20 Easy Ways To Stay Healthy
Monday, 30 November -0001

20 Easy Ways To Stay Healthy

It’s only a month into the year and already those resolutions are a distant memory. But staying well doesn’t have to be a chore, says Camilla Hayselden-Ashby

Written by Camilla Hayselden-Ashby
  1. Wake up gradually rather than to a blaring alarm. A loud buzzer will increase your heart rate, releasing stress hormones that will stay in your body for hours.
  2. Always eat breakfast: there’s a reason for the saying ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper’. Studies have shown that when you don’t eat breakfast the brain’s reward centres respond more to sugary foods, increasing the tendency to binge eat. When we’re hungry we also feel more tired and bad tempered. Whatever you’re doing, try to eat at least 100 calories shortly after getting up. 3
  3. Drink plenty of water. You should be having about eight glasses per day. This helps you to feel more energised and keeps skin looking healthy.
  4. Getting fresh air gives us more energy, makes us happier and improves the immune system, especially if the sun is shining (improbable as that may seem). Make a daily habit of watering outdoor pot plants, walking to the corner shop or a neighbour’s house – this is a great way to ensure this is part of your routine and that you are exercising.
  5. Keep a pair of trainers or walking shoes in the car. You will always be prepared to go for a walk, particularly if you like to go for drives in the country.
  6. Wash your hands regularly. Dirty hands are a gateway for harmful bacteria to work their way into your system.
  7. Be sure to keep your mind active as well as the body. Board games, crosswords or even memorising to-do lists are great ways to maintain mental agility.
  8. Spend time with healthy people. We tend to pick up the habits of our friends so it’s best to be around positive people who look after their bodies.
  9. Grab a hairbrush and release your inner diva. Studies have linked singing with a lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure and reduced stress.
  10. Switch to drinking herbal teas. Delicately flavoured green tea is rich in polyphenols that boost the metabolism, so calories burn faster. A recent study by Imperial College London found that drinking chamomile tea daily reduced the risk of catching a cold.
  11. Don’t be afraid of milk. Milk is a great source of calcium and vitamin D. Together, these combat the weakening of bones that is associated with ageing and the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
  12. Eat spicy food; not only do hot peppers boost your metabolism and are rich in vitamins A, C and E, but they also curb the appetite.
  13. Muesli was developed by a Swiss physician more than 100 years ago to nourish hospital patients. It is rich in soluble fibre, which can reduce levels of harmful cholesterol by 10 per cent.
  14. Taking time to meditate every day promotes feelings of calm and wellbeing, which reduces stress and lowers blood pressure.
  15. Eat oily fish, such as mackerel or sardines, twice a week. Their high omega 3 fat content reduces the risk of heart attacks and is also linked to good brain function. It can also be found in nuts, legumes and eggs.
  16. Eat less salt. Too much salt leads to high blood pressure, which may lead to heart attacks and strokes. Avoid eating more than 6g per day and remember that 75 per cent of the salt we consume is already in our food.
  17. Drinking warm milk and reading a good book before bed can improve your sleep. Don’t watch television in bed.
  18. Avoid drinking alcohol late at night; its soporific effect will wear off during the night, making it more likely to disturb your sleep.
  19. Before going to sleep, gently stretch by lying on your back with your shoulders hanging over the edge of the bed (but not if a medical condition prevents this) for a minute or two. This stretches out the spine and opens up your chest, which increases blood flow to the lungs and heart.
  20. Make sure you get enough sleep. As we get older, we still need eight hours, to give the body time to heal and be alert the next day.

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