How much time do you spend looking after your health? Very little, a lot? For many of us, maintaining a healthy body comes as an afterthought.
Life gets in the way and we forget to take some of the basic steps to keep ourselves in good shape, because we feel like we don't have the time. Instead of stressing yourself out, try some of these small changes to your everyday routine to make sure you're keeping yourself on top form.
There's a lot of benefits associated with meditation, from improving your relationships, easing mental illness, boosting your concentration and helping to control your appetite. Today we'll be focusing on health however, and what merely 10 minutes of meditation can do to better your health.
You've probably heard of the benefits of meditation with regards to managing stress, and it's true. Meditation has been shown to help reduce stress significantly in many people, and this can in turn help your physical health.
When we're chronically stressed, the body is living in a constant state of high alert and this leads to a number of unwanted side effects, such as the release of the hormone cortisol.
This hormone can lead to weight gain and inflammation throughout the body. By practicing meditation for just 10 minutes a day you can reduce your stress levels and potentially prevent these harmful side effects from occurring. If you don't know where to start, there are lot's of free guided meditations online that you can try.
Getting some fresh air and spending time in nature can actually have surprisingly profound effects on not only our mental health, but our physical health as well. Studies have shown that exposure to nature can actually help to lower blood pressure, heart rate, ease pain and regulate hormones. You don't have to go and live in the woods either, just a simple 10 minute walk or jog around the park can bring you all the benefits nature has to offer.
What is your posture like as you're reading this? Are you slumping forward, or is your back straight and supported? If you're like most people, you're probably not the best at maintaining good posture, and this can be especially difficult when you're sat at a desk for hours every day.
There are a lot of different ways you can change your work space to better facilitate your health, the key is to find the one for you. Some people have now switched from a regular desk chair to an exercise ball, which forces you to engage the muscles in the core and back, while also keeping you constantly readjusting your position without realising, so you never stay stationary for too long.
This can help to improve your posture and prevent stagnation. Alternatively, you could invest in a chair and desk with better support and alignment to make sure that you are sitting properly and fully supported, or you could opt for a standing desk, so you're not sitting at all.
Do you feel like you rely on coffee in the morning to get you going? If so, you may be becoming caffeine reliant. Although generally caffeinated drinks are okay in moderation, we can quickly become dependent on them and they can start to damage our health. If you're worried this may be the case, it could be time to ditch the caffeine. There's a lot of ways this can benefit you, from lowering your blood pressure to improving your sleep and decreasing anxiety.
You've probably heard it a thousand times, but packing more veggies into your diet really will help to improve your health, substantially in some cases. Only 14% of Americans report eating 3 servings of vegetables per day. Instead of just picking cereal for breakfast or a sandwich for lunch, try to think of ways you could insert more veggies into your life. They're naturally low in calories and filled with the essential nutrients to keep you fit and healthy.
Although the idea of going out with friends and socialising may not seem like a healthy habit, and can even sometimes be perceived as a way to avoid looking after yourself, research has actually found the opposite. Having a health social life has been found to help improve not only your mental but also your physical health. Studies have consistently found that being social can actually boost your immune system, make you more resistant to strokes and relieve the pain of some chronic conditions such as arthritis.
Many of want to start exercising more, but how many of us actually do? Often our lack of ability to start exercising isn't really a lack of ability at all, but simply a feeling of being overwhelmed. Instead of trying to commit yourself to a workout routine you can't keep up, start small and simple. Try to complete 30 minutes of exercise a week. That could mean 6 minutes a day for 5 days, or 15 minutes twice a week, whatever is easiest for you.
Starting off small means you can slowly work your way up to more intense exercise, without feeling overwhelmed, while still getting the benefits of exercise such as lowered blood pressure, improved mental health and faster metabolism.
Vitamins often stay at the back of the cupboard, untouched, for months on end until you get a cold and remember to take one. This is not the way it should be - while it's true that you should be getting the majority of your nutrients from the food you eat, we can't all be perfect and inevitably there will be gaps that need to be filled from time to time.
Vitamin supplements can help to fill these gaps to prevent you from getting sick in the first place. However, not all vitamins are made the same. There's lots of different types for lot's of different needs and lots of different brands with varying standards. Do your research and find what would be best for you.
A good skincare routine is something that's easy to forget, but can improve both your health and confidence. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so it's important to look after it. Rather than just splashing your face with water, invest in some decent skincare products, either homemade or from a trusted brand and watch your skin start to glow.
Eating healthy can be a real struggle, especially if you have a busy lifestyle, perhaps a job or a family or you're travelling. Whatever it is, you can simplify your lifestyle and improve your health with meal plannings. It's exactly what is says on the tin: planning your meals in advance so that you can quickly and easily make delicious, nutritious meals minus all the stress. This allows you to better stick to a healthy diet and keep your body running smoothly whether you're on your own or feeding an entire family.