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7 easy ways to become healthier in 2021

WITH the escalating number of Covid-19 cases and the president effectively imposing dry January, it’s time to take the hint and start adopting healthier habits in the New Year. Fortunately, the road towards improving your health doesn’t necessarily require a complete lifestyle overhaul – with just a few simple adjustments to your daily routine, you will be on your way to a healthier you in 2021. Here are a few easy steps to follow.


1. Eat from a smaller dish

It seems a really transparent attempt at minimising your intake, but scientists have actually found that people tend to eat less food in one sitting when portions are decreased. Given the fact that food portions are often more substantial than required for our daily intake, minimising the food on your plate will often get you closer to your required calorie allowance. This leaves you feeling much healthier without that nagging sense of hunger or deprivation.


2. Include a cup of green tea

Renowned as one of the most health-boosting of all beverages, studies have actually shown that people who include green tea in their daily diet are less prone to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This nutrient-enriched beverage also contains antioxidants and compounds that are believed to boost your metabolism.


3. Healthy snacks on the go

We often get caught out by hunger and the quickest way to satiate it is to buy something cheap and often processed. With just a little bit of planning, you can ensure you’re never left scrambling for a packet of chips or a bar of chocolate simply by packing some nuts, biltong or fruit in your bag. It’s also best to avoid buying those tempting yet unhealthy snacks for home because you can’t eat what’s not there!


4. Get unplugged

To truly achieve your health goals, you need to ensure you’re getting sufficient sleep at night. In addition to going to bed at the right time, you should minimise factors that lead to interrupted sleep. This means cutting out social media and messaging at least an hour before going to bed. Technology and all other sources of artificial lights trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime. That’s why it’s so tough to stay awake when there’s night-time loadshedding!


5. Drink water before a meal

In addition to keeping yourself adequately hydrated – especially during the Zululand summers – and ensuing your body function’s well, drinking water will also prevent you from overeating. By drinking a glass of water before sitting down to a meal, you are more likely to eat less and be more mindful about what you’re actually eating…


6. Mindful eating

…which brings us to the next point – mindful eating! This is essentially where you slow down the eating process and become more aware of what you’re eating. You become more in sync with what your body actually requires, rather than gorging yourself quickly and then realising you’ve actually overeaten. Some steps for mindful eating include increasing the number of times you chew per bite, ensuring you’re swallowing naturally and not gulping down air, as well as actually focusing on what you’re eating with every bite.


7. Choose exercise you enjoy

No healthy lifestyle is complete without some form of exercise, and if the thought of gyming, running or swimming fill you with dread, then you need to brainstorm an activity that you actually enjoy doing. If you don’t, then you’re more likely to avoid doing it and break the healthy cycle. One activity that has proven very popular is dancing – whether it’s dance classes or simply cranking up the tunes at home and dancing, you’re burning calories and improving your fitness levels.


Make 2021 the year you embrace a healthier you by incorporating these seven simple adjustments – or more if you prefer – into your daily routine.


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