Health is something that's become important to me now I'm in the latter half of my twenties. As a teenager and even in the very beginning of my twenties I just presumed my body was always going to be super resilient and could always handle what I was throwing at it and all the junk I was eating but it can't. And it's always such a topical issue when it comes to what makes for a healthy lifestyle and it's of course, very very personal but for me and my life, it's all about balance. So I thought today I'd share some of the small steps I've made towards living a healthier lifestyle that I do and the difference that they've made in my life.
I feel like walking is something that's so underrated when it comes to fitness. And for a long time I completely dismissed it and just thought it was something that you had to do to get from A to B but now I've gotten a little older I really enjoy going for a walk and sometimes I prefer it than going to the gym. A good steady walk can burn almost the same calories as going for a jog and it's nowhere near as strenuous on your joints which is something I've learnt about the hard way. As it's Winter it's not the most amazing season to be getting out for a walk but if you're wrapped up warm, have good company or a great podcast to listen to then it's still just as enjoyable.
STOPPED DRINKING MY CALORIES
Something I'm really glad I've never done is counted my calories as I feel like it's more than likely going to end badly and turn into a downward spiral of obsession. And so often people only pay attention to the calorie amount rather than the amount of fat, sugar and salt that's in the food that they're eating which matters far more than calories. One thing I have done though is stopped drinking so many calories, I'm a coffee drinker so I do still drink a few but nowhere near as much as I used to. So things like hot chocolates and fizzy drinks are something that I don't have anymore as I'd rather eat my calories than drink them.
UPPED MY WATER INTAKE
Drinking the recommended amount of water is something that we all know that we should do but that doesn't mean that it's always that easy to do. I'm really bad for making sure that I'm hydrated enough and can go hours without drinking a drop of anything and that's terrible for your body. I always find that when I'm not hydrated I instantly get an intense pressure headache and feel my focus slipping away from me. And making sure you're drinking enough water is such a small thing, it doesn't cost anything [apart from your water bill obviously] and it makes a huge difference to how you feel overall. Something that's odd to me is that so often being thirsty can mask itself as being hungry and so often you end up snacking unnecessarily when really all you need is a drink.
EDUCATED MYSELF ABOUT WHAT I'M EATING
For years and years I never really gave much thought to what I'm eating and looking back I wish I had given it a little more consideration. But I definitely think having a carefree attitude towards food is very rare especially now with the whole clean eating crap that's rammed down our throats on a daily basis. Being more knowledgeable of what I'm putting in my body has been a big step and a helpful step too. It can be really daunting to start researching food and it's vital to take everything with a pinch of salt as there are so many conflicting ideas out there but having a small amount of knowledge about what you're sustaining yourself with is so important.
IT'S ALL ABOUT BALANCE
If there is anything that I'm a big believer in when it comes to practically anything in life, it's balance. But especially when it comes to health as it's something that's so important but that doesn't mean it can't be enjoyable. I'm never going to be someone to follow a super strict diet and always strive to eat as well as I can and that means eating things I enjoy too. The whole cleaning eating thing is something I find so problematic as it doesn't promote a healthy relationship with food or fitness. Food is fuel but it's also something we can get a lot of happiness from too but it's about balance and moderation. And the same goes for exercise too, it shouldn't be punishment because we ate something we love but something we do because it helps us thrive.
MORE SMALL STEPS THAT HELP
- More fruit and veg in general.
- Eating seasonally.
- Making fitness really fun.
- Listening to my body and paying attention to it.
- Standing up and not being stationary for so long.
- Planning meals instead of just leaving things to chance.
- Stretching, especially after exercise and being sat at a desk all day.
Do you have any health tips that make a big difference?
Check out: Sophie Anne Taylor