5 ways to improve your health that are not weight loss related
Often when it comes to our health and wellbeing, weight loss is the most talked about factor. But there are so many more ways to improve your health aside from just looking at your weight.
Read on to find out our top 5 ways to improve your health, which has nothing to do with weight…
1. Drinking more water – aim for around 2L a day.
Although we know it, many of us don’t do it. Water helps our mental and physical performance, energy levels, reduces risk of constipation and much more. Keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day at all times, so you are reminded to drink more. Have a glass of water before or during each mealtime too. Remember, herbal and fruity tea also counts towards your fluid intake, as well as other teas and coffees – but try to make water the main source of hydration overall.
2. Including a range of fruits & vegetables in the diet each day.
There are a huge range of benefits associated with diets higher in fruits & vegetables. For example, lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiometabolic disorders and certain types of cancers (1). Not only is the benefits list long, but many of these have nothing to do with our weight. If you are not a huge fan, start by introducing a new fruit or vegetable each week in different ways, get creative and push yourself out of the comfort zone to try new things.
3. Reducing the consumption of processed sugars, added salts, and fats.
Next time you food shop, have a read of the labels to spot maybe the hidden sources of added sugars, salts and fats in the foods. For example, some fruit juices contain high levels of sugars, so we recommend eating whole fruits more often than drinking the juice. Cold cuts of meat, some soups and even some breads can be very high in added salts. If something is marketed as lower sugar, it may contain extra fats to make it taste better, to be aware of these when shopping.
4. Getting enough sleep!
You may have heard the benefits of sleeping between 7-9 hours per night, which is advised for most adults. This is crucial to allow the body time to rest and repair, so that your brain can improve your overall mood and performance. Having little or poor quality sleep is linked with increasing risk of disease such as stroke and dementia (2). Sleeping also helps support our immune system and respiratory system. If you struggle with sleep, start off with trying to set a calming bed time routine and reducing screen time in the evenings.
5. Think about your mental health.
Taking care of our mental well-being is important. Practice self-care, prioritise activities that bring you joy, include some movement into your week. Not only does movement help to strengthen our muscles and support our cardiovascular system, it also can help reduce anxiety and depression (3)
1 – Petersen KS, Flock MR, Richter CK, Mukherjea R, Slavin JL, Kris-Etherton PM. Healthy Dietary Patterns for Preventing Cardiometabolic Disease: The Role of Plant-Based Foods and Animal Products. Curr Dev Nutr. 2017 Nov (1)
2 – Bryant E. Lack of sleep in middle age may increase dementia risk. National Institutes of Health. 2021 April (2)
3 – Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2) (3)