When I wrote my goals for 2018 at the start of the year, I briefly mentioned that I wanted to incorporate morning workouts into my daily routine on a more permanent basis. Little did I know that 2018 would be the year in which I would make a massive conscious effort to live the healthiest life I could possibly lead. I have to begin with the caveat that I’ve always been focused on health and fitness and made it a priority to eat a highly nutritious diet, however, in 2018 I have entrenched these principles in my life on such a wonderful level and it feels great. I have introduced a few new aspects into this scope of my life which are working really well, so I thought they would be good to share. Without further ado, here are my top 3 tips for living a healthier lifestyle.
Unfortunately, most of us perform our work activities in front of a computer during long working hours. You may have heard the saying that “sitting is the new smoking” and it just goes to show that we need to make an added effort to be more active. Why not start the day simply by taking a walk around the block? It’s such lovely way to start your day on the right track and in a great frame of mind. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not try a new workout programme? I have been following the Kayla Itsines’ BBG programme and I’m currently in my final week. It’s unbelievable how I’ve managed to tone up since the start of this year. I’ll definitely be repeating this programme because, while it’s challenging, the results are so rewarding! On my “rest days” I still keep a close eye on my health app’s step counter. Being aware of how many steps I’m taking each day has really encouraged me to do my printing at the furthest printing station at the office or to park on the bottom floor and take the stairs up to my desk. It makes the world of difference!
2. You are what you eat
As mentioned above, I committed to healthy eating many moons ago. I only eat healthy fats and I stay away from excess salt and sugar. I only eat fish and chicken as well as plenty of fruit and vegetables. This year I have been making far more plant-based diet choices and I can truly feel a difference in my body. I thoroughly enjoy cooking (always have, always will) and so I tend to constantly be on the lookout for fantastic healthy recipes. One of my most prized resources in the healthy recipe department would have to be Jessica Sepel’s “Living The Healthy Life”. I have cooked my way through 80% of this recipe book and it’s fantastic to have on hand when you’re looking for meals packed with great taste and flavour but that have such high nutritional value too. I highly recommend picking up this book if you’re looking for inspiration on what to eat. It doesn’t hurt that the recipes are super quick and easy to create.
History has shown that the key to being able to whip up extremely tasty, healthy dishes (and not to pick up something from a convenience store), has a lot to do with a fully-stocked fridge containing fresh ingredients. This makes healthy eating a lot easier to maintain. Discovery Vitality is aware of this fact too and encourages healthy food choices when doing your grocery shopping.
Healthy eating is often criticised for being expensive. I prefer to think of it as an investment, however, it need not be expensive, thanks to Vitality Move, a new Discovery Vitality programme that rewards everyone for taking steps towards a healthy lifestyle. Members of most medical aids administered by Discovery Health can join Vitality Move for free and stand the chance to win back their HealthyFood shopping to the value of up to R1000, every time they swipe their Pick n Pay Smart Shopper card at the till. Healthy eating has never looked so attractive. Once you’ve done a Vitality Health Check, your reward will increase to the value of your shopping basket, up to a maximum of R1000.
3. Catching ZZZs
Sleep is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. It’s become all too common to force yourself to stay awake by drinking as much caffeine as possible. Your body needs sleep. Concentration is impaired when you are deprived of sleep and caffeine can zap you of all the nutrients your body is longing for, not to mention the fact that excess caffeine will dehydrate you. I’ve recently started switching off all electronics an hour before bed so that I can ensure a good night’s rest and it has really improved my sleeping pattern. I also try to read before bed (even if it’s only a page or two) and I really find this helps the quality of my sleep too. Everyone has their own preference but I find it best to go to bed early and wake up early. I’m usually invigorated and ready for my morning workout session and I don’t experience that tired drag in the day if I’ve followed this sleeping pattern.
If you are able implement my 3 tips for living a healthier lifestyle and to (i) become slightly more conscious of being more active, (ii) ensure that you have wonderfully tasty and healthy recipes along with the ingredients to make use of them at your disposal, and (iii) ensure that you get the sleep that your body is craving, this can make a huge impact on your lifestyle overall. Your mind, body and soul will thank you for taking greater care of yourself. You truly deserve to invest in these aspects of your lifestyle because your health is your greatest asset.
Thank you to Discovery Vitality for sponsoring this post.
Discovery Vitality (Pty) Ltd is an authorised financial services provider. Registration number 1999/007736/07. T&Cs and limits apply.
Discovery Health (Pty) Ltd is an authorised financial services provider and administrator of medical schemes. Registration number 1997/013480/07.