10 steps to a happier, healthier you
Health and happiness go hand in hand, and all it might take to turn your life around is a few basic changes. Drink more water, eat better, get more sleep – it all sounds quite obvious but sometimes we need a gentle reminder to get ourselves back on track during our busy lives.
Our happiness is reflected in our skin, so the experts at London skincare and wellness clinic, Nuriss, have outlined how best to treat yourself to better health…
Drink more water
This may seem like an obvious one but it is the most important part of keeping yourself healthy and happy. The human body is made up of 50 to 65 per cent water and every time we exercise, move, work and even breathe, we are using energy that in turn, uses water. It is easy to forget to keep yourself hydrated, especially at work or when running errands. It is recommended that adult females drink about 1.6 litres of water per day and that adult males should drink about two litres, but of course in hotter climates or if you are exercising a lot, you should drink more.
Eat more wholefoods
Another basic change you can make is to eat less processed food and consciously eat more wholefoods. A key part of that is not to wait until you’re hungry to eat. That might sound weird, but we all know when we get home after a long, tiring day at work, famished and looking for a quick, easy meal, it is easy to order a takeaway or throw a ready-made meal in the microwave. But by eating more regularly and keeping fuelled with little snacks, you will limit that temptation. Carrots, cucumbers, nuts and seeds make great snacks throughout the day, which is an important part of actively changing your eating habits. When cooking and baking, try to make some basic, easy changes, such as substituting sugar for honey or stevia, replacing white flour with wholemeal flour, and using real lemons, ginger, garlic and chillies instead of he concentrated or processed versions.
When making those changes to your diet mentioned above, it is imperative that you don’t deny yourself treats, because if you do, it will make it extremely hard to stick to it. Chocolate is not a no-go zone by any means. There are ways of introducing fairly guilt-free treats into your diet, such as wholefood desserts that use apples, avocados, beets or sweet potatoes instead of butter and flour, dates instead of sugar, and cacao powder instead of sugary, creamy chocolate. And they might not sound it, but they are as delicious as dairy-rich, fudgy cakes and brownies. But, again, you don’t even need to stick to those ‘healthy’ desserts either. Food guilt is not healthy, so if you do give into temptation and eat a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps, don’t regret it. It is important to treat yourself, as long as it’s in moderation.
Have you ever gone for a walk after a long, taxing day inside and felt the stress just melt away. Fresh air and sunshine work wonders on the human body and mind. If you are stretched for time, you can change some daily routines slightly to add a bit of outdoor time into your day. Maybe cycle to work or get off the bus or underground a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. Or in the summer, eat your breakfast or dinner outside a couple of nights a week.
Maintain a daily skincare routine
Your skin is the biggest organ in your body and its health is extremely important to how you look and feel. By eating more wholefoods and drinking more water, you will already be contributing to its overall wellbeing, but maintaining a daily skincare routine, which includes cleansing, toning and moisturising each morning and night, exfoliating once or twice a week, and wearing sunscreen, will ensure your skin looks and feels its best possible self. Check out our in-depth skincare guide and tips from the experts at Nuriss to make sure you are using your products correctly and getting the most you can out of them.
Take time out to de-stress
Stress impacts your overall health in a way you can’t imagine. From contributing to dull, problematic skin to serious health problems, it is something that should be dealt with. If you suffer from serious stress or anxiety, the first thing you should do is see a medical professional who will help you with some coping mechanisms. If your stress is less detrimental and more of a day-to-day rush, it is important to put aside some time to de-stress. Either first thing in the morning, last thing in the evening before bed, or even 10 minutes during the day, sit down in a quiet spot and try to put everything out of your mind. If you can meditate, that’s a fantastic way to remove stress from your life, otherwise simply concentrate on your breath and try to empty your mind as much as possible. If you are feeling panicked, actively slow your breathing down. A good exercise is to breathe in through your nose for a count of five, hold your breath for a count of five and then release your breath through your mouth for a count of five. Repeat that at least three times.
Start your day with this miracle remedy
Intrigued? This headache-curing remedy will rehydrate you, wake you up, give you vital vitamins, kick start your metabolism and make you feel fantastic for the day. And it’s as cheap as buying one lemon every three days! The easy recipe of warm water and lemon is a brilliant way to get your body working in the morning before breakfast. Simply squeeze some lemon juice into a mug, add a slice of the lemon and pour boiling water over it. Stir and let it brew there for about five or 10 minutes until it cools down. Then you can simply wrap the rest of the lemon up and store it in the fridge ready to use over the next couple of mornings.
Schedule your exercises
We all know that exercising is an extremely important part of keeping healthy, but often busy lives get in the way. By scheduling time to exercise, you will be far more likely to stick to it. It could be getting up an hour earlier and going for a walk or run, or attending a gym class after work before dinner. Plan your day out and include some time to do some form of exercise, even if it’s just half-an-hour. Another great way to stay motivated is by doing a number of different activities so that it doesn’t become a chore. Maybe join a sports team that trains once a week and plays a game on the weekend, or try a few different gym classes through the week. Mix it up with a bit of yoga, swimming, walking or cycling and do what you enjoy.
Drink herbal teas
Like our lemon water remedy, herbal teas are full of goodness and are essential to a healthy diet. From soothing bloated or nauseated stomachs to relieving stress and easing sleeplessness, different herbs have different healing powers, and are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Peppermint tea relieves symptoms of abdominal gas, bloating and muscle spasms. It can also help ease nausea and encourages sweat, which releases bad toxins from the body. Our favourite though is green tea, which is particularly beneficial and is currently thought to be the healthiest beverage on the planet! It is full of antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body, including improved brain function, aiding weight loss and lowering the risk of some diseases to name just a few.
Get more sleep
And top all those great changes in your life off with a good night’s sleep. Sleeping is as important as keeping your body hydrated. Without it, your skin will look duller and older, your brain won’t function as well as it should, your metabolism will be slower and all the important ingredients to a healthier lifestyle will be harder to maintain.
Changing your overall life with health, nutrition and happiness can be challenging, especially at the beginning. Nuriss, a skincare and wellness clinic in the heart of London, offers a brilliant six-week ‘Get Back on Track’ Program, which helps clients with their health, nutrition and fitness goals. During the initial assessment, a GP will talk you through all the aspects of your current health, screen for heart disease, strokes and diabetes, perform blood tests and check your internal body chemistry. That is followed by a consultation with a dietician, who will advise you on all aspects of your nutrition.