Free Article – 10 Easy Steps to Improve Your Lifestyle
Easy to implement tips and tools
Key learning outcomes:
- Recognise that good health and stress-free living are on the decline in modern society.
- Implement some good food habits such as eating less processed and takeaway foods.
- Develop an exercise regime to suit your schedule.
- Acknowledge that there will be times when you or someone you know needs some assistance in life.
It does not take a lot of research to discover that in most societies across the globe people are becoming less healthy, are more stressed and feel under greater pressure. The working week is getting longer, obesity is a problem for all ages and there are demands on us from all angles as we are plugged into technology almost 24/7. Advances in technology and science have of course brought us great gains; however, overall, there is some merit in the simpler way of life our parents and grandparents used to live. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut or have picked up some bad lifestyle habits, here are 10 small easy changes you can make to help get your lifestyle back on track.
Now that there is so much information accessible online, our attention spans are becoming shorter and reading has to some degree become a lost art. There are many benefits of reading which is why it is one of the first things on our list. Apart from the knowledge you gain, reading works to exercise the brain, helps memory function and provides mental stimulation. All of these help in the prevention of mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. If you have got out of the habit of reading, start with something light and easy and then work up from there.
Consume less processed foods
It is well known that high levels of preservatives and sugar are harmful to our health. It can be tempting to reach for a snack or sugary drink to get you through the afternoon slump, but keep doing this every day and before you know it you will see your weight creeping up and your health slipping down. Instead, stay hydrated with water and reach for a piece of fruit. Get into this habit and you will find that you have longer lasting and sustained energy throughout the day, rather than suffering from a series of highs and lows.
Watch less television
It can be tempting to switch on the television the minute you get through the door after a long hard day. However, often it simply provides noise rather than adding any real value to our lives. Many children today have grown up with the television being used as a way to occupy them while their parents do something else, and this has served to form lifelong bad habits. We are not suggesting you have a “no television” household rule; however, it is worthwhile getting into the habit of only watching shows that you really want to see and turning off the television for the rest of the time.
Eat at the table
With busy lifestyles, more and more households eat on the run or in front of the television. It is worth remembering back to the days when families always sat at the dinner table; not only is this a healthier way to eat, but it helps to stimulate conversation and promote sharing of the various challenges or wins we face everyday. It may not be practical to always eat as a group at home, but a great house rule is to have at least one family night a week where everyone makes the commitment to be home for dinner at a set time.
The best way to control what fuels your body is to do more home cooking with fresh produce. Home cooking does take some planning and preparation, but there is nothing more satisfying that creating a delicious and healthy meal from scratch. One of the keys to cooking more is to ensure that you shop regularly and try to pre-plan your meals through the week. If you are not a confident cook, start simply and serve up fresh salad or vegetables paired with grilled fish, chicken or meat. Technology can help you here with loads of apps available on your phone with easy step-by-step recipes. Once you get gain confidence you can become more adventurous, and before you know it you will be loathe to pick up the phone to order a home delivery.
Look and listen
Statistics show that an increasing number of pedestrians are being hit by cars and are involved in accidents because they are walking and using their phones at the same time. Next time you need to walk somewhere, try turning off the phone and instead take in your surrounds. Smile and say hello to a stranger as you walk past and watch how this can make someone’s day. Take notice of the sights and sounds – you might be surprised by what you have been missing!
It is a great feeling when you do a spring clean of your life. Start with your living environment and wardrobe. Take a good hard look and give away to charity the things that you have not used or worn for 12 months or more. You will be surprised at how much better and lighter you feel when everything is organised and in working order. Next, take a look at who you spend time with and make sure you are surrounding yourself with people that have a positive influence on your life. Of course there will always be friends and family that need your support from time to time, but if there is someone who is always bringing you down it might be time to let them go.
The benefits of exercise are well documented; however, with a busy schedule it can sometimes be hard to get into a regular routine. Exercise is one of those things that doing something is far better than doing nothing. If you can only fit in some light stretching or a 15-minute walk each day, then start with that and you can build on your routine over time. Don’t forget there are also some easy ways to get in a few extra minutes of exercise here and there; for example, you can take the stairs rather than the lift or you can park your car a block or two away from where you need to go. One good way to keep track of how much you are moving is to wear a pedometer. There are some great ones on the market that will allow you to track your steps and encourage you to move a little more every day.
Taking the time to discover and learn something new is one of the best ways to keep your mind active. It does not matter if you learn a language, learn to cook, learn to dance or take up a new hobby, the key is to always be looking to expand your mind, skills and experiences. One of the great things about enrolling in a class is that you will often meet people who you would not otherwise have had the opportunity to spend time with. And remember, while it might be helpful to do a course in something that will improve your business skills, it can be just as rewarding to learn about something just for fun or because you are curious about it. Lifelong learners are often more successful, happier and tend to live longer – all good reasons to learn something new today!
Ask for help
Often one of the key things that people need to do in their quest for a better lifestyle is to simply ask for the help they need. Too often people struggle with something when help and support are within reach. Most successful people in sport, business and in life have someone supporting them and pushing them to succeed. On the flip side it is important to be there and to offer support to those around you who might need some help from time to time.
Like so many things, each of these 10 steps will fall into either the “easy to do” or the “easy not to do” categories. Take some time to look through the list to determine which areas you most need to work on. We suggest starting with just one or two and develop some good habits in that area, and then start working on something else. If you try and change everything at once, it can seem all too overwhelming which makes it hard to form lasting good habits. You might also find our learning article “Forming new habits” helpful.Did you enjoy this complimentary article?
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