Ten steps I took to be Healthier

Dear Snapshots and Snippets readers I am as some of you may know the wrong side of 40 and back before I hit 40 I started to make changes to my lifestyle to make my older years healthier and happier – these are ten of the steps I took to be Healthier – in body and mind.

1. Eat more greens – As you may know I grow organic vegetables and the more I grow the more I love the veg and eat it.
So I now eat spinach like a rabbit which I would have avoided before, I throw it in smoothies too and prefer it in salad to lettuce.

I also grew three different types of beans this year and learnt to love them too. In fact both growing and eating them has made me had a healthier outlook on life and I know exactly what is going into my body.
Leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and memory loss and since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it may help ward off depression and improve your mood.

2.Drink Green Tea – I started this when I was loosing weight as it is suppose to help speed up your metabolism and burn fats. But truth is I love the taste now, so much so I prefer it to regular tea and I never drink coffee any more.
Since I started drinking it I have found out many more benefits like it is supposed to stop mental decline and is full of antioxidants. I am in fact drink a cup now.

3. Walk daily – I walk everywhere nowadays but thanks to the puppy we need to go on long walks to tire her out and it is a great cardio-vascular exercise working the lungs and your heart and increasing muscle strength – it also releases endorphins which makes you feel happier. I find if I am particularly stressed a good long walk in the woods helps calm me down and releases some of that stress. Also it is one exercise that costs nothing but time.

4. Sleep well – In my adult life I have gone from barely any sleep when my girls were babies to chronic insomnia and back.
Now I like to get a good 7 hours of decent sleep – having lived through sleep deprivation I know just how badly it can effect everything in your life from your mood to your memory to you ability to just cope.
So I make sure all phones and electrics are off and I have a routine before I go to bed to let my body know what is coming so I take medication , lock up, cleanse my face and brush my teeth make sure clothes are ready for the morning and settle down.

5.Stretch – Just like I have a routine at night one of the first things I do in the morning it stretch – I am a big fan of yoga so I do Salute to the Sun – I adore this infoGraph – not sure where it originated but it is adorable,  

But why is stretching important ?

  • Helps improve flexibility (increases your range of motion)
  • Assists in correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position (because of so much time at our computers, many of us have tight chest muscles which pulls the shoulders and head forward, leaving us with a hunched shoulder look and I work on a computer all day) 
  • Potential to decrease injury by preparing muscles for work before activity
  • Increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles, thereby possibly reducing muscle soreness
  • It also releases physical and mental tension. 

6.Drink more water 

I have started to drink more water our bodies need water to function properly and because we can’t store water we need to drink it every day.  Water is needed for most of our body functions  and the general consensus is that the average adult should be drinking at least two liter of water each day (eight glasses each of 8 oz (= 240 ml) every 24 hours). If I am not drinking green tea I drink water. 

7. Cut down on alcohol I am what is know as a “cheap date ” these days because I rarely if ever drink. I live in a country redounded for it love of alcohol and I have been drunk in my time but I find I am fine when out even if I don’t drink and if I do I try to keep it to one with a meal and I have had one since Christmas last year – my liver thanks me for it.

8. Buy less junk food – if it is not in the house we don’t eat it so I rarely by crisps and sweets or too much processed food, we rarely and I mean rarely eat takeaway if ever. 

9. Eat more whole foods – Once I started to eat healthier I swapped all white bread and grains for wholewheat versions it is just better for you and keeps you fuller for longer – I also eat less processed food so the less ingredients the better which is why I actually don’t eat a lot of low fat products – I actually take butter, milk and cheese and Greek yoghurt whole as low fats can be full of chemicals or sugar. I just take smaller quantities.

10. Practice Gratitude – as I mentioned in my post last week this is a new one for me but it is one change I am loving it – finding something to be grateful for will not make life better but will make you realize it is not that bad either and it does make you happier. 


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