These are my 5 tips for a happier, healthier and brighter New Year!
1. Learn something new
It might be learning a musical instrument, how to bake, or even how to change a Tyre on your car. Learning something new exercises the brain in a different way to your usual routine. This can be a good thing and can make you feel good, even smile - the secret to a happier life!
2. Watch less depressing TV and watch or read more comedy
We are often surrounded by negative stories in the news and to be honest there a lot of strange and concerning things on TV. Try to distance yourself from all this by watching or reading things that make you smile and laugh. Laughter can release endorphin's making you feel happier. This good feeling can heal a lot of things and keep you feeling younger too!
2. Eat a more balanced diet, but remember to have fun. You don't have to go too strict to see the results
This time of year is full of diets. Eat this, do that and you will lose lots of weight. At the end of the day, we generally know that what goes in is what comes out. If you put more in than what you need out, it will simply be stored for a later time, which unfortunately doesn't always happen. Plus, if you eat rubbish, you are only going to get rubbish out!
A lot of it is will power, you've got to want to do it, but let me tell you this, when you are at the dream weight, your energy levels peak and you feel a lot better for it. I believe one of the simplest ways to get to your natural perfect weight is to eat a balanced diet high in protein and fibre and low in processed foods. Portion size and eating at certain times of the day is important, but getting the diet right is the priority!
3. Exercise regularly, but you don't have to go over the top to see the benefits
I spoke to a personal trainer once and he told me that exercise is around 20% of the result of being fit and healthy, 80% being diet. This being so, I would say it holds more importance than 20% in the bigger picture. By doing exercise regularly you keep your body strong, especially important as you get older.
Muscle strength is usually overlooked in many diet and fitness videos and campaigns. They seem to talk a lot about aerobic and cardio exercise, but I would argue that muscle training, or resistance training as it is more commonly known as, is more important. Protein is the building blocks to life and the stuff that repairs and improves muscles in your body. You can also burn more calories by working on muscle strength than you can with typical cardio exercise.
Going to the gym regularly can be a good idea to improve and maintain a healthy body, but it doesn't fit in everybody's lifestyle. If the gym is not a possibility or you simply don't enjoy it, there other ways you can stay active:
I believe doing exercise little and often is a great way to get into sport and plus exercise releases the feel good hormone serotonin!
You don't have to go mad to enjoy exercise, lose weight and feel good, you just need to do it little and often. The results from exercise can be seen quicker and better if you combine it with a balanced diet. Talk to the experts at your local gym or your GP for the best advice.
4. Talk to people in real time and use social media less
Next time you're at a pub or restaurant, take a look around and see how many people are not talking to each other, but instead, are looking at their mobile phones!
I was out on Boxing Day and noticed a couple on the table next to us hardly speak a word to each other throughout the whole time they were their. Instead, they were staring at their mobile phones, possibly messaging to other people. What's the point of even going out to these places if all you're going to do is talk to somebody else! It is a pointless waste of time.
Try actually speaking to the people you are with and just maybe, you will have a more fulfilling and enjoyable time. Start living more in the real world and you will find out it can be a great place to be!
5. Remember your downtime - work/life balance and sleep is important!
If you have a long commute to work everyday that involves mostly driving, then may I suggest you have a think about moving house or job. A long commute involving driving takes up a lot of your free time each day and can increase your stress levels, ageing you unnecessarily in the process.
I believe having a good work/life balance is extremely important to your health and well-being. Excessive travelling can also help you to put on weight as you tend to move less, relax less and eat more irregular.
I also believe that a good work life balance will help you live younger for longer. I would rather sacrifice a few pounds a year to live a few years more, but that is my personal choice, what is yours?
I hope I haven't preached to you to make a change you may not feel ready to do. These are merely my tips and ideas to a happier life and it is what makes me happy. Feel free to try one or all of the above and see how 2017 works out for you. Good luck and Happy New Year.