10 things you can do to make 2017 a healthier year

Meditate in 2016 for a healthier lifestyle

We all want to be healthier. But the best advice is always to gently add new routines rather than trying to do too much when you want to make changes to your life. Here are 10, easy to maintain things you can add to your daily routine to make your life a whole lot better and healthier…

1. Meditate
I think it’s safe to say thinking about meditating isn’t something of us many would even consider – it all sounds a little hippy and new age. But if you analyse some of the world’s highest achievers you’ll find that many of them have integrated some form of meditation into their lives. We live very frantic lives these days and we are all increasingly susceptible to anxiety as a result. A few minutes each day doing this will make you think more clearly and sleep better. If you don’t know where to start, try an app such as Headspace, which is really excellent.

2. Fast every now and then
Ok – not strictly a daily routine, but the benefits of intermittent fasting have been talked about for some time. Once you’ve used up all of the glycogen stores in your body (the energy from carbohydrates), your body starts using fat as energy stores, known as Ketosis. Do this and it has been shown that cancer cells begin to die. Fasting is also known to give you incredible mental clarity. It isn’t as hard as you think. Read the works of Dom D’Agostino for more inspiration.

3. Buy a ‘power blender’ and drink your veg
The new range of ‘power blenders’ on the market (the Nutribullet being the best known) and in one go in the morning, you can consume enough fruit and vegetables to have you bursting with health in no time. There are countless options for smoothies available both online and in smoothie books. Of course, when you don’t want to make a mess of the kitchen you can just pop into our café for one.

4. Cut out the fizzy diet drinks
These nearly always contain Aspartame which have been linked to a host of negative effects such as loss of bone density. Aspartame is also up to 220 times sweeter than sugar so often cause you to crave other sweet foods.

5. Get yourself a fitness app
Sure, there are tons of fitness watches you can buy, but these days most people have a Smartphone which never leaves your side for too long. Tracking your calories and movement is always a good idea. We like MyFitnessPal for tracking the food you eat and your weight. We also like any app that links in with MyFitnessPal such Endomondo which allows you to go for a walk or run and set calorie goals.

6. Start cooking with coconut oil
Yes, it might seem a little hipster to use it, but once you start you will never look back. It tastes really good (especially with eggs), has a high smoke point meaning it won’t burn easily and it’s good for you too, providing healthy fats which are great for cognitive functioning. Incidentally, it also has a variety of uses – you could use it as a moisturiser if you wish!

7. Swap out the white for brown
White pasta and rice have been processed which isn’t always good news for your health. If you do want to choose rice or pasta why not opt for brown, wholegrain options. Or even better, choose healthier alternatives such as quinoa.

8. Batch cook your meals and bring your food to work daily
On a Sunday night, instead of dozing in front of a film on telly, why not spend an hour batch cooking some of your meals for the coming week ahead. Not only will you save money, but you will stick to your nutrition goals too. Cook five lunches and/or dinners, stick two in the fridge and freeze the rest.

9. Drink more water
Since we are made up of so much water, it stands to reason we should consume plenty of it. Water is required to cushion and lubricate your joints, protect your brain and other internal tissues, regulate your body temperature, and remove waste from your body. Men should drink as much as 3 litres a day and women, 2.2 litres. Getting all this into you can be a hassle though – get yourself a good water bottle and mark it with time goals – so drink half by 11am, all by 3pm etc. Also, get into the habit of having some upon waking and going to bed.

10. Make a physical challenge fun
It would be great if you could consistently hit the gym four to five days a week, but if you’re starting from zero instantly transforming yourself into a gym bunny isn’t realistic. Instead, once a week pick something challenging to do – take a really long walk; take a long bike ride; walk the 6km to a friend’s house (not on the treadmill). Don’t ride 20km on an exercise bike/ride to a café, grab a snack and then ride back home.