10 ways to kick-start a healthier lifestyle

10 ways to kick-start a healthier lifestyle

January is typically known for being the month where we all set our New Year’s resolutions and goals. For many of us, we also choose to use January as the motivation needed to start a healthier lifestyle. Read our top 10 tips to help get you started.

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1. Set your goals for the rest of the year.

Make sure your plan is realistic though and that it contains the reasons why you want to get healthier. Set a SMART goal for each reason [Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time specific]

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2. Move your body!

Exercise is so important for the body and mind. If you set aside some time each week to stay active, your body will reap the benefits.

To stay healthy, the NHS recommends that adults aged 19 to 64 should try to be active daily and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Or if you would prefer, you can do 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week and strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

A good rule to remember, is that 1 minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as 2 minutes of moderate activity.

If you want to work out between classes, or in your lunch break, why not speak to our team at Perth College UHI’s Academy of Sport and Wellbeing about trying a class or getting a taster of the gym?

3. Monitor what you have been eating.

After the madness of December, it’s easy to fall in to the trap of eating out all of the time and snacking on excess foods you’re your body does not need. January is a great time to cut back and meal prep. Not only will it save you money, it will also help you on your health journey. Throughout the year, we are going to be sharing healthy, easy, student recipes - so keep your eyes peeled on our blog!

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4. Drink more water.

If you are feeling tired and sluggish, it could be a sign that you are not drinking enough water throughout the day. The NHS recommends that you should be drinking around 6-8 glasses of water a day, so that your body can function properly and you avoid dehydration.

5. Look after your skin.

Did you know that the skin is the largest organ in your body? The skin is the body’s coat and it protects you from infections. Therefore, good skin care is crucial to keep your protection strong! Five good tips to take care of your skin are: drink plenty of water; avoid the sun; don’t smoke; treat your skin gently and moisturise frequently; and eat a healthy diet - avoiding fried foods and takeaways!

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6. Look after yourself.

Mental health is crucial to having good physical health, so make sure that you offer your body the rest and recuperation that it deserves!  Taking the time out of your busy week to relax and do something you enjoy will make the world of difference.

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7. Surround yourself with like positive, inspiring people.

It can be hard to break negative cycles, but sometimes you have to cut ties with people that are not a positive influence on your life. Having friends that support, motivate and encourage you - will benefit your mental and physical health.

8. It’s ok to say no. 

Having the confidence to say no to things can be lead to a much more peaceful life. You are the only person that can control the priorities in your life, so don’t feel guilty for turning down invites or opportunities if they don’t feel right for your life at that particular moment in time.

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9. Get more sleep!

Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy. Most people need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. The most important thing is that you find out how much sleep you need, and then try to achieve it.  If you wake up tired, and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it's likely that you're not getting enough sleep.

10. And finally… don’t be too hard on yourself!

If you fall off the wagon, or have a blip in motivation, don’t worry as tomorrow is a new day!  Don’t get discouraged, just start a fresh and hopefully you will be on the road to a healthier lifestyle.

Please note, the above blog is designed to aid those looking to improve their lifestyle. If you have any health concerns, or are thinking of starting a new fitness regime, it is advisable to contact your doctor in advance.

Start something completely new

Start something completely new

A day in the life of a Sport and Fitness Student

A day in the life of a Sport and Fitness Student