Get serious about your sleep
Sleep is one of the most vital components needed to lead a healthy lifestyle, but many of us are not getting enough of it. It is advised that we get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, but to get this regularly is a rarity for so many. What’s more, so little of us feel refreshed when we wake up in the morning, and with that the ability to feel motivated and positive about the day ahead becomes diminished.
On a physical level, many studies have found a link between a bad night’s sleep and health issues including weight gain and cardiovascular diseases. On a more cosmetic level, a bad night’s sleep is said to cause havoc to your skin.
To ensure you improve your physical and emotional quality of life, getting the sleep, you need should be a priority. If sleeping is an issue for you and you suffer with insomnia, try going to bed and waking up at same time each day (even on weekends). This will regulate your body clock and get you into a routine.
You can also get help from sleeping apps which monitor your night’s sleep, so you can become more attuned to your sleeping patterns. Additionally, try drinking herbal teas such as chamomile tea before bed, and spray your pillows with lavender spray to help you drift off into a deep slumber.
A simple change you can make to your day-to-day life that will have physical and emotional benefits is to exercise outdoors. Fresh air not only stimulates blood flow, but a dose of Vitamin D will drastically improve your mood and inject joy and inspiration into your day.
What’s more, being in a natural environment has been proven to increase mindfulness and relaxation. So, if you’re a gym-bunny who spends a lot of time indoors under artificial lighting, you might find your mood and spirits lift when you change the setting of your workout. Plus, working out outdoors is far cheaper than a gym membership!
This life hack is simple if you like cardio workouts such as running, but if you like to use weights you may have to get creative with your workout.
Alternatively, there are other outdoor sporting activities that offer you amazing fitness benefits and allow you to become engrossed in mother nature’s wonders, such as paddle boarding in the ocean.
It might not be for everyone, but in 2013 paddle boarding was reported as having the most first-time participants out of all outdoor sporting activities, so it really is for everyone, of all ages and abilities.
As well as being fun, it has great, and somewhat unexpected, fitness benefits, such as improving your balance, giving you a great cardio workout, increasing your endurance levels and improving your whole body’s strength.
Inflatable paddle boards are available for great prices online and in specialized stores, and cater to all people. Plus, once you’ve purchased a board, the waves are free!
Reassess your diet
We all know that to lead a healthy lifestyle you must eat a balanced diet, but eating well aids your emotional wellbeing just as much as your physical wellbeing.
Firstly, keeping hydrated is key to keeping a clear mind and staying focused. Secondly, fruit and vegetables contain the vitamins and minerals you need to keep you healthy, both physically and mentally. For example, bananas, tomatoes and mushrooms contain high levels of potassium which is needed for digestive and muscular function, and is essential for your nervous system.
Make sure you’re eating enough protein, such as eggs, fish, cheese, nuts and lean meats, to control your blood sugar levels and help your brain regulate your emotions.
If you’re feeling depressed, anxious or stressed, try cutting out caffeine as it is a stimulant that can heighten these feelings and disturb your sleep.
Ultimately, if you really want to look after your body and mind you should avoid foods that are full of sugar or caffeine, to avoid blood sugar rushes which can negatively affect your mood, and eat small, nutritious meals regularly throughout the day.