Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution that is health related – whether it be about weight, diet, fitness or a combination of these… and it just hasn’t stuck?
Being your healthiest self can often be quite challenging and difficult at times. Where the modern day busy lifestyle is often at odds with the healthy aspirations of many of you out there – who want to achieve wellness through good nutrition, exercise as well as taking care of your mental health.
With so many messages out there in the media it can often be quite challenging and more complicated than what is actually is to be your healthiest self. In reality, you don’t need to change your entire lifestyle to become your healthiest self. Sometimes all you need to do is make a few tweaks – simple changes to become a healthier you.
Because of this, we have developed the seven secret ingredients for you to become a stronger, healthier you. Starting today…
Whole foods over processed foods
Think of food as high quality fuel… Your body system requires the proper fuel to make you perform better, faster and more efficiently. Because of this, we want to make sure we consume the top quality foods to keep us healthy. This involves choosing foods that are not heavily processed, and are free from additives and artificial substances. These are referred to as ‘wholefoods’ and includes foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and fresh meat & seafood. We want to try and avoid the foods that are heavily processed foods where possible, such as chips, lollies and fast food as they can often make us feel sluggish and are not beneficial to our health.
Try for five
Vegetables are important sources of a variety of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fibre, folate. The list goes on! With so many health benefits related to vegetable consumption it important to aim to reach the target of at least five servings of vegetables per day! One serve of vegetables is 75g which equates to approximately 1/2 cup cooked veg or 1 cup salad veg. A great way to reach this target of five serves is by including vegetables at main meals and as snacks. This could be as simples as as a quick omelette with spinach, tomato & capsicum for breakfast and carrots & homemade hummus as a snack.
Water, water, water
Our bodies are around 60% water, give or take. This means it is important that we consume enough water per day to stay hydrated. Aim for 8 cups or 2L of water per day. You can also infuse your water with fresh fruit to mix things up or if you dislike the taste of plain water! In addition to keeping hydrated, there are so many other health benefits of drinking enough water every day. This includes maximising physical performance, improving energy levels and brain function, preventing headaches and keeping our bowels regular and our gut happy!
Let’s get physical!
Exercise is defined as any movement that makes your muscles work, and requires your body to burn energy (calories/kilojoules). Swimming, yoga, running, dancing, walking, riding a bike, and tennis are all great examples of ways to be physically active. Being active has shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally and may even help you live longer. Choose exercises that work for you and that you enjoy. To find out more about physical exercise and IBS, click here
Soak up the sun and relax
Make a point to spend at least 10 minutes outdoors each day without your phone or laptop to just sit down (or lie down) and relax. Sometimes we are so busy and forget the importance of taking a little break to clear your mind and breathe! Not only is this a quick little escape, but the rays will give you a small dose of vitamin D, which can lift our mood and keep our bones healthy.
Rest and recharge
Sleep sleep & more sleep. A good nights sleep is incredibility important for our health – its just as important healthy eating & exercise. Aim to have around 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Getting adequate sleep is linked to a number of benefits. These include improved concentration and productivity, improved exercise performance and improved immune function. Some tips for a better nights sleep include having a set bedtime for most nights of the week, limiting caffeine intake after midday and avoiding screen time 30-60 minutes before bed.
Make time for yourself, family and friends
Hanging out with friends, family or even taking time out for just yourself is a great way to de-stress and enjoy some down time. Studies have shown that spending time with the right people is one of the easiest way to be happier and overall boost your mental health. Happiness is closely related with your health… so remember to make time for fun.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to improve your health without spending tons of money. It all starts with your commitment to a better lifestyle that will reward you physically and mentally. Take charge of your life, and become your healthiest self possible!
By Renee Borg, find me on instagram
Image sourced: pinterest
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