New contributor Kimberley Innes boils it right down to five simple, effective steps you can take right now to better health. Why wouldn’t you?
1. Drink more water. Water is essential to every function of the body, but sometimes it can be a real struggle to drink enough for our daily needs. Try putting some fresh slices of lemon, mint and orange in your water bottle, it will give your water a fruity flavour and help you drink more over the course of the day. If that is sounding like too much work, you could also try adding some Barkers Berrylife Fruit Syrup, which is free of refined sugars and full of Vitamin C and antioxidants.
2. Increase your intake of dark leafy greens. Have you heard of my friend Kale? I love kale. Head to your local health food shop and grab a bag of the nutrient dense green. [Or grow some yourself – Green-fingered Ed]. Pull the leaves off the stalk and blend it up in a smoothie in the morning with some banana, water and whatever else you might like. The banana will mask the taste of the greens and your smoothie will have become a nutritional powerhouse. If you’re not sure about the kale, try spinach and work your way up!
3. Limit your intake of processed foods. Burgers, pizza and pad thai taste amazing but they are not having a positive effect on your health. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to eat rabbit food and commit social suicide. Re-discover your kitchen and start learning to make healthier versions of these meals at home. Invite your friends over for a meal and showcase your culinary skills. By making your own versions of these favourites you will be cutting down on saturated fats, excess salt and nasty additives while improving your health.
4. Start exercising regularly. Sometimes just starting is the hardest part, but moving your body is important for your mental and physical health. If you can’t stand the idea of joining the gym cult, get outside and take advantage of some of the awesome forests and parks New Zealand has to offer. Exercise doesn’t have to be a form of torture, it can actually be quite enjoyable. If you can’t leave the house have a look at the large array of exercise tutorials on YouTube or try out some Wii Fit games. If all else fails you can always learn to twerk to your favourite songs in the comfort of your living room.
5. De-stress. We live busy lives and are often dealing with chronic stress, which is having negative and lasting effects on the body. Take some time out of your day, even if it is just five minutes to just do absolutely nothing (this is harder than it seems). Go and sit in the sun and absorb some Vitamin D or lie on your bed. Don’t play on your phone or talk to anyone, just lie or sit quietly and give your body and mind a few minutes to relax. KIMBERLEY INNES