When most people seek to improve their health, they turn to their diet. As a nutritionist I am all for this and its definitely a fantastic place to start. However, health is holistic and much more than the food we choose to eat! This means it’s important to not only consider diet when trying to be healthy but also other ways to boost wellbeing. This is especially important if you have already made changes to your diet and are now looking to take your health to the next level!
Here I share 5 other ways to boost your wellbeing which don’t involve a change to your diet:
Find a hobby
What does a hobby have to do with health, you ask? Well interestingly lots! Having a hobby is known to boost mental wellbeing, increase creativity, reduce stress and you might just discover a passion you previously were unaware of. Remember, a hobby is different to a side hustle – a hobby doesn’t necessarily need to result in any form of achievement, it can be done for the purpose of sheer fun and enjoyment.
Know your numbers
Most of us know our body weight or body fat percentage but not many of us know our other numbers, which are more indicative of chronic disease risk. What numbers exactly? Measures such as waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, cholesterol profile, blood pressure are some basic numbers we should all be aware of or get checked by our GP at least annually – after all, prevention is better than cure!
Surprisingly here I am not talking about food, instead being in nature. A recent UK study, which is the first to investigate the contribution of both nature contact and connection to human health, wellbeing and proenvironmental behaviours, has shown that people who visit natural spaces weekly and feel psychologically connected to them, have better physical and mental wellbeing. Additionally, it encouraged people to act in ways, which protect the health of the planet. Some easy ways to get out into nature include going for a walk in a park at lunchtime, visiting the beach on weekends, going for a hike or having a picnic near bushland.
Focus on your breath
How we breathe – shallow and fast or deep and slow – can send a message to our nervous system, which can impact whether we feel anxious and nervous or calm and relaxed. Breathing is the most simple and accessible tool to calm down the body and mind and enter rest and digest mode. Being mindful of your breath can also be a nice way to bring yourself back into the present moment. The thing I like most about breath work is that it can literally be done anywhere, during a commute, in traffic, at the supermarket, in the shower, when standing over the stove cooking or when on a walk – there is no excuse to not try implementing this as part of your daily routine!
Make sleep a priority
When talking wellbeing, sleep has to make the list. Adequate and good quality sleep is an integral part of our health routine. When our sleep suffers so too does our health – we not only feel tried but we are also have less tolerance for stress and crave unhealthy foods leading to poor food choices. If you aren’t sleeping well, it’s likely something in your life needs to change and its important to not dismiss poor sleep. Seek out the right help to find ways to prime your body and mind for a good night sleep