We can all take small steps to improve our health, but when you’re stuck in a particular routine, it can be hard to bring in the wee habits that make the difference. It’s easy to look online and find amazing success stories from people who have put in a lot of hard work to transform themselves completely. For the majority of people, you don’t need to make a dramatic lifestyle change. It’s little adjustments to your current behaviour that will make a tangible difference to your health in the long term.
Stand When Possible
This might seem so minor that it’s not worth considering, but you’d be surprised at the potential difference it can make to your health. With so many of us working office jobs, you can easily spend the best part of a working day sitting down. This is becoming a recognised problem with health professionals stating that sitting down for too long as part of your job can be as bad for you as smoking.
Combat this but making as much of an effort as you can to be on your feet. Walk to colleagues desks instead of emailing, take a
so-called walking meeting, encourage your HR department to invest in standing desks, make sure you get out your seat as much as possible. Humans aren’t designed to be sedentary in the long term, so ensure that you keep moving wherever possible.
Cut Out (Some) Meat
While eating meat is considered to be necessary for a healthy and balanced diet, many of us fall into the habit of naturally choosing meat to eat for every meal. This can particularly true of lunch and dinner. If you’re inclined to always make the same meal choices, mixing up your routine to include, a meat-free day will do you good in the long-term.
Depending on what you’re eating, a lot of meat dishes are known to contain high amounts of salt and saturated fats. These can damage to your health if you eat to excess, so having a break from meat can actually help to improve your health. Trying things like a meat-free Monday is a great place to start and see what vegetarian cooking options you can try yourself.
Take Your Bike
If you live in a city, you might not realise that one of the best ways to travel is by bicycle. The benefits here are twofold, especially if you can try cycling on your commute instead of driving or taking public transport. Firstly, you’ll save money on the cost of running a car/train fair, and secondly, the exercise twice a day will do your health good.
If you don’t currently own a bike, your place of work might be able to offer you support through a cycle to work scheme. This will allow you to buy a tax-free bike for commuting to and from work with. While the situation is different across the country, many cities are improving their cycling infrastructure to support people who choose to cycle to work.
Curb Your Snacking
It’s one of the things that can tempt you when you’re sitting at a computer for the day. With a vending machine just down the hall, it’s easy enough to have a stash of chocolate and crisps to reach for when you need to break up the monotony of a boring afternoon. Again though, if you combine this with the previously mentioned extended periods of sitting, you’re set to end up with some unhealthy effects on your wellbeing.
Thankfully, a look online will reveal that there are plenty of things you can try to eat more healthily. You might find that if you are preparing certain healthy snacks at home, you will also save yourself some money too. Even if you’re only spending a couple of pounds on snacks, this can quickly add up. Save your health and your wallet and be sensible.
Take on Regular Exercise
How you go about this will depend on your age, routine, and overall health goals. Some of us are happy to do a 2-hour gym session at 6 am before work, while others are content to take the dog or a quick walk after dinner. No matter what your general level of health is, you can always benefit by getting into a routine where you are doing something a little extra to get the blood pumping.
Have a look to see if your office takes part in lunchtime exercise classes or start an after work five-a-sides tournament. If you get the right habit and work to make it stick, you will enjoy the health benefits as you lead a better quality of life. Everything mentioned above constitutes small parts of a bigger lifestyle change that can make a tangible improvement to your overall wellbeing.