Easy peasy health hacks

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Getting fit and healthy doesn’t have to mean pounding the treadmill. We take a look at some easy ways to boost your health – without stepping foot in the gym

Leading a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be challenging, time consuming or expensive. These easy-to-implement health hacks will make a big difference with little effort required.

Take the stairs

One of the easiest changes you can make – and especially effective if you work in a high rise office building – is to ditch the lift in favour of the stairs. The quick exercise you’ll get from powering up stairs will boost your heart rate – plus, it’s a great glute workout to boot!

Up your water intake

To stay properly hydrated, the NHS recommends drinking at least six to eight glasses of water a day, although some of us find that easier said than done. Keep a water bottle on your desk so it’s close at hand, making it easier to track your water consumption. Ditching fizzy drinks in favour of water will also help to lower your calorie and sugar intake – a win all round.

Portion control

Your parents probably always told you to finish your dinner, but if your portions are on the generous side, emptying your plate could mean you’re overeating. Easy ways to curb your excesses include pacing yourself throughout your meal – put your cutlery down between bites, and stop for a rest after eating 80% to see if you’re still hungry or just eating out of habit.  Using a smaller plate will also help control your portions.

Load up on veg

We’ve all heard the ‘five-a-day’ mantra – but how many of us actually achieve that on a regular basis? For an adult, one portion is 80g – about one apple, orange or banana, two broccoli spears or four tablespoons of cooked leafy greens – so make sure you get your fill.

Stand up!

Research has shown that prolonged periods of sitting down can cause poor posture, leading to increased risk of chronic pain, as well as obesity, so if you spend all of your working day sitting at a desk – stop! A standing desk, if you can get one, can make a huge difference but if you can’t, make sure you stand regularly – around every 20 minutes, even if it’s just for a minute or two.

Stretch it out

If you’re feeling stiff and achy, boost your flexibility with some gentle daily stretching. Circling, bending and extending movements will help keep you mobile. After a period of prolonged contraction, muscles can take up to two hours to be restored to their resting length, but just a few minutes of stretching will enable this to happen much more quickly. Pilates and yoga are great ways to incorporate stretching into your routine, and are simple to do in the comfort of your own home with help from an app or DVD.

Getting enough sleep is key but nearly a third of Brits suffer from poor sleep on a regular basis.

Get your beauty sleep

According to The Sleep Council UK, nearly a third of Brits get a poor night’s sleep most nights, with almost three-quarters of us clocking up less than the minimum recommended seven hours. A lack of sleep can zap your energy levels and leave you feeling below-par in every department, affecting everything from work productivity to relationships. Try a sleep monitoring app to check how well you’re sleeping, and make some small lifestyle changes – such as banishing tech before bedtime – to ensure you get your beauty rest.

Private healthcare company Check My Health’s Healthy Diet and Nutrients Check (£149) is perfect for anyone looking to monitor and improve their diet or enhance their general state of health. Find out more at www.checkmyhealth.today


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