5 Small Lifestyle Changes for a Healthier You
Almost everyone feels that they can always be healthier. But many of us have a misconception that we must make radical lifestyle changes and sacrifices to kickstart our fitness journey. For example, trading your ergonomic chair for a standing desk, 20km sprints every evening, and hello salad, goodbye Big Mac.
In turn, we procrastinate. What's one more day when decades have already passed? But remember, the early bird gets the worm. So instead of delaying your fitness journey, why not start with smaller steps? It's better to start small than not at all. Here are five easy changes that you can make for a healthier you.
1.Walk, walk, walk.
"All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking," said German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. A safe and easy form of exercising, walking is also one of the most underrated forms of fitness. Studies have found that walking helps to boost brain health, improves your mood, and promotes creativity.
Whether you are just starting on your fitness journey or are an Olympic champion (hello, Joseph Schooling), walking is an overall great physical exercise that helps to keep your heart rate up. Compared with running, walking is also much kinder to your knees.
HealthHubSG's National Steps Challenge also rewards you with exciting prizes if you clock over 10,000 steps daily. It's time to walk off your fats! Get your step tracker ready and clock in those steps today!
2. Intermittent Fasting
You may have come across the New York Times bestseller, 'The 8-Hour Diet', where its authors, David Zinczenko and Peter Moore, introduced their theory on intermittent fasting - where consuming your food within a period of 8 hours each day - and fasting for the remaining 16 hours - helps you to lose weight while also keeping you energised throughout the day.
Today, the theory has gained quite a following, with many of its followers flaunting their weight loss via social media. The popularity of intermittent fasting stems from its increased flexibility from other traditional diets because it doesn't dictate what you should or should not eat. It only recommends that you eat within a specific time-frame, thus enabling you to still enjoy the foods you love.
3. The 7-Minute Workout
It sounds almost too good to be true. That you don't have to spend two hours in the gym each day to be healthier. But do 7-minute workouts really help to transform your body? Well, it's definitely a step-up from sitting idle.
A 7-minute workout is a form of high-intensity interval training and you will likely break out in sweats just 3 minutes into the exercise. To maximise results, you will need to perform a series of exercises to work out various major muscle groups. Here's a list of exercises that you can perform during your 7-minute workout.
Besides the 7-minute workout, you can also take up the 100 squats a day challenge! Squats, which help to tone your butt, core and thigh muscles, is another exercise that keeps your heart pumping. What's great about it is that it is one of the easiest cardio exercises that you can perform nearly anywhere, at any time. Do squats while watching Netflix or while waiting for your low-fat muffins in the oven. Better yet, involve your friends and family in this exercise to make it a fun group challenge (or for peer pressure).
Pro tip: As you get progressively better at doing squats, try to intensify your squat moves by carrying some weights over your shoulders or do a deeper squat to increase the range of motion in your hip complex.
4. Sipping water throughout the day
Drink more water. Even though you've already heard it a million times, our body does need lots of water to replenish the fluids it loses throughout the day. If you only drink when you're thirsty, you probably aren't consuming enough fluids. On average, most adults need to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. This requirement increases if you live an active lifestyle, or are based in a hot climate.
If you dislike the plain taste of water, toss a few slices of lemon, strawberries or cucumber into your bottle. Add ice. Now drink.
5. Avoid drinking too much during a meal
Just because water consumption is encouraged, don't do a 360-degree flip and start consuming gallons at a go. It can be dangerous, as your kidney can only eliminate a certain volume of liquid per period. Overconsumption may even lead to water intoxication.
You should refrain from drinking too much water during your meals. Take sips of water rather than in gulps because food in your stomach tends to absorb the water, which makes you bloat. That may explain why you often feel sluggish and bloated after your meals. For your next meal, try consuming water about an hour or two after. You should notice the difference.
With the small steps listed above, getting fit doesn't sound as intimidating, right? By incorporating these small habits to your current lifestyle, you will have successfully kickstarted your fitness journey. Now, it's about keeping the momentum.
And if you're taking your first steps to a healthier lifestyle, don't forget to make sure you're well-protected with a suitable health insurance plan. With Income's easy-to-use portal, browse various plans, get a quick quote for the protection you need and buy directly online!
This article is meant purely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as financial advice. The precise terms, conditions and exclusions of any Income products mentioned are specified in their respective policy contracts. For customised advice to suit your specific needs, consult an Income insurance advisor.