Do you have any habits that have persisted for years or decades that you know are bad for your health? Most people have the baggage of at least some behaviours that might not take any effect on individual occasions but can cause damage incrementally.
Thankfully most of us live in a society where we have freedom of thought and choice. We can change our lives, for the better, and it’s often a fairly simple process. Here are five seemingly small choices we can make towards healthier times.
Cut out the sugar
According to research from Diabetes UK the number of people living with the disease has rocketed by 60% in the past decade, and the finger of blame can firmly be pointed at the sugar in our diets.
So what should you do to prevent joining the 3.3 million people with the disease? Read labels, moderate your diet, and try to wean yourself away from adding sugar to drinks. Also start educating children early, getting them interested in fruits rather than fruit drinks for example.
You won’t lose anything with kids? Wrong!
The phenomenon of the ‘Dad Bod’ has reached prominence in recent years; for those unfamiliar this cute rhyming couplet refers to the advancing gut of the middle age father, boasting a gut that heralds the waving goodbye of youth. And it’s real, according to Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, which found a weight gain of 2.6% over 20 years.
What to do? It’s probably impossible to banish the bulge altogether, but creating a healthy, active lifestyle that might even incorporate your children could not only benefit you, but also your offspring. Regular country walks, cycle rides, football, swimming and other sports could all work.
Humans by their nature like being around other humans. Therefore, make an effort to engage people in conversation; if there’s a relative or friend you haven’t seen in some time now is the time to reconnect. Do favours and nice things for others such as favours, or give them little gifts. Say hello to people in the park.
These may seem like trifling little things, but they will boost your wellbeing and self-esteem, and may also cheer up others as well.
Meditation, yoga, and even just sitting quietly in a chair for half an hour are three ways of regulating the body into a state of wellbeing. The first two options in particular have been shown to enhance concentration and discipline, and lessen tension and anxiety. There’s evidence from Australia that yoga can be a gateway for stroke sufferers to boost their strength and health, as well as balance and co-ordination.
Drop the cigarettes
Research shows that giving up tobacco at any stage in life can be beneficial to your health, even partially reversing any previous detrimental effects to your lungs from the previous years of damage. Even if it doesn’t magically heal your lungs and heart, it will have positive effects on your clothing, your wallet, your fingernails, and probably your social life. Methods for dropping smoking include gum, patches and grabbing a Phoenix e-cigarette starter kit.