Words by Morgan
February 18th, 2019
Everyone wants to be healthy as they can be, especially at the start of a new year — remember those resolutions you made in January? — when you promise to be the best version of yourself, for real this time. Of course, life sometimes gets in the way, and before you know it, your healthy eating plan has been buried under a pile of takeaways and chocolate bars and your new gym membership has all but been forgotten about. It happens, and that’s OK.
But while we all know the importance of good exercise, a healthy diet and avoiding harmful activities like smoking and eating too much junk food, there are other aspects of life which are often overlooked and could be having a big impact on your health without you even realising. Thankfully, a few small changes can make a big difference.
Lack of sleep is a huge problem and something that affects millions of people around the world. Factors such as stress, using screens before bed and not creating the right sleeping environment can all impact your sleep. How much sleep you need depends on your age but between 7 and 9 hours is generally considered to be a healthy amount. If you are not getting this then you should look into ways to improve your sleep — one great method for this is installing blackout blinds or curtains from places like Direct Blinds that completely block out light in your bedroom and help to create an optimum sleeping environment.
Increasing your water intake to the recommended 2 litres a day can have a great impact on many areas of your health. It can improve energy levels, concentration, brighten your complexion and allow your internal organs to function properly. It’s a small task but we all know how hard it can be to drink enough water every day so to ensure you’re hitting the two-litre mark, we suggest investing in a reusable water bottle that you can bring with you wherever you go. It will act as a constant reminder to drink up and keep you hydrated all day long.
Many people dry their clothes indoors, especially during winter. But what you may not know is that this can put your health at risk due to the increase in moisture in the air that allows mould to thrive which can then cause respiratory problems. If possible, dry your clothes outside or do it somewhere that is well ventilated and away from areas that you sleep in.
In today’s digital age, many people spend a huge amount of time looking at a screen whether this is a work computer, smartphone or television in the evening. If this sounds like you, try to break up your screen time even if it is just looking away for 30 seconds every 15 minutes so as not to cause eye strain and headaches. Avoid screens if possible and adjust the settings such as lowering the level of brightness if they are causing you problems.
Additionally, many people spend the majority of their time cooped indoors and by the time they leave home or the office, the sun has gone down. Regular sun exposure is important to get enough vitamin D and to maintain healthy blood levels. You should be getting between 10 and 30 minutes of midday sunlight a few times a week so try to get outside more if you are not getting this. Take a brisk walk during your lunch break which will also help to clear your mind or get off the bus or train a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way if you can.
These five areas are often overlooked by people but could have a huge impact on your health. Exercise and a good diet are the cornerstones of good health but don’t overlook other aspects of your life and you will be amazed at how making a small change could have a big impact on how you feel.
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