You don't have to sweat it out at the gym or down kale smoothies to boost your health. Sometimes, the little things can make all the difference.
See also: Lazy weekend breakfast ideas
See also: Four ways to lose weight while you sleep
1. Take deeper breaths
Most of us (that's anyone who isn't a yoga guru) forget to breathe properly, especially when stressed. Taking deeper breaths will help to improve your circulation and help you to relax. Breathe in deeply for four seconds, hold for four seconds and then exhale for four seconds. Feels better already, doesn't it?
2. Sleep longer
Studies show that people who sleep for seven to eight hours a night are healthier than those who get less shut-eye. Even just one night of poor sleep is enough to impact your mood. Prolonged sleep deprivation and working shifts significantly increases your risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Like you needed an excuse to turn in early tonight.
3. Laugh more
According to the Mayo Clinic, having a good laugh is not only good for your mood, it can also stimulate your organs (thanks to the extra air intake) and improve your health. Watch your favourite comedy box set, arrange a night out at a comedy club or meet up with friends.
You already add lemon to your G&T – so why not add it to your water too? For optimum health, aim to drink eight glasses of water a day. Adding a few slices of lemon will boost your intake of vitamin C and may encourage you to stay better hydrated.
5. Sit up straight
Slumping can cause a whole range of problems, from backache to headaches. If you sit at a computer for work, be sure to keep a good posture (try sitting on an exercise ball to work your core muscles) and remember to get up and move every so often.
6. Put your fork down between bites
Studies show that people eat more when watching TV or eating in front of a computer. Do your digestion and your waistline a favour, and put your fork down between bites. The slower you eat, the longer your stomach has to tell your brain that you're full.
7. Follow the 20:20:20 rule
If you spend hours at the computer each day, remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, find a target about 20 feet away and look at it for 20 seconds. This will help to prevent eye strain.
8. Stick to the edges of the supermarket
Stick to the edges of the supermarket when you do the weekly shop. (Hint: that's where they keep the fruit and vegetables.) The ready meals and snack food are usually found in the centre aisles – avoid going down them and you won't be tempted!
9. Replace one snack with veggies
You don't have to become a vegan, but switching just one unhealthy snack for veggies a day can make a big difference to your health. Try eating carrots, sliced up peppers and celery instead of your usual packet of crisps or chocolate bar.
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