Spring reset: 10 small lifestyle changes that'll actually make a huge difference to your health
Sometimes size really DOES matter.
Did you know, to make a big and long-lasting positive effect on your health, you don't need to completely overhaul your life and lifestyle. No, really – it's true. These brilliant, yet very simple, tweaks will have you feeling – and looking – SO much better and healthier in no time.
1. Lift weights – and get strong bones
Long gone are the days when we thought women lifting weights would turn into female bodybuilders in no-time. Weight-training should be part of every woman's gym routine, as this will increase lean muscle which works to help strengthen bone mass and therefore prevent osteoperosis. No brittle bones for us!
2. Drink tea – and boost your immune system
Ditch the takeaway latte for a nice cuppa, and you will help protect your body against the damaging effects of free radicals. Tea is a rich source of antioxidants known as flavonoids, which play a big role in protecting against some cancers and cardiovascular disease.
3. Have an early night – and lose weight
It's pretty amazing – going to bed early can actually help you shed unwanted pounds. This is because when you are rested, your organs function more effectively – making you look and feel thinner. Also, being tired, you are far more likely to reach for unhealthy snack options, like caffeine and refined carbs, to give you a much-needed boost of energy.
4. Relax – and reduce blood pressure
Taking the time out to relax even for just 15 minutes is proven to have a great effect on your blood pressure, and how you deal with stress in general. Try this yoga technique to calm and focus your body and mind:
1. Sit or lie somewhere comfortable. 2. Breathe slowly in and out through the nostrils. 3. Try to draw the breath deep into the abdomen. 4. Focus or quietly repeat the sound “humm” as you exhale. 5. Practice for 5-15 minutes.
5. Eat healthy fats – and look and feel better
To those of you still avoiding fat: Wise up! Fat (the good kind) is essential in maintaining optimal health, healthy skin, hormonal balance and a good metabolism. Meaning; if you eat fat, you will burn more fat. GENIUS. Good fat sources include avocados, nuts, seeds, fish and cold pressed oils.
6. Ditch sugar – and stay young for longer
Eating a lot of sugar will have a devastating effect on your skin and overall looks. Sugar will accelerate the skin's aging process by breaking down structural proteins like elastin and collagen fibres, the very things that work to keep your skin firm and smooth.
7. Floss your teeth – and protect your heart
You never would have thought taking care of your teeth can actually have an impact on the health of your heart, but it absolutely can. Untreated gum disease can actually lead to inflammatory reactions in the body that can trigger not only heart disease, but also a stroke.
8. Eat blueberries – and improve your eyesight
Blueberries are packed full of vitamin C (which in itself is great for warding off any sniffles), and are also packed full of flavonols, which acts as a protector for the cells in your eye.
9. Eat an apple a day – and keep the doctor away
Turns out some sayings are true. Apple pectin helps cleanse the body's digestive system by removing toxins, something that actually can help prevent serious health problems, even cancer. Also, studies have shown that apple pectin appears to be beneficial for the heart as it may reduce cholesterol levels and prevent certain fatal heart conditions.
10. Sleep on a silk pillowcase – and reduce your wrinkles
Silk doesn't suck moisture out of the skin the same way cotton does, meaning your skin will get less dry. Also try sleeping on your back, as this will ensure that you don't press your face into a pillow, creating those tell-tale sleep lines.