Y Magazine

Five healthy changes in 10 minutes or less

A healthy lifestyle is an admirable goal to aim for, no matter what time of year it is. However, the problem is that many people shoot for the stars either by resolving to lose a large amount of weight or by giving up the food they love. A better approach is to make small changes that, when combined, can make a big impact.



“People who make smart yet simple lifestyle changes will find it easier to succeed,” says Margot Savoy, a US-based doctor.

“It’s about all the small victories that add up to winning the war. If you want to feel your best and make changes that will last, think small for big results.”

Healthy habits can take up to 10 minutes a day to complete, which is not a lot of time despite our busy lifestyles. Over time, these can be very beneficial to your health and will become second nature within a few weeks. Dr Savoy suggests these five simple steps for healthier living in 2017.

Be informed

Stomach pains? Sore knees? Not sure if it’s the cold or the flu? Being healthy means staying informed. When you need more information about your health, visit a reputable website such as familydoctor.org to learn more.

Snack well

Eating well is all about balance, and while many Omanis are striving to eat more healthily, it’s the snacks that are sabotaging their diets. When hunger pangs strike, reach for nutrient-rich foods instead of junk.

One of the best ways to do this is to select one drawer in the refrigerator and dedicate it to foods for healthy snacking. Stock it with fruit, veggies, wholegrain crackers and low-fat cheese and nuts. Spend 10 minutes each Sunday cutting vegetables and portioning out nuts and other snacks.

Move and groove

You don’t need a fancy gym membership to get fit. Just block off 10-minute increments each day to work out and you’ll start to feel the difference.

Try walking, biking or doing sets of squats, crunches and jumping jacks. Within minutes you’ll raise your heart rate and work those muscles.

If you have children, join in the fun with them and you’ll be surprised just how quickly you can get in a quick workout. A game of tig (also known as tag), for example, is a great running exercise. It’s also a wonderful way to bond with your family.

Hydration

Everyone knows that fizzy drinks are unhealthy but for other soft drinks, it’s not so obvious. Many fruit juices and sports drinks are packed with sugar and calories. Hydration is important so drink as much water as possible to boost your health.

Staying properly hydrated is essential to healthy living, and because the body is approximately half made up of water, there’s no better drink than good old H20. If it’s too bland for you, add some healthy flavour with fresh oranges, apples, kiwis or strawberries.

Sun protection

The sun gives off UV rays of light that are helpful and harmful. Some sun exposure is good because it helps the body to create vitamin D, which absorbs calcium. Too much sun exposure, though, can lead to skin changes, a lowered immune system and cancer.

It takes just a minute to slather on sunscreen to block out harmful UV rays in the winter months. Focus on the face which is exposed all year long, and during warm months or while vacationing, make sure to use sunscreen on the entire body, reapplying regularly.

What’s more, teach your children to do likewise and create healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

– BPT