Is it time I started living a healthier lifestyle? *

is-it-time-i-started-living-a-healthier-lifestyle

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.

#01 Exercise

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.

is-it-time-i-started-living-a-healthier-lifestyle

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.

is-it-time-i-started-living-a-healthier-lifestyle

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.

Personal history

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.

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Bexa
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These are fantastic tips Lisa! I’m loving the idea of playing The Killers CD really loud and doing some cycling! I can only exercise if I’m playing my favourite tunes on full volume otherwise it’s just hard work. Meat Free Monday’s sound like a great way to try some different vegetarian meals. I need to work on the sleep thing too, I’m guilty of scrolling Twitter and Insta late at night as well, the notebook on the bedside table is a clever idea. I should try that, I have got plenty of notebooks! Great post, you for sharing your suggestions!… Read more »

Aaliyah
Guest

I relate to this so much! I know I’m not the healthiest that I could be and really need to change a few things in my lifestyle to make sure that I am more healthy! ( I say while eating a buscuit!) My diet is probably the worst part but hopefully I’m going to start changing that, Great tips xx

Sophie Wentworth
Guest

I loved this! I always think it’s great when people try things like meat free Mondays. I feel like there’s so much pressure from diets like veganism to be all or nothing but it’s beneficial for everyone if you make even the tiniest of changes. I’m forever trying to get more sleep though…x

Sophie
http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

what corinne did
Guest

I definitely need to get back into a healthier lifestyle! I am eating less meat and making lunch at home. I need to go back to exercising though. Great tips!

Amie
Guest

I love the idea of growing your own veggies, I have been going to a farm shop to stock up on my fresh veggies and I notice such a difference!

Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan

Hels
Guest

You always share such wonderful tips and advice, and all your posts are so informative too. I’ve recently become vegetarian and I’m really enjoying it – it’s challenging me to try new things and create new dishes, and I’m making vegan choices as much as possible. Cycling to a killers CD is a great idea! I got a Fitbit recently and I’m definitely guilty of getting very fixated on getting those 10,000 steps a day, but I’ve found its helped me keep my exercise up!
Hels xx
http://www.thehelsproject.com

Kristin
Guest

Music while exercising definitely makes things easier! I know my long runs are much more bearable when I can sing along to my favorite tunes and let them distract me from the exercising aches and pains (my neighbors probably think iam nuts for singing while I run though haha) I think its great that you want to start a healthy lifestyle, not only for yourself but to set an example for your daughter too! It’s one of the driving forces behind some of my healthy lifestyle changes too, I dont want them to grow up and suffer so many of… Read more »

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

Oh I’m so glad to hear that you’re a lazybones too because I totally am. This year I joined the gym and try and go at least twice a week but if I’m honest it’s not something I enjoy unfortunately. It sounds like your sugar intake is pretty good anyway, I have a real sweet tooth and I should definitely cut down!

Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

Cordelia Moor
Guest

I definitely need to start living a healthier lifestyle. I used to not be so bad, and I had a job that involved a lot of walking and lifting and generally being quite active, but now I’m deskbound! These tips are all wonderful, and really just basic common sense. Cut down on the bad, and add in some exercise. It doesn’t sound hard, but I do have a penchant for cheese too!!

Cordelia || cordeliamoor.com

Alice In Wonderland
Guest

I really relate to this as I frequently fall off the healthy eating wagon. I’ve found that a food diary is really helpful as it means when you don’t get the results you aimed for on the scales, you can go back and find out where you could do better. I’ve found that MyFitnessPal is the best app for this as it has such a great database of common foods. Also I do the 5:2 diet as its easier to keep up rather than be on a constant diet

Lauren
Guest

I want to get more healthier too. I think it’s so important. These are such great tips, I definitely find it hard to cut down on the sugar. Fizzy drinks, cocola is hard for me!! But I have joined slimming world, so it’s a in the right direction. I have been thinking about becoming a vegetarian for a while. I have really gone off meat of late. So I think I may try! Thank you for sharing these useful tips🌷💕

Jenny in Neverland
Guest

I’m definitely making some changes recently and although arguably I’m not THAT much healthier I think over time, I could be. I’ve swapped to Soy Milk in my tea, scrambled eggs and anything else that requires milk and I actually prefer it a LOT! I’ve been consciously trying to try Vegan options, for example we all stopped for tea and cake the other day and I chose a Vegan brownie over everything else. I’m really enjoying trying some new things 🙂 xxx

Ruth
Guest

This is really something I need to do as well. I have a treadmill, and I used to enjoy running on it when I lived with my sister, but it seems so loud and bulky in my little flat with Neal! To be honest, I think I need to start with my eating habits and then tackle some sort of exercise. I love walking so I think if I could stop eating as much junk, I could make things happen by combining those two! We’ll see. Similarly to you, it’s my family history which tends to motivate me – my… Read more »

Ms Via
Guest

Oh this is such an important post for everyone. I feel bad to admit that I fall in the lazybones category. I am purely vegetarian. I have eliminated sugar but sometimes give in to temptations because I love sweets. We eat less salt. All credit goes to my doctor husband. We have a gym in my building which we are lazy to go so we bought the treadmill which I have started using at least thrice a week. My husband uses it every morning. But I am getting to it. There is diabetes detected in my mum and sister. So… Read more »