Last Thursday was World Health Day and this year their focus is to halt the rise in diabetes. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) the number of people living with diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults. In its first ‘Global report on diabetes’, WHO highlights the need to step up the prevention and treatment of the disease. This got us thinking about our own health; when was the last time you thought about yours?
There are a lot of simple things we can do to improve our health but many of us don’t do them, whether it’s because we don’t have time or just because it’s not at the forefront of our minds – but it needs to be, not just to prevent diseases like diabetes but just so that we stay healthy in general.
“Staying healthy” is often seen as something expensive; gym memberships can cost a fortune and the healthier food at the grocery store usually costs more than the less healthier snacks. However, it doesn’t have to cost you any extra pennies to improve your health! Take a look at some of our simple tips on how to get, and stay, healthy…
Do some exercise – an obvious tip, we know! But there are plenty of people who don’t do any exercise at all because they think exercise means joining an expensive gym. Exercise does not mean this! Walking to and from work instead of getting the bus every day, cycling to the shop instead of driving, going for a run in the evening instead of watching the TV… these are all great forms of exercise and they’re all free! Choose an exercise you enjoy and you’ll find a way to fit it in to your daily/weekly routine. If you don’t have time to exercise every day, a few times a week would be great for your overall health.
Get a good night’s sleep – having enough sleep is essential to staying healthy. One of the best things to do to ensure you sleep well? Turn off your phone before you get in to bed! So many of us are guilty of planning to go to sleep but getting in to bed and playing on our phones for what feels like a few minutes but can end up being hours. Eight a night is the recommended amount of hours of sleep an adult needs so try your best to get enough, at least for a few nights of the week.
Adjust your diet – being healthy doesn’t mean you have to be on a diet, you can just tweak your current diet to make it slightly healthier. Pack healthy snacks like fruit or nuts to munch on throughout the day when you get hungry rather than choosing to have a chocolate bar or packet of crisps. Plan your evening meals for the week so you’re less likely to go out for dinner and cut down the amount of takeaways you have every month. Even small things like having less sugar in your tea or coffee will make a difference.
Reduce your artificial sugar intake – artificial sugars can be found in many pre-packaged foods such as baked goods, candy, sauces and dips. Try and substitute the artificial sugar in your meals with natural sugars like maple syrup or honey. Rather than have a pre-packaged cookie when you’re craving something sweet, have a piece of dark chocolate (it contains less sugar than milk chocolate and sweets).
Have you been thinking about your health this month? What are you changing about your lifestyle to try and become healthier? We’d love to know, especially if you have any tips for us, so leave us a comment below…