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Monday, 4 July 2011

9 Easy ways to feel healthier NOW!

I'm no health nut.  I'm not vegan, I'm not even vegetarian but recently I've started making a few simple changes to my routine that have me feeling so much healthier.  My skin is glowing, so I'm either feeling the effects or knocked up.  These aren't huge undertakings, just little things you can do to feel a bit better and put a some more spring in your step.

Photo by C.Mariani

  • Have a smoothie for breakfast in the morning.  I am obsessed with smoothies!  I'm always trying out different fruits and flavors, but this is my tried and tested recipe.  Take some frozen mixed berries (or any kind of fruit you want) I like Europe's Best, some low-fat yogurt, a banana and some cold green tea.  I make a huge pot of tea and keep it in the fridge.  Throw it all in the blender and voila!  You have a delicious, healthy snack that will have you glowing in no time.

  • Quit Smoking, or if you can't manage that (I haven't either) try to cut back.   I'm down to about four cigarettes a day, hopefully soon to be zero.  Try starting with cutting just one smoke out of your routine.  Your last smoke before bed or, in my case, when I get up in the morning.  I've also found that trying to make sure you wait at least two or three hours in between makes you more aware of how often you smoke.

  • Limit your caffeine intake.  We all know we shouldn't drink a lot of caffeine, but we just ignore it and talk about how we need coffee, how we love our coffee, how we just couldn't make it through the day without it.  Well, if you drink lots of coffee the caffeine probably isn't doing much to perk you up by this point.  Drink de-caff, or try to stick to no more than one cup a day.

  • Drink more water. Maybe instead of coffee, ahh see what I did there?  If you squeeze some lemon in it's even more beneficial.  It aids in the metabolism of fat, does wonders for your skin and a million other things!

  • Stop drinking soda.  Just stop.  It has no nutritional benefit, it's basically just filtered water and refined sugar.  Drinking just one can a day causes a weight gain of about 1lb per month, makes you 83% more likely to develop diabetes and we already know caffeine and sugar cause dehydration.  This is probably the easiest and most effective thing you can do to lose weight. (And don't go thinking diet is any better!)

  • Get some exercise!  I'm not saying you need to join the gym, but just get up and do something.  I really like "Just Dance" for the Wii.  Dance as hard as you can to one song and tell me your heart rate doesn't go up!  Cleaning your house, really working hard and getting on your hands and knees to scrub the floor, can burn up to 500 calories per hour.  Wonderfully, having sex burns 360 calories per hour.  Just do something to get busy, even if it's "gettin' busy"!

  • Stop eating fast food.  Ugh, it's just so bad for you and it's never as good as you think it's going to be when you're stoned and utter those infamous words: "Dude, let's get some McDonalds!".  The salads and sandwiches they markets as "healthy" are usually so full of mayo and sugar that they're just as bad as burgers!  I used to succumb to the odd chicken nugget here and there, until I saw this video.

  • Get enough sleep, proper sleep.  A great tip I read is don't look at the clock, just listen to your body and you will fall asleep when you feel tired.  Tidy your room and change your pillow cases often, I always sleep better when I'm in a nice tidy bedroom.  Make sure you get at least six hours a night, you need to give your body and you brain time to rejuvenate.

  • Eat more fibre.  That means more beans, grains, vegetables and fruit.  It can impact your cholesterol and help with constipation and weight loss.  Staying regular is very important for keeping things running smoothly (har har), why not have a bowl of Raisin Bran for breakfast!
I know these seem like obvious things, but try to incorporate some of these into your life and promise you'll feel fantastic!


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