As the end of the year nears (whaaaa, where did this year go?!), Hollie guest posts today about ways to live a healthier lifestyle. The New Year is ahead with its fresh beginnings, and perhaps it’ll be a time to embrace fitness or better eating habits than before. Here’s Hollie with easy swaps to improve how you live from a health standpoint.
This guide from The Atlantic explains that less than 3% of Americans lead a healthy lifestyle, that’s just ten million people from a population of 327 million.
It’s shocking how few people in the world choose not to lead a healthy lifestyle, not only because it cuts down their lifespan but because it’s so simple to be healthier – all you need to do is make a few swaps and your mind and body will be in a much better state.
From using a bike instead of your car to swapping red meat for vegetables, here are 4 simple swaps you can make for a fitter, healthier lifestyle.
Recommended reading: 6 Inspiring Women In Alternative Health And Wellness
Healthier lifestyle? Try 1 or more of these swaps:
1. Swap your car ride for a bike
Cars are one of the single biggest contributors to making the planet unhealthy – they’re an enormous part of global warming, meaning that they’re leading the world towards extinction.
But cars don’t only harm the planet, they harm your lifestyle too by cutting your opportunities for soft exercise. By swapping your car journeys for bike rides, you can help save the planet and lead a healthier lifestyle at the same time.
One of the great benefits of swapping your car for a bike is that it can lead to a healthier working life. Why do I say this? Because a study found that cyclists are not only more punctual than their car driving colleagues, but they’re also more energized.
2. Swap your late night for an early one
Sleep has a huge impact on your health, affecting both your physical and mental well-being. A lack of sleep makes you more susceptible to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and shortens your lifespan. Swapping your late nights will help you get more sleep and live longer.
The NHS explains that it’s not a simple case of getting eight hours of sleep a night – although this certainly isn’t a bad base number to aim for. Instead, the NHS advises that as “a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep.”
There are a few simple things you can do help you sleep better:
- Cut down on the caffeine
- Stop having naps
- Go to sleep and waking up at consistent times
- Take a supplement, such as Valerian root
- Reduce your alcohol consumption
- Don’t look at your phone or tablet while in bed
My personal favorite? Having a bath an hour or so before you plan on going to sleep. I find that this relaxes me and helps me to get to sleep easier – even more so if I use lavender bath oils.
3. Swap appetite suppressants for a weight loss plan
Body size and shape have long been a sticking point for leading a healthier lifestyle. A big reason is there are health problems that associate with being overweight and underweight.
Many people believe that eating less is a healthy way to lose weight and that appetite suppressants are a good way of achieving this. However, these cause a host of health problems, such as insomnia, depression, palpitations, kidney disorders, and lots more. By swapping your emphasis on appetite suppressants for a weight loss plan can help you lose weight in a healthy way.
A weight loss plan doesn’t mean that you have to stop eating the food you love, either. You just need to eat smarter.
“Eating smarter” means making starchy carbohydrates and vegetables to your dinner plate. You can even make your plate smaller so that you naturally consume smaller portions than before. This guide from The Independent Pharmacy explains how you can combine a healthy diet with a dietary supplement to aid weight loss, reducing the amount of fat your body absorbs.
The key point is that you’re neither eating less or suppressing your appetite. Instead, you eat sensibly and help your body to better manage the food you eat.
4. Swap red meat for vegetables at dinner for a healthier lifestyle
People have known about the dangers of red meat since the swinging 60’s. While it has nutritious components, such as iron and vitamin B-12, some research links red meat with health risks of:
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
In short, it can be an obstacle to a healthier lifestyle.
With vegetarianism, veganism, and flexitarianism on the rise, it’s become much more popular in recent years to swap meat for vegetables. And it’s with good reason – the substitutes have become a lot meatier!
Beyond Meat is perhaps the most public example of meat that’s built from vegetables. The company makes burgers, sausages, and crumbles, each of which looks, smells, and tastes like meat. All in all, it’s a great way to lead a healthy life without giving up your unhealthy habits.
Final words on achieving a healthier lifestyle
I’ve touched on just a few of the great ways that you can make small swaps to lead a much healthier lifestyle, but there are many more things you can do. For example, you could swap your cocktail for a mocktail, swap your morning coffee for a short run, or swap your evening Netflix binge for a fresh air walk.
All of these things will lead you to have a lifestyle that likely makes you happier, more active, and better focused than before. But that’s not all, they’ll also increase your lifespan!
About today’s writer
Hollie Jones is an expert lifestyle blogger who lives for writing. Hollie’s drive, passion and background come from the arts and media sectors. You can read her latest blog posts on Hollie and the Ivy, where she shares tips and advice about her passions while having a lot of fun along the way.