Staying healthy doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. With a little know-how, you can improve your general health by following a few simple steps, without having to invest in costly equipment or take a lot of time. You may be surprised at how effective these small changes can be!
Avoiding snacks throughout the day may sound like a good idea if you want to cut down on calories, but ultimately this can make you more hungry, and reaching for carbohydrate-heavy foods to fill up. These can cause a spike in blood sugar and leave you craving more unhealthy foods. Instead, try eating more substantial, protein-rich snacks, such as peanut butter or cheese and apple slices.
It may be tempting to switch to low-calorie 'diet' drinks if you want to lose weight, but many fizzy drinks manufacturers use artificial sweeteners or sugar alternatives such as high fructose corn syrup to retain the taste of the original, sugary drinks. Research indicates that HFCS can lead to increased weight gain, along with being linked to metabolic disorders. A study by The University of Texas determined that diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater increase in the circumference of their waist compared to non-drinkers over a 10-year period. One reason for this may be that diet drinks cause you to feel hungry. Try to stick to water, and flavour it with a couple of slices of lemon or lime.
It may be the last thing you want to do after a long exhausting day at the office but when you're feeling fatigued, engaging in 30-minutes of moderate exercise will improve your mood and increase your energy levels. Exercise has been proven to boost work productivity and according to researchers from The University of Bristol, employees who took part in exercise before working were found to be better equipped to deal with their workload than those who weren't. Exercising also releases endorphins, making you feel happier, so it's well worth the effort.
Dehydration can cause your body to retain water, making you feel bloated and uncomfortable. It may sound strange, but if you can drink more water then you will reduce the bloated feeling and your body will begin to work more efficiently. The more water you drink, the more health benefits you should see, including increased energy, better skin, fewer headaches and improved bowel and bladder function.
It's recommended that you avoid brushing your teeth immediately after eating, especially if you've been consuming acidic foods such as sports drinks, citrus fruits, tomatoes, etc. Acidic foods can soften tooth enamel, and brushing the teeth after eating these can speed up enamel damage. It's wise to wait for 30 to 60 minutes before brushing your teeth for this reason.
A 20-minute nap is idea for boosting energy levels, but drinking a cup of coffee and then sleeping can actually make you feel more alert. This is because it clears the brain of the adenosine molecule, a byproduct of activity and wakefulness that maximizes alertness. Napping can clear out adenosine and when this is combined with caffeine, the napping effect is amplified.