9 Ridiculously Easy Ways You Can Spring Clean Your Health
Feeling well is one of the main benefits of good health and taking care of yourself. Being mindful of your daily habits is therefore essential to achieving vitality and feeling amazing in the long term.
However, it’s all too easy to slip into bad habits such as eating ‘junk’ food, drinking alcohol or sitting down all day. At first they may seem fairly harmless, but soon become dangerous when they become a daily occurrence.
Reviewing your habits is therefore essential to experiencing true wellbeing. Use the following tips as a guide to stay on track and ‘spring clean’ your way to better health…
1. Drink more water
Water is an essential part of life. Humans are made up of water – approximately 60% of the body and 70% of the brain is made up of H20.
Drinking enough water means every cell in the body stays hydrated, skin is moisturised, kidneys can cleanse and rid the body of toxins easier and bowels can function properly.
It’s highly recommended to drink at least 6 x 500ml glasses of fresh filtered water daily.
2. Go for a daily walk
Walking is a simple yet powerful exercise that strengthens the heart and may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Health experts recommend a 30 minute brisk walk daily to control blood pressure.
Walking is excellent for strengthening the heart and lungs, increasing your overall level of fitness.
The great thing about walking is that it’s easy to do and an exercise and suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
3. Go eat more greens
Eating a wide variety of green vegetables is recommended as they are packed with healthy nutrients like Vitamins A, C, E and K.
Green vegetables are full of fiber and phytochemicals, that can protect from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and hypertension. Green veggies can also help to prevent cell damage and decrease cholesterol levels.
Eat around 10 servings of vegetables and fruits daily for good health. Staying creative is key – add to smoothies, juices, soups, salads and stews to keep meals interesting.
4. Practice deep breathing exercises
Many of us are might not be aware we are shallow breathing from the lungs, rather than breathing deeply from the diaphragm (abdominal breathing).
As oxygen is drawn deeper into the muscles, some of the benefits of deep breathing include stress relief, reduced risk of heart disease, reduced cravings for junk food, improved quality of sleep and elevated moods.
Other benefits include better mental focus, a strong immune system and an increase in human growth hormone (HGH) – known as the anti-aging hormone.
How to Practice Deep Breathing
Sit comfortably and inhale slowly through the nose using your diaphragm (instead of the lungs). Once the lungs are full and the belly expanded, hold the breath for 6-12 seconds.
Slowly exhale through the mouth, making sure to use the belly to push the air out. Once the lungs are empty and the belly is contracted, repeat this cycle. Repeat 10 cycles (around 8-10 minutes) daily for best results.
5. Do more down dog
Yoga isn’t simply about learning to become super flexible or getting into impressive poses.
There are countless benefits to yoga including increased muscle strength and tone, lung health, energy and vitality.
Yoga boosts cardiovascular health, supports weight loss and can even improve your athletic performance.
One recent Norwegian study found that yoga can boost immunity at a cellular level by helping you to breathe better, allowing blood circulation to flow more freely.
6. Eat more healthy fats
Fats help your body to absorb certain nutrients more efficiently. They are also essential for giving cells structure and Omega-3 fats support optimum nerve, brain and heart function.
Fat is also a major source of fuel for the body (as it provides many calories) and this is one of the main ways that it stores energy.
Avocados and walnuts are two good sources of mostly monounsaturated fat you should be eating, as they are rich in Omega 3’s and high in Vitamin E.
7. Eliminate dairy and all grains
Dairy products like cheese and milk, along with grains such as bread and pasta are inflammatory foods that are highly acidic in the body.
Dairy products cause indigestion problems for 75% of people with lactose intolerance and this has been linked with prostate cancer. Dairy is also full of saturated fat, linked with heart disease.
Grains contain gluten, lectins and phytates that make certain minerals unavailable to the body. Eating grains can lead to health problems such as leaky gut, weight gain and Type 2 diabetes; affecting blood sugar and insulin levels that cause you to store fat.
Instead of eating milk or dairy products, choose healthy alternatives such as almond, coconut, oat or rice milk. Good alternatives to grains or wheat based products include baking with Buckwheat or Coconut flour as these are grain and gluten-free, enabling you to enjoy bread, pasta, pastries and cakes.
8. Meditate in the morning
Meditation has many positives for both the mind and body. Reducing stress, improved concentration, increased self-awareness and better moods are just some of the main benefits.
Yet did you know meditation can slow ageing and support cardiovascular and immune health? Studies also suggest that meditation can improve emotional wellbeing, making you feel less worry, anxiety and depression.
Meditating for 5-10 minutes for beginners is recommended. As you become more practiced, try adding 5-10 minutes on every time.
9. Get more sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep plays a vital role in your health. Numerous studies show that insufficient sleep is linked with serious health problems including heart attacks, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
There is evidence that getting enough sleep can lower your pain threshold, meaning you hurt less.
Sleep can promote good moods and emotional health and even help with maintaining your weight. Strong immune health and better memory are all positive benefits of sufficient sleep.