I am so opposed to all health related new Year’s resolutions. It’s just a way to fuel your own self hatred when you inevitably fail, isn’t it? Who’s really going to start eating healthily with all that Christmas food still lying about? But as your eating gets back to normal and you go back to work/school, i think January can be the best time to start changing your lifestyle!
I am by no means an expert on health, or the most healthy person you’ll ever meet, but these are some tips that have helped my lifestyle. This post is not about losing weight, but who knows, some of these tips could help you drop a few pounds as well.
I know, the dreaded exercise, but it is so important to me that it HAD to come first. A lot of ‘experts’ have claimed that exercise actually doesn’t help you lose weight, some have claimed that short burst of exercise occasionally are better than a more sustained exercise routine, while the traditional outlook is still that exercise is the best way to maintain health. I’m no expert, but exercise has improved my mood and overall health so much over the last year!
I used to barely move. If i wasn’t at college then i would probably only get off my bed a few times a day. It wasn’t until a few months before my exams that i became more active. I found that taking a break from revision and doing 5 minutes of cardio exercise a couple of times an hour improved my concentration, boosted my mood and made me feel a lot less lazy in the lead up to exams. So when summer started, i luckily managed to maintain this exercise pattern and get in to a regular routine which improved my mood so much (as well as burning loads of extra calories)!
Since starting uni, i have started running and doing aerobics. I really enjoy this and it has made a big difference to my fitness, but obviously not everyone has places they can run or affordable aerobics classes to attend. Home workouts are a great alternative as they allow you to try out different styles of exercise (HIIT, cardio, pilates, etc) for free without having to leave your house. You can easily fit these around your schedule and change things up so you don’t get bored. My favourite fitness youtube channels are jessicasmithtv and POPSUGAR Fitness.
2. Change your diet
Since becoming vegetarian almost a year ago i have been eating so much better. Although some research shows a reduced risk of heart disease in people who don’t eat meat, and dramatically fewer health conditions in those who bypass animal products all togehter, i don’t believe going meat/animal free is the best option for everyone.
If your idea of a balanced, yummy diet includes meat, then you do you! However, if you feel unhealthy, or are trying to lose weight, I think making a change to your diet can have a real impact. After i stopped eating meat, i started eating a much wider variety of foods and swapping junk food for healithier alternatives.Not eating meat, and often making vegan meals and snacks has not only increased the vairety in my diet, it has also made me feel better about what i am putting in to my body. Veganuary is the perfect time to make such a change, with lots of support from Peta. Again, going veggie/vegan may not be the best option for everyone, but making a change in your diet like this can really help you look at what you’re eating more carefully, and encourage you to branch out more.
3. Look after yourself
Health, to me, is not just about eating well and exercising (although that obviously plays a big part). Simple things like looking after your skin and spending more time on self care can make you feel so much healthier. Taking time for yourself is often underestimated, but it can make all the difference if you focus on your wellbeing, sleep and skin. Spending more time doing what you want doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
Finally, always make sure you are drinking enough water!
Health has become such a trend in our society, but if you stop eating quinoa and avocado to impress others, and start sleeping more and exercising around your life, then you can improve your health, and hopefully your happiness too!