The secret to better health

Better health means making simple lifestyle changes and sticking with them.

The secret to better health

It seems that everywhere you turn there’s someone with a revolutionary exercise programme or a ‘magical’ fad-diet that will change your life and improve your health. The truth, however, is that achieving better health is no secret. All it takes is to follow these five simple lifestyle changes and, most importantly, making a commitment to improving your health.

Move more

When it comes to exercise, a little goes a long way for your overall health, and ensuring that you’re moving around during the day is fundamental to keeping your muscles and bones healthy. An easy way to do this is to start walking everywhere and take the stairs where possible. Moving and lifting weighted objects around is also beneficial.

Eat well

The simplest way to eat healthily is to focus on eating ‘real’ foods. Your body needs fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and some fats to run at its optimum level. Eat a combination of plants and meats, with an emphasis on unprocessed whole foods, which are as close to their natural forms as possible. Avoid processed foods and drinks with sugar, such as soft drinks and juices. Drink plenty of water every day.

Avoid stress

Better health isn’t all about diet and exercise. Your stress levels also play a large role in keeping your body and mind healthy, and in leading a happy life. While stress is a natural part of life, too much of it can raise the cortisol levels in the brain, increasing junk-food cravings which may lead to weight-gain. Stress is also a contributor to depression and can trigger long-term changes in your brain, leading to anxiety disorders and mood swings. 

Stress can be managed in a number of ways, from taking deep breaths when you’re feeling overwhelmed, doing calming exercise such as yoga, or seeing a specialist if your stress becomes unmanageable.

Sleep well

Never underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on your health, and it has been linked with many diseases, including obesity and heart disease. The Sleep Health Foundation recommends that adults get between seven and nine quality hours of sleep each night. Ensure that you sleep well by:

  • Going to bed and getting up at regular times to tune your body clock.
  • Turning off all electronics and dimming the lights 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Avoiding eating a large meal before going to bed.

Read more sleeping tips at The Sleep Health Foundation.

Stick with it

Better health is not a fad-diet or a temporary lifestyle change. It is a conscious decision that you make to commit to a healthy lifestyle, which you can sustain long-term. Better health is a choice you make for yourself and a goal that you work towards for life.

Read more at Authority Nutrition.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    31st Dec 2014
    The best way to feel healthier is to get rid of the drugs, We are becoming a lot of drug takers, and I have stopped taking them there is a proper natural cure for all ailments, try them.
    31st Dec 2014
    Well drugs have kept me going until 87 years of age so I think I will go on taking them!
    31st Dec 2014
    Feel free Pamjean
    Young Simmo
    31st Dec 2014
    Me too Pamjean, even though I am 12 years behind you I put my 75 years down to all the medications.
    Considering my Father died on his 43rd birthday of a heart attack, and I smoked nonstop for 45 years (stopped June 2000), the odds were against me.
    A triple bypass in 2002 and taking 80 mg Lipitor since 2000, my Cholesterol has stayed under 5 for 15 years. For years I expected to go by the time I was 50, now I am thinking in terms of 96 like my Grand father.
    Life is a ball, Ye-Harrrrrrrrrrr.
    4th Jan 2015
    A plant based diet will prevent cancer and help you lose weight. Check out "The china study" by Colin Campbell and "Forks over knives". Eating meat and dairy helps cancer cells thrive.
    8th Jan 2015
    I'm considering joining a gym to get me fitter. Although I love walking, being in a new area and not having a walking pal, I seem to be finding excuses not to walk. I checked out the gym which seems great, but I hate the hard sell the trainers put on you. Unfortunately they want you to sign up for a 12 or 18 month programme, with direct debit. Can anyone out there tell me of your getting fit ideas?
    8th Jan 2015
    HOLA I found walking to be he best & free est my health pro's all tell me these days not to do the hard yakka as per Gym requirements
    8th Jan 2015
    Thanks for your input Pate.

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