I don’t know about you, but when the cooler weather hits I often find myself slipping into bad habits with regards to my health. Today I thought I would share some healthy habits to start right now that are easy to implement and can help buck the winter blues!
1. Drink More Water
When the weather gets colder we often forget to keep up our water intake but it’s equally important to stay hydrated in winter as it is in summer. If icy cold water doesn’t seem appealing then try hot or warm water, or even some herbal teas. If you need help incorporating more water into your day then I shared some tips a little while back that might help!
2. Get Better Sleep
Getting good sleep is key, so it’s definitely a healthy habit to start right away! It can be tempting to lounge around on the couch on a cold winter night before rolling straight into bed but that is unlikely to result in optimal sleep, so try and go screen free at least an hour before bed. Setting yourself a sleep-time ritual like a cup of caffeine-free tea, a bath or even some gentle stretching is an excellent way to unwind and signal to your body and mind that it’s time for bed. It’s also important to stay on top of your melatonin levels in winter (which can be tricky with less sunshine around!), so do try and get out in any sunshine you can!
3. Add A Serve Of Veggies
It’s an obvious one, but the more veggies we can get into our daily diet the healthier we will be, so start by getting in the habit of adding just one more serve every day. This might be as simple as doubling the amount of spinach with your eggs at breakfast, throwing some grated zucchini into a pasta sauce or cutting up some carrot sticks to take with you to work. Eventually you want to get to 5-6 serves of veggies a day, so each time you can add one more the healthier you’ll be!
4. Make Time For Your Health
Much like everything else in our week, if we don’t make time for improving our health it just won’t happen. When planning for the week ahead try and carve out time for anything that helps you meet your health goals – this might be gym session, a yoga class or two, time for a walk or even time to visit the farmer’s market and prepare meals for the week ahead. Whatever it is you need to do, make time for it and then be sure to stick to it!
5. Add Some Mindfulness
Our mental wellbeing is equally as important as our physical health, so finding ways to include mindfulness in our week is an excellent healthy habit to start as well. This could be anything from doing some mindful colouring (maybe as part of your pre-bed ritual!) to going for a walk without any distractions and obviously some traditional meditation if that’s of interest. No matter what it is, it doesn’t need to be long or onerous, but the benefits will be well worth it!
6. Incorporate Incidental Exercise
Traditional workouts are important but adding incidental exercise to your day is also an excellent habit to try and introduce. This simply means making small changes like walking to talk to people in your office rather than emailing, taking the stairs or parking further from the entrance of where you’re going. None of these things add much time to your day but they do add a lot of extra exercise to your day, and can make you a whole lot healthier over time. If you wear a fitness tracker (personally I have a fitbit) you’ll notice the increase in steps immediately!
7. Cook More At Home
Not only does cooking at home make it easier to up your vegetable intake but it increases your control over the size of your meals as well as the level of salt, preservatives and added fat (as well as saving you money!). Even starting with making your lunches at home is an excellent way to begin, and over time you’ll find it easier and maybe even fun! You don’t have to never eat out of course, just try and reduce the reliance on takeaway and pre-prepared meals and you’ll be feeling healthier in no time. If you need help getting started with meal planning then be sure to check out my Meal Planning 101 guide, available for download in the ISPP Shop!