3 ways to be Healthier in 2019

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New year, new me, new buzz new goals?!

I LOVE IT!!

If you haven’t seen my New years eve vlogย yet, then you may or may not know that I lowkey LIVE for the magical momentum that a new year brings. That’s why you won’t see me hating on your goals. You won’t see me slying rolling through with pessimistic nillism. Call me a consumer at heart because wow I BUY INTO THE BUZZ.

For me, the new year is the perfect opportunity to reflect, set goals and make valuable life changes.

Will you achieve all 58 of your goals? No. Probably not. But does that mean that you shouldn’t try?

Absolutely not!

You could achieve one! Maybe even three! Every success is a success to be celebrated.

With that in mind here are

3 ways to be healthier in 2019.

1. Rest.

CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

Physically, Spiritually, emotionally – REST.

This point could be applied to many areas of life. We are human BEINGS not human DOINGS and it’s important to take.. no. It’s important to MAKE time to rest.

More specifically – sleep.

Sleep deprivation can have significant consequences on your health. Sleeping poorly regularly can put you at risk of heart disease, obesity and can significantly shorten your life expectancy – madness right?! Don’t believe me ? I don’t blame you. Click here to read my research packed post on the health risks of too little sleep.

Aim for 8 hours a night.

Prioritise it, defend this restful time with all your might. You NEED to sleep, and if you’re anything like me (former 6 hour per night sleeper, repentant, saved by grace) you may find that the rest of your life will glow up as a result.

 

2. Get active.

We are sedentary.

We are literally the most sedentary generation that has ever lived. We walk to the car or bus, then walk to our desk at work, sit down for 8 hours then maybe do a 30 minutes gym class after work if we are lucky. Don’t get me wrong, 30 minutes of exercise is great. That gym class is awesome – well done! But this year I challenge you to make activity a part of your life. Try getting off the bus a stop early and walking a little further. Maybe invest in a bike (I have done this!) and make activity a normal part of your every day life rather than an additional task.

Do you NEED to take the lift? Why not take the stairs instead?

We were made to move!! Make activity an integral part of your life rather than a one off special event. Your future, older self will thank you for it.

 

3. Mind your alcohol

I don’t mean to be a party pooper, but alcohol can sneak up on you.

One minute you’re an 18 year old fresher feeling fit as a fiddle the day after consuming an ungodly amount of gin, the next minute you’re a full time working adult drinking two glasses of wine per night but experiencing near death trauma the morning after you consume anything more than three.

In our British society, alcohol is a regular, social and pretty normal part of life. But alcohol can have big effect on your health when consumed excessively.

And you may be pretty surprised to find out what is considered excessive (I’ll tell you in a min 1 sec).

Long term excessive alcohol consumption can lead to brain and liver damage, nervous system damage, mouth and throat cancer and stroke.

You won’t see the results immediately, you may manage work and life along side an excessive drinking habit – but the risk is there. It’s real.

Of course, there are short term effects of alcohol consumption too. Most of us know about the high amounts of calories alcohol contains (note for those looking to lose weight), and the health risky behaviour one can partake in while drunk (e.g lost wallet, lost friends, lost dignity), but did you know that alcohol can disrupt your sleep pretty badly too?

Yes, that glass of wine might help you fall asleep quicker – but once asleep alcohol actually decreases the quality of your sleep. One way it does this is by behaving as a diuretic (makes you pee more), meaning you may get up several times in the night to urinate. Another way alcohol disrupts sleep is by changing your sleep cycle and reducing the amount of time you spend in deep sleep. Instead you spend more time in the less restful REM sleep.

Reducing your alcohol intake is GOOD. There’s no perfect level, but aim for no more than 14 units per week – this is considered low risk.

As an estimate – one shot of spirit = 1 unit. One glass of wine – 2 units. One bottle of cider = 3 units. So you can see how if you are drinking two glasses of wine each night with dinner – you’re very innocently and easily exceeding the recommended amount.

Cutting down on alcohol will help you to save money, improve the quality of your sleep and reduce your risk of long term health damage while looking after your temple of a body.

If you struggle with cutting down on alcohol and feel you may be dependent on it – there are helplines.

And that’s it.

 

3 simple steps that can help you treat your body like the gift that it is.

These are all steps that I’ve slowly implemented since the start of the year. There’s no pressure or stress – I don’t beat myself up when I opt to take the lift instead of stairs after a longass day. But I do make an effort. Every extra step, cycle, hour of sleep, glass of water instead of wine – it all helps for habits that will impact my life, my health and inevitably the life and health of those around me.

 

Do you have any New Year resolutions? I’d love to hear them!

 

Xoxo

Dr Saz

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