shorten your life expectancy and make you act like a bear with a sore head every morning. Getting enough shut eye is key to leading a healthier life, so go and take a nap.
Take a Fresh Look at Your Relationships
Interaction with others is generally a good thing. Studies link healthy relationships to benefits such as higher levels of happiness and increased life span. If your relationships are not so great, the opposite might be true. Take a look at the people in your life. It's said that we become the sum of the five people we spend most time with, so if you don't like who you see as much as you should, perhaps it's time to break ties.
If your heart skipped a happy beat at the thought of downing more vino, you've misunderstood. It's water you need more of - and probably much more than you think. Water in your body is like fuel in your car - a necessity if you want it to work. You should be aiming for a minimum of eight to ten glasses each day, so before you do anything else today, go and pour yourself a glass of H2O.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
You probably already know just how important it is to take regular exercise. You don't need to suddenly morph into a gym bunny: walking can reduce anxiety, help you to lose any excess pounds and enhance your mood. For the best results, aim to walk briskly for at least 30 minutes every day. Apps such as Map My Walk and Fitbit can boost your motivation and encourage you to keep striding.
Whether it's sending flowers to a friend you haven't seen in a while, giving up your train seat to someone in need or treating a homeless guy to lunch, random acts of kindness won't just make others feel happier. By releasing a hormone called oxytocin, it will have a positive effect on you and your health too. Go ahead and try it for one week and see just how much happier and healthier you feel.
Modern life is packed with distractions, particularly of the digital variety. Taking time to tune out on a regular basis will improve your health in many ways: increased immunity levels and fertility, lower blood pressure, less stress and greater emotional balance. If meditation is not something you've attempted before, it can feel awkward at first and you may find it difficult to switch off. Start with short five minute sessions each day and build up from there.
Cracking a smile will not only make you look younger and more attractive, it has surprising health benefits too. A simple smile has the ability to change your mood, boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure and make you feel generally more positive. Plus, like yawns, smiles are contagious, so as well as making yourself feel better, you'll be doing those around you a huge favour. That's a random act of kindness right there.
Smile and Make Someone's Day
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