The Busy Person’s 7 Step Guide to Feeling Healthier in 2017
It is customary to see articles on the first of January nagging us about feeling healthier, when we are all supposedly fired up to renew and reinvent ourselves as the fit super-healthy version of ourselves we aspire to be. There might well be a tiny corner of our brains that is thinking like that but in reality most of us just haven’t the energy to get that fired up and just want to curl up and put a duvet over our heads.
“in reality most of us just haven’t the energy to get that fired up about feeling healthier
and just want to curl up and put a duvet over our heads”
But the longer days are now ahead of us and we are feeling much brighter.
These tips are not intended to send you off into a Lycra frenzy or to break your purse. They are intended to inspire to try even one or two in the hope that you do feel healthier which in turn will motivate you to improve other aspects of your health. You never know you might even get out the Lycra by the time the summer comes!
1. The Breath of Life
Deep diaphragmatic breathing can have an amazing effect on your energy levels, mood and even blood pressure. A 2010 Spanish study found that slow, controlled breathing decreased levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in both men and women. And a 2006 Indian study found that mental relaxation and slow breathing help lower blood pressure.
Here are a few techniques you can try so you’ll be feeling healthier in no time:
- Breathe deeply in through your nose, hold and breathe out through your mouth.
- Place a finger on the side of the nose to block one nostril and breathe in through one side of your nose the place a finger over the other nostril and breathe out through that nostril.
- Place your hands on your stomach with your fingertips just touching and breathe in and out through your nose, paying special attention to how your rib cage expands laterally.
2. Drink a glass of water
The side effects of dehydration are many including irritability, sluggish digestion and fatigue. Add a slice of lemon, or lemon juice to add to its detoxifying abilities. It doesn’t have to be cold water. Warm or hot water works just as well and can feel gentler on your digestive system.
3. Get up out of your chair
A simple twist can also help : As you sit in your desk chair, simply twist your upper-body to one side, grabbing the back of the chair to extend the stretch and hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
So many of us spend so much of our time sat in front of a computer. And sitting all day can cause havoc to your posture causing compression to your spine and rounding your shoulders. Getting up and having a walk around is a great idea to get you feeling healthier, especially if you roll your shoulders forward and back at the same time.
4. Get Organised in 15 Minutes
I’ve found flylady.net quite helpful for tips and hints to organise my C.H.A.O.S (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). Probably the most helpful has been to set a timer for 15 minutes and focus on one small area. It’s amazing what you can achieve in 15 minutes, you can see your progress and be inspired by it, if you focus on a small area, and 15 minutes won’t exhaust you and then put you off tackling some more.
If you do feel disorganised and stressed it’s difficult to know where to start though.
A 2010 study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that women who described their homes as cluttered or full of unfinished projects had higher levels of stress than those who described their homes as restful and restorative.
5. Put on a favourite song
There’s nothing quite like your favourite music to perk you up and get you feeling good. Listening to music has been shown to improve immunity and release endorphins.
Bonus points if you dance along!
6. Think positively
Spend a few minutes thinking about what’s good about our lives, what you are good at, a great relationship that enhances your life, the fact that you had a super healthy lunch today packed full of life enhancing vitamins.
A research paper published online in September 2013 in a journal of the American Heart Association shows that even for people dealing with heart disease, a positive outlook means living longer and stronger.
7. Go outside
If you have a minute to spare, step out into the sunshine! Even if it’s not very sunny, the extra movement and the fresh air will invigorate you, and the exposure to daylight will help regulate your body clock and aid sleep.
Preliminary research suggests that vitamin D helps regulate the immune system, supports heart health, can help normalise blood pressure and promotes healthy ageing. Vitamin D has also been linked to improved mood.
As always, I’m here to help you – give me a call on 07974 725546 to have a chat about how you can take the first steps to feeling better.
So which one will you do first? It doesn’t matter in which order, and you don’t even need to do them all. Just take control of your health by making a small start to feeling healthier.