The key to living better and healthier for longer could be simpler than you think. Follow the second segment of our tips (part 1 is here), diet swaps and social media upgrades that’ll make a genuine difference to the quality of your life.
11. CAN’T SLEEP? BLAME YOUR MOBILE
Staring at your mobile’s screen at bedtime causes people to take longer to reach the deeper stages of sleep and spend less time in them. Bad news, as deep sleep is essential for your body to rejuvenate cells and repair damage suffered during the day. Seriously … Instagram can wait until morning.
12. SWAP HEELS FOR TRAINERS
Exercising doesn’t always have to take the form of strenuous cardio workouts. Merely walking 30 minutes a day can improve general wellbeing and decrease the risk of heart disease. Need some extra motivation? The Walkmeter app allows you to design your own training plans and compete against other users while measuring time, distance, speed and calories burned.
13. BE KIND
Doing something nice for someone else has been shown to significantly improve happiness levels. You don’t have to sign up for a volunteering role, either (although, this has been shown to reduce mortality among older adults). Buy a coffee for a colleague at work, offer your seat on the bus to an elderly passenger, or pick up a sandwich for a homeless person.
14. WATCH A TED TALK
The tag line of the Technology, Entertainment, Design conferences is “Ideas Worth Spreading”. TED Talks are a brilliant resource for inspiring ideas about how to live better. Amy Cuddy’s talk on how our body language shapes who we are is just short of brilliant, ted.com.
15. SCRAPE YOUR TONGUE
It might be a little unpleasant, if not ticklish, but a daily scrape will boost your dental health, reduce bad breath, remove bacteria and improve your taste buds.
16. EAT REAL FOOD
“Try to stay away from ready meals and processed foods,” says fitness trainer Liz Costigan Fleury. “Real food tastes good, is nourishing, and will give you the energy you need to live a healthy, active life.
17. BECOME A SLEEP GENIUS
“Make a regular sleeping pattern a priority,” says writer Jennifer McShane. “On my doctor’s advice, I’ve trained myself to get a solid eight hours per night, as insomnia was zapping my energy. Three months in, I can’t believe the difference – my energy has increased, I feel happier, and I’m eating better than before.” If you need a little extra help, download the Sleep Genius app (sleepgenius.com). This personalised sleep app can help you work out the best bedtime, and teach you relaxation techniques and how to power nap.
18. DITCH THE CHOCOLATE SPRINKLES
Sprinkle cinnamon on your coffee instead of chocolate. Not only will it help you cut back on sugar, it will also lower your cholesterol, improve brain function and is packed full of antioxidants.
19. USE MARSHMALLOWS TO SOOTHE A SORE THROAT
Sap from the marshmallow plant has been used for hundreds of years to help treat coughs, colds, and sore throats. But the sweet treats are also believed to help ease throat pain, thanks to the coating and soothing properties of the gelatine.
20. DITCH SNACKING
“For years, we have been told that we should snack between meals in order to keep our metabolism boosted,”says Gillian Hynes.“But 30 years ago, snacking was not the norm; we were mostly slim, and obesity was rare. Now, the opposite is true. Our bodies need a break from digestion for rest and repair (even during the day) and to allow us to burn stored body fat. Stick to breakfast, lunch and dinner, leaving four hours between meals if possible. If you are highly active, you may need a small snack, in which case go for fruit, plain yoghurt or nuts.”