10 Ways to Improve Your Health
How can you live a healthier life – simply? Here are 10 health tips!
1. Eat Slow
Did you know that eating too fast can lead to weight gain?
According to research, people who eat fast tend to gain more weight than those who eat slowly.
When you eat, your body releases ‘fullness hormones’ that tell your brain that you’ve eaten and should stop. However, because this process takes about 20 minutes, fast eaters can overeat and only receive this signal later – which explains the ‘post-buffet bloat’ you might experience after a satisfying meal.
The next time you eat, make a conscious effort to eat slowly and observe the effect on your appetite.
2. Drink more water
You may have heard the adage to “drink 8 glasses of water a day,” but many people don’t follow through, often opting instead to count their total fluid intake—which usually includes soda, coffee, and other beverages.
But your body is not made of soft drinks and beer. Drinking more water has many benefits – it helps control our calorie intake, energizes our muscles, keeps our kidneys healthy, and hydrates our skin.
As you stay hydrated in water, you’ll also notice fewer cravings for sugary or less healthy drinks.
3. Read Nutrition Labels
If weight loss is one of your health goals, make a habit of reading the nutrition labels on your foods when you shop for groceries.
Look at the total number of calories in a product and not just for 1 serving (which is usually what the label says).
Even if a product is “high in calcium,” it may also be high in sugar—a detail you might miss if you don’t read the nutrition label.
4. Eat more fruits and veggies
However, you may want to choose more fresh produce, as it has been found that frozen and canned fruit can also increase the risk of death by 17%.
The next time you’re hungry, that fruit will be the closest and most convenient food you can reach.
10 Ways to Improve Your Health
5. Work out 3 times a week (minimum).
According to Active Health (an initiative of the Singapore Sports Council), adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. However, the reality is, only 26% of Singaporeans do.
Achieving this goal doesn’t have to be difficult. You can try:
Add an activity you’re already doing
Pick an activity that you think you will enjoy and start doing it
These can be small changes. For example, instead of walking your dog, put on your running shoes and jog with your dog. And if you already run twice a week, add a third day to explore different routes at a comfortable, enjoyable pace.
6. Give up smoking
Although the law placed disease-causing images on cigarette boxes and banned tobacco advertising for decades, smoking is still a fairly common practice in Singapore.
Quitting smoking can be challenging, but one of the most life-changing decisions you can make. Some strategies for overcoming addiction include exercise, support groups, relaxation techniques like breathing, or even nicotine replacement therapy.
7. Get (and use) a fitness tracker
Nowadays, fitness trackers are changing the way people live and work. These intelligent wrist-based devices can track your heart rate and the distance you run, and calculate how many calories you burn during a workout.
While the accuracy of fitness trackers (and smartwatches) may have been questionable a few years ago, the accuracy, reliability, and reputation of these devices have reportedly improved significantly in recent years.
8. Get 6-8 hours of sleep every day
Did you know that the recommended number of hours of sleep for adults is 6 – 8 hours per night for optimal health? According to a paper on sleep duration and mortality, researchers also found that those who slept less than 7 hours a night were 12% more likely to die prematurely.
However, be careful not to oversleep, as it has also been found that those who sleep more than 8 – 9 hours per day have a 30% increased risk of premature death.
9. Laugh and laugh more
This is a simple, yet powerful change you can make to improve your mental health.
Why does this work? When we smile, we breathe deeply and take in more air, which stimulates our heart, lungs, and muscles. It also increases the endorphins released by our brain, which positively affect our physiology and mood – automatically putting us in a better, happier state.
Quoting a Harvard Business School professor in his TEDx talk on achieving success through small wins, educator Mehrnaz Basiri says that keeping a daily diary of progress helps us reflect
This practice helps us chronicle and celebrate small victories, even on those frustrating days when we feel like we haven’t accomplished much.
These “wins” could be making healthy food choices at lunch, reacting positively to a negative situation at work, or doing something for the first time that made you happy or inspired.
Remember, you can live a healthy life by making small changes at a time. Start by picking a few of your favorite tips mentioned in this article and incorporate them into your daily routine!