Top 5 health tips for a better 2022

Jan 01, 2022
Small steps still get you to your destination. Source: Getty

Happy New Year!

Now’s a great time look at your lifestyle and the daily habits that impact our health. If there’s one thing we have learnt in the past two years it’s that you can never take your health for granted.

Thankfully, making some simple modifications to your lifestyle can have a major impact on your long-term health. The best approach is to make small changes over time that will help maintain your motivation and commitment.

My top 5 tips for improving your health are:

  1. Regular exercise

Exercise is one of the most important factors to maintain good health. We need to undertake planned exercise, which includes aerobic exercise, strength training, balance training and stretching. Being fit and healthy is one of the best ways to protect yourself against disease and injury, and is a key to prevention. We should also consider getting as much incidental movement as possible, like parking a bit further away at the shopping centre so you get in some extra walking time.

  1. Healthy nutrition

The old saying “everything in moderation” is actually really helpful when we are looking at our nutrition and food intake. We need to ensure that we are getting all major nutrients including carbohydrates, protein, fats and oils, vitamins and minerals. The Mediterranean diet is still considered to be a very well-balanced eating plan. There is room for some indulgences but it is also crucial to focus on consuming mostly unprocessed natural foods.

  1. Monitor hydration

Fluid balance is very important for good health. As our bodies contain approximately 60 per cent water, our basic cellular functions rely on sufficient water intake to maintain good health. Even very minor dehydration can produce physical symptoms that can make us feel unwell. These include fever, headache, loss of focus and dizziness. Monitoring hydration is crucial as we age, for our physical and cognitive health. In the warmer months, it can also be useful to include an electrolyte supplement if we have been active, to replace electrolytes lost in sweat.

  1. Sleep well

Many people struggle to maintain good sleep habits, so if you are in this group there are a few key things to try to improve your sleep quality and quantity. These include ensuring that you are not consuming caffeine and alcohol too close to bedtime. Ideally, you would want to avoid these for several hours before bed. Another key factor is the temperature of your bedroom. It has been shown to be more effective to have a cooler environment rather than being too warm. We often struggle to get to sleep if it’s too hot, so having a fan or leaving the window open for fresh air are good options to consider.

  1. Prioritise your mental health

Monitoring our mental health, mood and emotions are essential for good health. We have seen higher levels of stress and anxiety across all age groups in the past two years, so we need to consider what truly makes us happy and fulfilled. Relationships are essential, and spending time to actually keep them healthy and strong is time well spent.

Having a realistic expectation and sense of self will help maintain balance. Having a good look at our thoughts and opinions is always helpful. Are we considering the opinions of others or simply being rigid in our own? This is a really good question to assess wellbeing and our potential for happiness.

In conclusion

Keeping a regular check on these five pillars will certainly enhance our health. We don’t need to make drastic changes every day, just be mindful of their importance and constantly work on small steps to progress. Too often we get frustrated or disillusioned when we set ourselves big health goals that require major change. Small steps still get you to your destination.

To read more from Jane, click here.

 

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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