A healthy lifestyle: proof is in the salad
As the festive season approaches, we’re often still trying to lose a bit of that ‘Christmas weight’ from the year (or three) before.
Over the summer the weather was unusually nice, so we’ve eaten lighter lunches, snacked on fruit and even enjoyed the odd salad for dinner. Pleasant weather also means spending more time outside – aka moving. But why is it that our motivation grinds to a halt once we start wrapping up again?
As cliché as it sounds, it’s proven that a healthy lifestyle leads to a healthy mind – along with the physical health benefits of course. Why should looking after ourselves be seasonal? We’ve written 3 tips to easily incorporate into your day to help towards staying healthy. After all, healthy staff means fewer absences and more energy.
While it’s the one we make the most excuses for, exercise helps you to manage stress, increase self-esteem and improve your fitness levels. All while reducing the risk of heart disease, weight gain and the risk of diabetes. Our bodies are designed to move. Why not try the following tips?
- Set yourself a daily target – e.g. 30 minutes each day or 10,000 steps
- Have walk and talk meetings
- Walk or cycle to work if possible
- Join exercise classes – they’re more social than the gym
- Go for a walk in the evening, choosing a hilly route
No more ‘diet starts Monday’. Healthy eating can increase your energy, stabilise your weight and boost your mood – while also reducing the risk of illness. You can still enjoy the odd treat, but it’s about balance. A good way to judge your meals is on colour - the more colourful your plate, the healthier it tends to be. Here are some suggestions to help you make those healthier choices:
- Keep a food diary for one week and examine it to see what changes need to be made
- Choose low-fat meats or cheeses and avoid frying them by grilling or baking
- Reduce your portion sizes
- Graze throughout the day by eating five or six mini-meals. This keeps hunger away whilst keeping your blood sugar levels stable
- Aim for at least five fruit or vegetables a day
Sleep, or lack of it, is one of the most common 21st century health complaints. There are many different views on how much we need, eight hours being the most recommended, but we’re all different and need to work out what our bodies need to feel refreshed.
Regular poor sleep not only makes us grumpy, but it also puts us at risk of serious medical conditions such as obesity and heart disease. Our top tips are:
- Relax your mind. You can download meditation apps or even use lavender oil
- Before bed, write down your thoughts or a to-do list. This clears your mind before you sleep
- Exercise regularly to make yourself tired
- Create a calm bedroom environment with as little technology in as possible
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time, even at weekends
We can help
As part of our Staff Absence Insurance at The Education Broker, we offer a wellbeing service. This supports school improvement by enabling your staff to maintain or improve their health. After going on cover, a qualified health technician can visit your school to perform health checks on all of your staff. You then have access to a library of information to seek advice based on your results.