7 simple ways to improve your health

Getting fit, improving your wellbeing and giving your overall health a boost doesn't have to mean making big changes. Here are a few simple things you can incorporate into your life today that can contribute to positive long-term changes.

1. Get some fresh air

Getting away from your home or workplace for even a few minutes a day can work wonders for your health and wellbeing. Benefits can include positive effects on blood pressure, the immune system and digestion. Spending time outside can also provide a great way to give your mental health a boost, relieve stress and increase your energy levels.

2. Breath and stretch

Incorporating things like yoga, meditation and focussed deep breathing into your day can really help you to unwind and put life’s problems into perspective. Just a few minutes a day will allow you to shut out the world for a while and focus on your own wellbeing.

3. Sleep tight

We all know that a good night’s sleep is a key factor in our overall health and wellbeing. Disrupted sleep can have lots of negative effects over the long and short term, including problems with concentration, memory and brain function. Serious issues can include increasing your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Lots of things can adversely affect the quality of sleep, including the screens of our smartphones, tablets and laptops. Switch them off before you nod off!

4. Get checked out

While serious health conditions are not things any of us want to think about, taking advantage of health checks and screenings offered by the NHS is an important way to keep on top of any issues. Early detection and treatment can help ensure you stay healthy into your senior years, so ask your GP surgery today about over-40s health checks, cervical screening and other available tests, and never be afraid to discuss any concerns you may have.

5. Build up your strength

The focus of exercise is often cardio and calorie burning. However, you should also spend time working on your muscle strength. Muscle mass declines as we get older. For women, this can start to occur from our late-30s, so fight nature by incorporating some strength training into your workout regime. An added bonus is that building muscle also leads to improved bone health. You don’t need to lift heavy weights. Walking, running and lunges are just a few strength-building exercises. Gentle low-impact exercise, such as yoga or tai chi, can also increase your strength, along with your flexibility and balance.

6. Eat more fibre

We’re often told what we eat too much of, like sugar and saturated fat. However, it is equally important to make sure our diet contains enough of the right things. Near the top of that list is fibre, as it can help reduce your risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. Fibre also contributes to a healthy gut and efficient digestive system, so aim for 30g per day. Easy ways to eat more fibre include consuming wholegrain bread, beans and pulses, and fruit and vegetables. You can find more tips on getting extra fibre into your diet here: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-get-more-fibre-into-your-diet/

7. Make time for you!

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in everyday distractions that we can neglect our wellbeing. So, always make sure you take some time just for you. Take a relaxing bath, read a good book, or take a few hours away from the stresses of everyday life and enjoy a pampering spa day. Do something you enjoy each day and don’t be afraid to be a little selfish once in a while!

Your physical and mental health are important, so ensure what you do each day supports your overall wellbeing. Simple steps can lead to significant results.

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