SIMPLE STEPS TO A HEALTHIER LIFE
We have compiled a list of simple, everyday things that you can do to improve your health. This includes diet, exercise, mental wellbeing, sleep, and self-care.
- Add one more serving of vegetables to your plate
- Try one new vegetable or a new way to cook a vegetable
- Add a piece of fruit with breakfast
- Cut the visible fat off your meat
- Eat three regular meals each day
- Buy some extra healthy foods to store in your pantry and freezer. Check out our ‘Nutrition Hacks‘ booklet for more on this.
- Learn about portion sizes using your hand. Check out this resource on hand portions by the heart foundation.
- Try one new way to add healthy flavours to your cooking, check out our favourite healthy flavours here.
- Replace one takeaway with a home-cooked version
- Swap one sugary drink for fizzy water
- Cook with less oil
- Choose healthy proteins at breakfast to keep you satisfied e.g. oats, Greek yoghurt, milk, eggs, cheese, tofu, peanut butter, baked beans, smoked salmon or other fish
2. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
- Try out one new activity that keeps you moving
- Go for a daily 10-minute walk. Find a list of great walks around Tāmaki Makaurau here.
- Increase your N.E.A.T (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) which is any type of energy expended by things that are not sleeping, or sport like exercise, by doing any of the following:
- Park your car further away from your workplace to get extra steps
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Walking meetings. Where possible, instead of sitting meetings, walk and talk!
- Use a standing desk where possible
- Do stretches while watching TV
- Get a pedometer and set yourself a daily step goal
- Plan out your exercise for the week, so there are no excuses!
- Work out with a partner so you always keep each other motivated
3. MENTAL WELLBEING
- Try a 5-minute mindfulness exercise. If you are unsure about how to start this, check out this awesome resource on how to practice mindfulness.
- Make a call to a loved one
- Carry out one small act of kindness
- Go for a walk in nature
- Read a book
- Play a board game
- Take a technology break
- Make a note of 3 things you are grateful for daily, apps like Mentemia are great for this.
- Try guided meditation or grounding techniques.
- Journaling, add what you’re grateful for as well as a few things to work on for the week or day
- Stress is a huge contributor to mental health, check out this video on stress.
4. SLEEP AND SELF-CARE
- Have one more alcohol-free day per week for a better night’s sleep
- Read a book in bed instead of your phone
- Take a regular 5-minute break to get some fresh air or move your legs
- Go to bed an hour earlier if you’re sleeping less than 7 hours
- Give yourself a pat on the back for any small achievement
- Take a bath and unwind before bedtime
- Schedule self-care nights every few weeks
- Wind down at the end of a week by watching a movie or catching up with friends for coffee
- Drink more water throughout the day (an easy way to do this is by adding tea or low-calorie flavouring to your water)
- Establish a routine, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day!
- No blue light before bed (TV, phone screen) as this tricks your mind into thinking you should be awake
- Check out our video on sleep
“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.”