It might seem a long way off but we are on the countdown to summer which in the UK officially starts on June the 21st. As summer approaches, many of us turn our attention to our health and ways we can improve our health after the inevitable slowdown that happens during the winter months. I have recently been trying to make some healthy swaps where food is concerned as I would like to lose a little weight and also eat a more balanced diet (something I’m not great at), I have also been exercising regularly by running 3 times a week and walking 5 times a week.
Since I started making these changes in February, I have noticed a lot of really good changes. I have lost over a stone in weight, my stamina has improved a huge amount and these two things combined are helping to keep my thyroid condition in good check. If you’re thinking about making some healthy swaps this summer now is the perfect time to start, we still have over 12 weeks left until summer starts and as the saying goes “there’s no time like the present”. If you’re not sure where to start then why not take a look at the suggestions below to get you started.
Drive less, walk more
Now that we are enjoying longer and lighter days there’s no reason to hop in your car for that 5-minute journey to the shop, instead, why not take a leisurely walk to the shop. There are a lot of reasons to swap driving for walking where possible, not only is it better for the environment but its good exercise, great for taking a 5-minute breather to clear your head if needed and you will be able to enjoy some fresh air.
Swap smoking for vaping
We all know that smoking is bad for our health but it’s a hard habit to break (arguably the hardest) but there is help out there and it’s never too late to quit. In fact, the UK Vaping Industry Association has created VApril (Vaping Awareness Month) to encourage smokers to make the healthier switch to vaping, so what better month to make the switch! Vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking which makes the fact that 3 million smokers have made the switch a huge step in the right direction. If you want to make the switch, vape kits and vape juice are available online and on the high street, not only will you improve your health but you will save a lot of money too.
Change sugar-laden drinks for water
There are so many sugary drinks on the market, some that are even marketed as healthy alternatives but aren’t when you look at the ingredients. If you drink a lot of sugary drinks and drinks which contain a lot of caffeine you could find stopping these can make you feel worse before you feel better but as someone who at one point was drinking at least 2 litres of coke a day, I can tell you it’s well worth making the switch. Although initially stopping the sugar and caffeine-laden drinks can cause headaches, irritability and tiredness this will subside and you will feel so much better for it.
Swap TV time for a workout
After a hard day at work, it’s easy to come home and relax in front of the TV for the evening, then before you know it hours have passed and it’s time for bed. The NHS recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, that’s 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week. There are a lot of reasons to consider making this healthy switch, exercise can help improve your health and fitness, it releases feel-good endorphins, it could also help you lose weight and if you go to a gym class it’s a great way to socialise.
Make some simple food switches
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a treat as part of a balanced diet but if you’re finding yourself reaching for the ready meals or the takeaway menu more often than you should why not make a few of the following simple food swaps this summer. Having a takeaway is something us Brits love but too many takeaways aren’t good for our health so instead of opting for a takeaway why not try and recreate your own? I have recently been making my own donner kebab, they are delicious, healthier than a takeaway and also cheaper – what’s not to like? There are other simple food swaps such as swapping white bread/pasta for brown or wholemeal, choosing fruit instead of fruit smoothies and ensuring you are eating healthy vegetables with each meal.
Will you be making any healthy lifestyle switches this summer?