Most of my friends and family know I’m inherently lazy and exercise is anathema to me. But as a freelance marketer and blogger, I’m glued to my laptop for most of the day, so inevitably my physical health is not as good as it used to be. Alan, by contrast, is undertaking a new exercise trial for the NHS, and Flora’s energy knows no bounds. I’m not setting a great example for my daughter, so I think it’s high time I made an effort to start living a healthier lifestyle.
My five-step plan for living a healthier lifestyle
When I went for a health check earlier this year, I was pleasantly surprised by my test results. Everything was in the range it should be, or even below. Well, everything except my weight, which was creeping towards being overweight. Now, I know I’m big-boned but I can’t hide behind this excuse forever. My clothes have become tighter and I don’t enjoy looking at my holiday beach photos either.
Without a doubt, I need to get off my chair and start some form of activity. Alan recently purchased an exercise bike, which he uses twice a day in addition to going for walks. He’s suggested I start using it too – urrrrgh – because even ten minutes a day will get my heart rate up and hopefully do something about my waistline.
I really don’t want to but perhaps if I stick a Killers CD on very loudly I could do a little pedalling… 🙂
#02 Cut down on salt and sugar
We don’t add salt to our food (well, except for chips, oops) and none of us take sugar in our drinks. But I could exchange my beloved peanut butter breakfast toast for honey on wholemeal once in a while. I think another way forward is to keep a food diary. That way I can track what I’m eating every day rather than trying to remember at the end of each week.
#03 Cut down on meat and dairy
This will be hard because I LOVE cheese. All cheese, any cheese, served any way, served every day. Even though I know it’s not great for my figure or my skin. And we are a family who loves our steak – I think Flora would petition to leave home if we cut meat out altogether! That said, a recent catch up with a friend who’s a passionate advocate of #MeatFreeMondays has got me thinking that perhaps this might be a way to start. Baby steps…
#04 Eat more fruit, vegetables, and pulses
I’m not a vegan or vegetarian but if you read my gardening posts, you’ll know we grow our own vegetables and fruit, and we also try to eat as many beans and pulses as possible. Some years ago Alan and I tried Carol Vorderman’s 14 day detox diet, which involved lots of chickpeas, butter beans, and lentils (we couldn’t get on board with quinoa or tofu). I don’t remember if we felt especially healthy but we did lose a few pounds. And pulses are a great source of protein, along with nuts and seeds, which would be great for #MeatFreeMondays.
A company that I’ve read a lot about on other blogs recently is HealthLabs.com* who offer a unique online lab testing service with packages tailored toward both vegans and non-vegans. The tests are based on the premise that vegans tend to have a highly nutrient-rich diet to compensate for not eating meat or dairy. The one that caught my eye was their “Should I Be Vegan” test which has three levels: basic, standard, and comprehensive. It’s for people who want to see if they’re experiencing allergies or other side effects from a meat and dairy diet and it looks for lactose intolerance, egg allergies, meat allergies, etc.
I have to admit, I’m intrigued, because I do sometimes feel a little sluggish after I’ve gorged on cheese. And if you know anything about colonic irrigation, you’ll know all about how long meat hangs around in the gut (sorry if you’re eating while you read this!) If you’d like to find out more, then HealthLabs are very kindly offering 25% off all vegan testing when using the code LISA25.
#05 Get more sleep
I’ve never been a particularly good sleeper. When we lived in our flat in central Bath, the slightest noise overhead would wake me up. And then I’d stay awake until the alarm went off. Nowadays, I still find myself waking up in the wee small hours and then mentally scrolling through my multiple To Do lists, while trying not to wake Alan. I’m not entirely sure what the answer to this is but here are two things I’m going to try. Going to bed earlier and reading a book rather than browsing Twitter and Instagram on my phone until midnight. Keeping a notepad on my bedside table so I can write down my flashes of inspiration at the time, rather than stress about remembering them in the morning.
My family history is another reason I’ve decided I need to make a start on living a healthier lifestyle. My favourite aunt has been vegetarian for years and is the most active and alert over 90 year old I know. As some of you may be aware, I lost my grandmother and my mother to cancer (brought on by stress). My father died from a heart attack some years ago (due in part to lack of exercise). Flora only has me and Alan, so not only do I want to set a good example to her, I also want to be a responsible parent. I think she – and I – deserve nothing less.
Are you a lazybones like me? Or are you already leading a healthier lifestyle? If you are, please share your tips!
* This is a sponsored post.