9 Ways to be Healthier TODAY!

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A healthy lifestyle is desired by most people, but it is common to feel overwhelmed with how to start on a journey to health. Life is chaotic and we become enmeshed in our daily routines, making it hard to see that lifestyle changes are possible. Time is incredibly valuable and can seem in short supply which makes it seem daunting to fit in the healthy habits that we know will have a positive impact on our bodies and minds. The good news is that lifestyle changes don't have to be hard or confusing.


Here are 9 simple steps you can take to make your life healthier TODAY!


1. Eat whole foods


Your body will function better when you fuel it properly. A balanced diet including fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean meats/protein will ensure your body gets the proper nutrition it needs.


Planning ahead makes eating whole foods easier. To help encourage healthy eating during the busy week, prepare a weekly meal plan and corresponding shopping list on the weekend. Having your meals planned and prepped as much as possible will help reduce the temptation to order take away or get fast food when you are short on time. Download Hutton Health’s free meal planner to help set you up for success with your nutritional intake.

Whole foods and produce are cheaper than foods that you purchase prepped or pre-packaged. They also generally have higher nutritional value. Here are 13 tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget.


2. Get more sleep


The average person needs 7-9 hours of sleep every night.


Sleep is essential in allowing our body to recover, rejuvenate and repair. It is also helpful when it comes to weight loss. When you are lacking the proper sleep required at night, your brain sends out hunger signals which may result in overeating. Chronic sleep deprivation impairs hormone balance, causing cortisol and insulin to rise, which promotes belly fat storage, inhibits fat metabolism, and increases appetite and cravings for sugary and fatty foods. Sleep deprivation is a major contributor to drowsiness, disorientation, poor food choices, slow reactions, and moodiness.

I am greatly affected by light when I sleep. When the sun comes out, whether it is 4am or 7am, I naturally wake up and struggle to get back to sleep. These black out blinds are brilliant and can be taken anywhere with you if you’re heading on holiday!

Many people struggle to wake up when it is dark outside. This alarm clock is fantastic as it creates a sunrise that helps you wake up more naturally.


3. Drink more water


Water is a miracle drink and is essential for our health. It has numerous health benefits.

This previous blog shares 14 benefits of drinking water!




Most drinks, such as soda, juice, and sweet teas, are filled with chemicals and sugar which can have a negative impact on your health. Switching to water can be a simple way to experience the many health benefits that water consumption provides.


4 Tips to Drink More Water:


1. Have a glass of water with every snack and meal

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables as they have a high water content. About 20% of your fluid intake each days comes from food.

3. Take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go – at your desk, in the car, in your bag. If you have water with you, it is more likely that you will reach for it at the first sign of thirst.

4. Drink a glass of water before you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee




Drinking water is essential for keeping our bodies fit and healthy.




I'm currently loving this Hydrate jug! The large design can help you reach your recommended water intake each day!     





4. Move your body


You can make amazing things happen to your mind and body through exercise. I believe that exercise and movement is the cure for many ailments, a key to feeling good and a way to eliminate bad health-related habits. Building a habit of daily movement is essential for both our body and our mind. Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant shared, ‘If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.’


Movement is linked to every function and process in the body. Regular movement has the power to improve every part of your body, from your brain to your joints.


Movement can mean a gentle stretch, a beautiful walk outside or a short bout of physical activity. All physical activity adds up to improve our fitness, health and wellness. When you engage in exercise it increases your heart rate, which results in burning more calories.


As we age, body fat increases and lean muscle mass decreases which leads to a lower metabolism, a decrease in strength and a softer appearance (even if you are at a healthy weight). To counter this, an exercise programme for mid-age should include cardio, strength, stretching and rest. A well-balanced exercise programme can strengthen bones, improve balance, improve functional movement, improve muscle tone and increase insulin sensitivity.


Hutton Health offers a monthly membership programme that provides a structured exercise programme delivered to your phone that can be accessed anytime, anywhere in the world. Investing in a coach can provide the accountability, motivation and encouragement to start your health journey and stick with your programme to create healthy habits that you can sustain for years to come.





5. Limit your screen time


Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.


According to a poll by Code Computerlove, the average amount of time people in the UK look at their mobile phone is 3 hours 23 minutes each day. We spend a great deal of time obsessing over how our social media feeds look, editing photos for the perfect filter, and gaining as many likes and followers as possible. Our lives are compared to photoshopped images or dream vacations that are rarely reality. Scrolling social media feeds can highlight FOMO (fear or missing out) and can fuel our insecurities about what you feel you lack in your life.


Experiencing the world around you in person, quality connections with friends and family, and focusing on the great things in your present world will have a positive impact on your mental health. Between television and our phones, many of us lose hours a day to screens. This valuable time could be used to implement healthy habits rather than losing it to mindless scrolling.


6. Eat less sugar


Our bodies are wired to crave sugar. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate which releases seratonin (a feel good hormone) which makes consuming it comforting for us. It also triggers the release of dopamine which makes you think you are happy.


Sugar is hidden in many foods and drinks. Processed and packaged foods often have very high sugar content.



7. Take a break


It is easy to get caught up in the never ending to-do list. I have found myself caught feeling like a hamster on a hamster wheel endlessly running trying to keep up to life. This hectic way of life can lead to feelings of stress and overwhelm. Hitting the pause button and taking time to slow down are important for your mental and physical health.


Your mind and body will benefit from taking a break to relax and recharge. Commit to slowing down for even a few minutes a day. Rather than seeing a relaxing day or time out from life's hectic schedule as a luxury, view it as a necessity in your life.



8. Do something that makes you happy


Dr William Compton describes happiness as ‘to make life more fulfilling’. Psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky describes happiness in her book The How of Happiness as, ‘the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.’ Most people probably don’t think that happiness needs a formal definition; they feel it when they experience it as it relates to a range of positive emotions. Happy means something different to everyone as each person experiences joy in diverse ways.


I realise that filling my tank and experiencing happiness can mean different things on different days. The following are some of the things I incorporate into my schedule to make me feel calm and happy:

-Time in nature

-Walking or running

-Yoga

-Warm bath

-Listening to uplifting and inspiring podcasts

-Reading

-Lying down on a sofa wrapped in blankets

-Spending time having a meaningful conversation with a friend

-Journaling


Make sure you prioritise things that bring you happiness in your schedule.



9. Commit to positive thoughts


‘A man is what he thinks about all day long’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Our thoughts create our realities. Whatever you present your mind it believes, so we need to commit to presenting it great things. Your choice of words influences your behaviour, mood and actions. The way you feel is intrinsically linked to the images you have in your head and the words you use.


You have a brilliant brain that can be moulded and shaped to create a colourful reality. You can talk yourself in to or out of anything by the picture you paint in your mind. The words you use for your reality dictate your willingness to try hard things, to take steps forward and to compliment yourself on the strides you make each day.


Look for the positives in each situation and focus solely on this. The more you shift your mindset to look for the good in your life, the happier you will feel and the more positive your mindset will be.


Janice Hutton’s book, ‘Unlocking Your Unlimited Potential, The 3 C’s to Living Your Best Life shares many strategies to increase your confidence and shift your mindset to living your best life.


Your time is your most precious resource. Allow yourself to start investing time each day to creating healthy habits that make you feel strong in your body and strong in your mind. With the many daily pressures of life and the ever-growing time-consuming things to do, start dedicating time for you each day. There is no better time to invest time and energy in yourself. I often hear ‘I’ll do that when my child gets to secondary school’ or ‘I’ll do that after I get a promotion or raise’ or ‘I’ll start on Monday’, or ‘I’ll do that when I have more time’. Don’t wait another day to make a change. Start making changes to create a healthy lifestyle today!





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