10 tips to improve your health today

There’s no secret formula for happiness, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that your overall health can influence how you feel. A healthy lifestyle can often lead to a healthy and happier mind. Better yet, you don’t need to invest in all the latest technology or supplements to achieve these small health wins.

Here are 10 easy ways to improve your health right now.

1. Get a refillable water bottle to ensure you drink enough every day

With the busyness of general life, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. One helpful way is to keep a refillable water bottle with you throughout the day. You’ll know exactly how much you’ve had and how much more you need to drink – about 2 litres for women and 2.5 litres for men.

2. Create a sleep schedule – and stick to it!

Much like getting enough water every day, life and stress can stop you from getting the right amount of sleep to perform at your optimal levels. Fixing your sleep schedule takes a bit of practice, and it’s not just about how many hours you clock up each night. Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day, even on weekends, can teach your body to fall into the right sleeping rhythm and improve your overall mental health.

3. Find an ‘accountability buddy’ to help you exercise more

We all know we need to exercise regularly in order to keep our bodies and minds healthy, but sometimes it’s just so hard to actually do it. If you struggle with motivation, ask a friend or family member to be your ‘accountability buddy’. They can send you messages asking how your workout went, or even better you can both work out together to get healthy at the same time.

4. Reduce your salt and sugar intake

Whether you’re big on processed foods or simply going a little heavy on the salt, it’s easy to lose track and blow your daily intake way over the limit. Hypertension (high blood pressure) affects about one in three Australians, while excessive sugar intake can lead to all kinds of health problems, from weight gain to fatty liver disease and even diabetes.

But your long-term health isn’t the only concern when it comes to your diet. Sugary snacks or other ‘comfort’ foods tend to give you a small mood boost, but the effects can quickly wear down and leave you feeling even worse than before.

5. Take time every day to de-stress

Do you find yourself overly stressed with worries about work, money and family? You’re definitely not alone. While you may not be able to fix all your problems immediately, you can get into a better headspace by setting aside a pocket of time every day to de-stress. Maybe that means going for a long walk outside, or reading a book while curled up in bed. Whatever makes you happy, make time for it!

6. Play brain games

Your overall health isn’t just about your physical wellbeing. Your brain also needs to stay active! Things like crosswords, sudoku and brain-game apps on your phone can help stimulate your mind. Even video games have been scientifically linked with improving mental health.

7. Find new ways to walk more

Getting active doesn’t necessarily mean purchasing a gym membership. You can increase your daily step count in lots of different ways. Instead of taking the elevator at work, why not use the stairs instead? Or maybe you could get off your train/bus stop one station early and walk the rest of the way? It’s also helpful to set daily step goals on your phone or watch and make it a fun game to hit them every day.

8. Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness has been shown to help you feel better while reducing stress – and it’s a simple way to make your inner self healthier. There are lots of different outlets to practise mindfulness. Maybe you are interested in yoga, or perhaps you can just take 10 minutes to reflect on your day and unwind. If you’re unsure where to begin, there are plenty of free mindfulness apps you can download.

As you’re reflecting on things in your daily life, this could also be a good time to review any insurances such as your life insurance policy to ensure it still matches your current needs.

9. Stretch it out

Particularly if you’re taking up exercise again, it’s important to regularly stretch out your muscles. This helps you avoid injuries and stay limber – which is very important as you age! Even a few minutes of stretching before bed can relieve those tight muscles and help you get a better night’s sleep.

10. Make some simple dietary substitutes

You are in total control of what you put into your body, so if you are adamant about making a healthy change to your diet then why not start by switching out some of your common foods and drinks for something healthier? Here are some ways you can do that:

  • swap out the white versions of bread, rice and pasta for whole grain varieties
  • choose leaner cuts of beef and pork, and use chicken without the skin
  • add an extra serving of vegetables to your dinner
  • replace sugary drinks (including juice) with water, or dilute them with water to reduce how much sugar you get with each serving
  • cut out unhealthy snacks and instead munch on healthy nuts, fruits and vegetables when you’re hungry.

Health and wellbeing affect both your inside and out, so it’s important to focus on your mind as well as your body. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself! If you fall off the wagon – it’s not the end of the world. Just make a commitment to yourself to be healthier and keep pushing towards your goal.

While looking out for your health, why not take a step towards looking after the rest of your family too? Real Insurance makes it easy to find life insurance for you and your family. Request a quote today or call us on 136 036.