It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself sometimes. With more demands on our time and attention from work, children and family, the importance of keeping healthy can take a back seat. It’s time to make a change to your health and maintain a better, longer lasting version of yourself.
We all know the rules. Exercise often, eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated. But there are other important factors we are missing. When was the last time you saw your doctor, for example? How long have you been ignoring that ache in your neck? I’ve gathered together a short guide of changes you need to make now. Small changes for a better future. So sit back, grab a cup of green tea and read on …
I won’t kick start this with hydration but will instead highlight the importance right now and get to it later. Drink. Drink 2 litres a day. Every day. Instead we’ll start by looking at fitness.
Your heart is the only thing between you and death. If your heart fails, well that’s essentially the end of it all. So keeping it healthy and and strong is vital. Experts advise we take a minimum of 25 minutes of exercise per day. This can range from gentle walking to more high impact sports such as running. Cardio fitness is the key to a nice strong heart but there are so many exciting ways to get the heart pumping. Here are three to get you inspired
1: The Quick Morning Cardio Burn
If you don’t have time to make it to the gym, wake up and smash a 15 minute cardio wake up call. Simple exercises like one minute reps of jumping jacks, squat thrusts, sit ups, high chests and running up and down the stairs, repeated 5 times each (Only pick three and mix them up everyday) Or include a short weight lifting routine as I wrote about in this blog into your quick cardio. It will give you a super snappy cardio buzz before breakfast. You can jump in the shower and feel the extra energy boost. Cardio exercise increases your metabolism all day so you can feel smug that you have set the town of your day and enjoy a guilt three latte at lunch.
2: The Enthusiastic Run
Running isn’t for everyone but, don’t knock it until you have given it a good go. Running with interval sprints of thirty seconds for 30 minutes is a real fat burning cardio boost which will help trim you down whilst toning your muscles. You need to ensure you have the correct trainers and kit to protect your limbs as this is a high impact sport. The very best thing about falling in love with running is that it is completely free and you can do it absolutely anywhere. Put your music in your ears and pound away the miles. Mix running up with something like swimming to keep your body moving without constant high impact on your joints.
3: Think Different!
Horse riding may not look like it’s burning much in the way of calories but a one hour horse ride burns the same calories as a 30 minute run. It is also extremely good at building up your core muscles and working your inner thigh. Giving you a cardio and toning exercise all in one. Make sure you stay safe by wearing all the correct kit and find a local riding school that gives lessons in a school or takes you out and about on brilliant hacks. You won’t even notice your heart is getting a workout. You might notice it the following day in your muscles though!
If you can include 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine, you will be well on the way to improving the health of your heart.
Next on the list of things we usually put on the back burners are regular health checks with a doctor or our dentist. As we grow older we need to keep an eye on things. Prevention is most definitely better than cure, but with certain illnesses we can be blissfully unaware of any changes until it’s too late.
Our teeth suffer years of abuse without a good hygienist, so get online and use http://dentists.nhere.me to find a local dentist and go for regular check ups and cleans. This is especially important if you have children. Kids watching their parents taking care of their teeth are twice as likely to take care of their own. Make it fun. Brush together and get your kids to enjoy visits to the dentist.
Finding a good doctor is also important. Women over 20 should be having regular smear tests and women over 35 should be having well women tests. Check your breasts often and at different points in your cycle so you get to notice any changes in the shape and feel of them. If you notice anything out of place, make an appointment and get a second opinion.
Keeping a little back for yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon your body. Mindfulness. Relaxation. These two simple things are so often forgotten, but without them we can suffer unhealthy habits and even create mental health issues we could have avoided. Meditation is particularly helpful at putting your monkey mind to task. Our minds can create huge problems for relatively minor issues. Learning to control that is the key to lasting inner peace.
Yoga is a fantastic release for stress and can be practiced either first thing in the morning to energize you, or with a little meditation last thing at night to prepare your body for sleep. You don’t have to find a class to learn the basics with lots of handy tips on line like these, just find a comfortable, clutter free area and a quite 15 minutes then practice the slow, low impact movements whilst allowing your mind to run free of all the chatter.
Inner peace is something that we need to help us solve problems and make better decisions. Lying in bed with a million worries and anxieties will lead us to a pattern of no sleep and sluggish behavior. Lack of sleep can have serious impact on our day to day lives. Creating havoc with our skin and general health. Find peace, relax and sleep!
Lastly, I mentioned it in the first half of this article, hydration and a healthy balanced diet.
You will not find one article in the world on health that doesn’t stress the importance of drinking pure water every day. Amounts range, but setting yourself up for the challenge of 2 liters a day, will make remarkable changes in your life. From your brain to your skin and your general energy levels, water will change the way you take on the world and help you form better decisions. Cells need water to regenerate so, a little like plants, without regular water we will slowly wither away, health will deteriorate and eventually we’ll die!
Clean eating, removing processed and sugary foods from your diet, will give your digestive system a happy detox. Homemade meals with fresh local ingredients or, better still, home grown ingredients will ensure heart, cell and brain health. A balanced diet is proven to decrease your risk of many cancers and increase your life expectancy so get to it!
Take better care of yourself, look and feel more beautiful and enjoy life, longer.
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