10 simple steps to a healthier, happier you

For anyone who has been on and off different diets, regimes and plans, you'll know what it's like to constantly be watching what you do and eat. It's tiring and stressful and hardly ever fits in with the average, busy working lifestyle.

However, there are always things we can do to make sure we're leading a healthier lifestyle. It could mean going to the gym more often, eating better, drinking more water or even just getting a little more sleep!

And if daily life is wearing you down, preparing your body for whatever life throws at you will always help you keep your head above the water, ward off colds and help you stay strong.

Ready to feel good about yourself? Follow our top 10 tips for being a bit healthier and a bit happier.

1) Drink more

Although several sessions of drunken Zumba sounds brilliant, we're not suggesting you do this.

Water is great and even though it's a little on the boring side, your body does need it. In fact, quite a lot of it. So, try to up your water in take and tackle those big rings hiding under your eyes. Not a fan of the good stuff? Mix it up with some no added sugar squash or herbal and fruit teas to get you up to the recommended six to eight glasses a day.

2) You can always eat more fruit

For most of us, fruit is a depressing snack. Mainly because living in Britain, we're not surrounded by lemon groves or peaches the size of your face. So we survive on apples, pears, strawberries and grapes. The thing is, fruit can always be incorporated into pretty much any meal you're having. Blueberries on your yoghurt, dried fruit on your porridge, pineapple on your pizza and strawberries on your chocolate pudding! Apples, sliced bananas, raisins, raspberries and more. Topple them on and up your vitamins in an instant.

3) Healthy snacks at the ready

We all have a point in the day when our sugar levels drop and we crave nothing but chocolate. So whatever time your shaky cravings start and you can't get food off your brain, make sure you reach for the healthy stuff – and not the chocolate cake (sorry). Have little pots stashed away in your fridge and cupboards of nice things that won't break your calorie bank. Celery sticks, carrot sticks, bags of popcorn, rice crackers, sachets of dried fruit and nuts and even low sugar ice lollies. Brilliant for when hunger hits and you can't stop thinking about Mars bars...

4) Cut down on the coffee

Caffeine is great for helping give you a little push out of bed in the morning but it can also make you crash and crave. And if you're sensitive to caffeine, not getting it can even lead to have headaches. Also, having a black coffee is one thing. Having seven large cappuccinos is another. Many coffees are topped up with full-fat milk, sugary syrups and chocolate on top. So, if you've noticed you're relying on your local coffee shop a bit too much for stimulus, try and re-address your life/coffee balance.

5) Stretch

Stretching and self-massage is great for the body as well as your stress levels. Find some time to stretch as well as ease the tension in your back and glutes – a common problem among office workers! Not sure how to self-massage? Get yourself a Mirafit Foam Roller and read our blog for a session of pure relaxation.


6) Meditation and mindfulness

Going to the gym can be great. It can also mean crowds of fitness fanatics, banging barbells and bright lights. Getting some space in the evening doesn't always have to mean pounding on the treadmill. Giving your body some time to relax includes getting some mental space too. Practising mindfulness is a great way to focus your thoughts, as well as feel more positive. Meditation too is about letting your mind sharpen while you close your eyes and let your body relax.


7) Spread out the alcohol

Not drinking during the week? This is great except if you keep everything in moderation at the weekend. But if you go from abstinence to full on rum o'clock come 5pm every Friday, it can actually end up being worse for your body. Alcohol is a treat and we're not saying cut it out completely if you don't want to. But it's always a good idea to watch your units, drink while eating food, keep up your water and avoid binge drinking.

8) Swap your treats for treats!

If your well-deserved treat is always food, it's easy to fall into a habit of always 'needing' something chocolatey or salty every time you do well. When this becomes a daily habit, all those treats can certainly add up! We're not saying lose the treats – quite the opposite! It's great to recognise your achievements and be proud of them. Just celebrate with a variety of nice things. A massage, new trainers, a trip to the cinema – do something nice for yourself!

9) Go outside more

Taking a break outside is not only great for adding a little exercise into your day, but it's also brilliant for your mental wellbeing and helping you to feel more positive. As well as getting a good workout at the gym or at home, make sure you get some time away from the house so you can clear your mind and enjoy the outside world. This can mean going for a walk, run, doing a workout in the garden or just soaking up some evening sun around in the countryside. You'll get away from all those seats, screens and up your vitamin D levels instantly.

10) Be kind to yourself

Exercise and healthy living are all about making changes, and it can be so easy to let unhappiness fuel your fitness. Celebrate your achievements, challenge yourself and most of all, be kind to yourself. It's impossible to dedicate all your time to your fitness regime and incredibly difficult to constantly turn down nice things. Be proud of who you are from the beginning and try to make good choices whenever you feel strong enough to do so.

Be the best version of you.