Stop skimping on the Zzz’s (we mean it this time)!
We’re all well-versed in the benefits of getting enough shut eye, yet many of us still find it hard to prioritise a good night’s sleep – so here comes a gentle reminder to pencil in a much-needed visit to dreamland! Sleep is as crucial to our health as a balanced diet and regular exercise, because it provides the body with time to rest and regenerate. During those hours of snoozing, our skin cells are renewed, muscles are repaired, and our brain is working extra to ensure that it’s in tip top shape. Ever pulled an all-nighter only to find you can’t remember a single fact or figure of what you studied? Sleep is crucial for helping the brain process new information, and also contributes to our long-term memory, problem-solving skills, and ability to pay attention to complex tasks. Apart from brain function, sleep plays a huge role in how our bodies function. This is evident when you consider how consistently sleeping less than 7 hours a night can contribute to a number of ailments, including: heart disease, depression, impaired immune function, and weight gain and obesity1 (the list can go on). So, go on and treat yourself to a lie in, your body will thank you for it!
Get your move on!
When faced with growing to-do lists and imminent deadlines, exercise is often one of the first things we skip. But we really shouldn’t, because regular daily exercise is one of the best things we can do for our health and wellbeing. It can be easy to develop an all-or-nothing approach to exercise but staying active doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym for several hours at a time. Exercise is defined as any movement that makes your muscles work and your body to burn calories. It can be anything from taking a walk in the forest to putting on your favourite playlist and dancing around the living room. Exercising regularly has so many health benefits including disease preventive effects, such as increased muscle mass, better cardiovascular health and improved sleep, memory and mental health, as well as decreased risk of brittle bones, heart disease, cancer, depression and overweight/obesity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults aged 18-64 should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a day, or to double the amount for added health benefits. The exercise should be done in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration. Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups at least 2 days a week2.
Make time for self-care
Self-care has become a bit of a buzzword these days, one that often conjures up images of mani/pedis or luxurious spa visits. While all of this certainly counts as a form of self-care, it doesn’t always have to involve expensive pampering. Self-care can be as simple as taking a night off from all obligations and stretching out on the sofa with a book and a face mask. It can be doing a big wardrobe cleanse or cooking yourself your favourite meal. It could be an evening playing boardgames with loved ones, or just cuddling with your dog. The whole idea of self-care involves taking a step back from life’s many demands and making sure we’re looking after ourselves and our needs. Self-care is crucial for our wellbeing, so make sure that you’re carving out enough time in your routine for the things you need to do to make you feel amazing.
With these simple updates to your routine, you’ll be looking and feeling incredible in no time!