We’ve welcomed the New Year in a whirlwind of over-indulgence and celebration, and are now thrown back into the daily grind of work, school-runs, study, and housework – the list goes on and on. With so many demands, it’s not hard to believe that by February 80% of New Year’s resolutions (Forbes, 2017), most of which are to switch to healthier habits, are swiftly tossed out the window like that guy’s number after a bad date! But, it’s never too late to set simple, easy to keep goals that’ll make all the difference to our health and happiness in the long-run. If you want to boost your health this year, consider our 6 tips to help you smash those goals!
1. Sleep like a sloth…
Now, we may have exaggerated a little by comparing our recommended sleeping patterns with sloths that can snooze for an envy-worthy 15 hours per day! But, you get the idea - sleep is very important! It is recommended that adults sleep for 8.25 hours each night for adequate brain function and health – no more falling asleep at the desk and guzzling caffeine all day! Due to our hectic schedules this can sometimes feel impossible to achieve, but The Sleep Foundation have plenty of tips and tricks to help manage your sleeping patterns!
2. “Get off ya phone!”
Parents love to say it and they might just be right! It’s no myth that we are inherently glued to our screens, but overexposure can be detrimental for our health. Many of us have the mentality that we simply CANNOT live without our social media or video games – it’d be like losing a limb, right? But, taking small steps to limit our screen time is so beneficial not only for our physical health but also mental well-being. Rally Health (2016) believes that our lengthy screen time can negatively affect our overall health including vision, sleep, weight and addiction/reward seeking behaviour in both adults and children. Make 2019 the year you stay connected, healthily!
3. Train your brain to chill
When was the last time you took time out for yourself? Probably yonks ago. We often get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we forget to take a break and allow our minds to just CHILL OUT. There’s no doubt that it takes time to train your mind to truly tune out. Ever tried to meditate but then remembered that one time you accidentally stood on your unsuspecting dog’s paw two and half years ago and felt the guilt all over again? Yup, it can be hard! But, making time to do what makes YOU happy like painting, music or swimming is so beneficial! Try taking a small breather each day, even 10 minutes, which will help train your brain to de-stress and improve your overall mental health!
4. Slip, slop, slap!
You’ve seen the advertisements and heard the keep-you-up-at-night jingles – but it’s true, Australia’s sun is beautiful but brutal. We’ve all forgotten to slip, slop, slap at some point and SERIOUSLY regretted the painful new lobster look, but sunscreen is definitely something to take seriously. The Cancer Council (2018) projects that 2 in 3 Australian’s will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by the age of 70 – that’s scary. By making a habit of applying sunscreen daily, you’re already on your way to becoming sun-safe and protecting your skin’s health.
5. Clean, green, immune-fighting machine
If giving your diet a strict healthy-eating overhaul was one of your New Year’s resolutions that have long gone, don’t worry – it’s not too late to begin clean eating habits! If your daily intake is nowhere near the recommended 2 fruit and 5 veg ratio, start by setting goals such as introducing one extra serve per day or replacing your afternoon bikkies with a fruit salad. With a little dedication you can be on your way to a healthier, happier you with a killer immune system to match! Don’t forget to treat yourself along the way though – a little bit of choccy can’t go astray!
6. Hello, Doctor?
We understand - taking a trip to the doc’s office can have you shaking in your boots but it’s truly essential if you feel you need to go. Many of us put it off for a long time and try to ignore our symptoms, but instead of doing that this year; book an appointment for a checkup. Afterwards, you’ll have more time to enjoy yourself and have fun knowing that your general health is in check!
We know that you’ve taken the above health-kick tips seriously, BUT if you do find yourself in the emergency department this year, why not share your experience? Your feedback, whether it’s good or not so good, can help improve Australia’s healthcare system for all!
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