Following a healthy lifestyle can help prevent 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and strokes and 60% due to cancer.
Here are five tips from experts on how to take a few simple steps towards living a healthier life.
1. Always eat breakfast
“Breakfast is linked to improved nutrient intake, as well as improved concentration and alertness. Studies show that skipping breakfast is associated with increased stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue and tiredness.”
Raeesa Seedat, Registered Dietitian and ADSA spokesperson
2. Unwind your brain
“Before you go to sleep, you need to give your brain a chance to wind down. Allocate between 30 and 60 minutes for this. Going to bed directly after working or after exercise can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Caffeine and alcohol can affect sleep, and sufficient time should be allowed after the consumption of these substances before getting into bed.”
Dr Kevin Rosman from the Morningside Sleep Centre
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
“Being well-hydrated is important for overall health. You can use herbs such as mint, chopped fruit and lemon slices to make water more interesting. Remember that store-bought flavoured waters often have added sugar and should be avoided.”
Kezia Kent, Registered Dietitian and ADSA spokesperson
4. Be mindful!
“Set your alarm clock for 10 minutes earlier in the mornings. Find somewhere quiet, with a comfortable seat. Close your eyes and focus on your breath allowing it to move freely in and out of your nose. Start with five minutes and see how you go from there. If you really aren’t a morning person, try it in the evenings. Tonight, instead of your usual routine of flicking on the TV when you get home, take a few moments, find a quiet space with no technology on or around you and just breathe. Find a way of moving your body that feels good. Try out different exercise or yoga classes, until you find an environment that’s comfortable to you.”
Dominique Vieira, Co-Founder of Wild Thing Yoga & Body Conditioning
5. Find balance in your life
“Focus on yourself from time to time and pamper yourself. You can’t expect others to nurture you if you can’t nurture yourself. Learn to say no without feeling guilty. Having reasonable boundaries is healthy, and it helps you to regulate how much you take on. Set SMART goals for yourself – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time specific.”
Raydene Naidoo, Psychologist from the South African College of Applied Psychology