10 healthy habits to start today

Want to take charge of your health and make a change today? Try adopting a few of these healthy habits. It’s easy!

1. Leave these outside the door for a healthier home
Even if you vacuum and sweep every day, serious germs still have an easy walk into your home on the bottom of your shoes.

A university in Houston tested domestic doorsteps and discovered 40% had C. difficile bacteria and 39% of shoe soles had the same bug.

This particular bacterium is resistant to many antibiotics and leaves people with watery bowels that can lead to dangerous inflammation.

A common source is animal droppings including birds. This is also a germ that can live on surfaces for several weeks.

A simple solution is to take your shoes off outside your home and you’ll have a healthier life inside.

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Leave your shoes outdoors to prevent nasty germs coming in with you

2. Uncross these today for better health
Our bodies naturally move into comfortable ways to sit, easing pressure on joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Crossing our legs while seated is something we learn while growing up.

Now, there is a lot of information to support uncrossing your legs for better circulation and heart heath. Of course it’s easier to sit with a ‘man spread’ but that’s not always convenient depending on what a person is wearing at the time. Sitting with knees side-by-side and squeezed together is a good exercise but sometimes we just want to relax.

Medical evidence indicates that crossing one leg over the other for long periods of time, may contribute to varicose veins, increased blood pressure and nerve damage. The other side of this argument is that sitting for long periods of time is the real culprit when it comes to health and crossing your legs is copping unfair blame.

Still, it won’t hurt to uncross those legs today, wiggle your toes, do some ankle circles and enjoy knowing you’ve just done something healthy for yourself.

3. Forget doing this household chore and enjoy better health
As children, many of us were taught to make our beds each morning and while this gave us a way to practise daily self-discipline, making the bed each is a chore you can kiss goodbye.

Studies have shown that by pulling up the covers, you are tucking in dust mites and other tiny creatures that feed off dead human skin cells and particles of sweat. During their lifetime, they are leaving microscopic poop on your mattress, sheets and pillows. As these build up, they can trigger allergic reactions, even asthma-like symptoms.

The average bed can contain more than a million dermatophagoides pteronyssinus – that’s the formal scientific title for dust mites.

The good news is they don’t like fresh air and light. So strip back your bed each morning and let the sun make life very hard for them. You can also sprinkle baking soda on your mattress and pillows and vacuum them. If you want to get really serious, you can contact a professional dust mite eradication service that can help solve the problem as well.

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Leave your bed unmade to prevent the build up of moisture between your sheets and mattress

Some people make their beds around dinner time so they can still enjoy the feeling of getting into a nicely-made bed.

It’s good to know one less daily chore will help you lead a healthier life.

4. Massage this part of your body for a fast de-stress and relaxation
Many hair salons include a scalp massage as part of their service and while this is an absolute joy, it’s also an easy and healthy way to give yourself or a loved one a treat at home.

Lots of hard-working muscles populate the scalp and they respond well to an intense rub with fingertips. The reason this works well in a salon is because the hair is often wet and has a slippery conditioning treatment that prevents pulling on the hair itself.

While the jury is out as to whether a scalp massage is good for hair growth, it can help stimulate blood flow to the area and it puts many people into an immediate state of relaxed bliss – an instant health booster.

5. Keep leftover vegies and do this with them for a healthier treat today
Many of us grew up eating Bubble & Squeak – a savoury meal cooked out of leftovers usually from a roast dinner. But before you go ahead and re-cook yesterday’s beautiful meal, consider keeping the roasted vegetables in the fridge and treating them as a chilled snack for afternoon tea, smeared with a tasty mayo, aioli or drizzled with vinegar. It’s not only a satisfying snack, you avoid cooking the same items twice and further reducing their nutritious content.

6. Make your favourite hot drink even more special and healthier
A mug of hot Milo is a great treat any time of year and particularly in winter but it can get a bit samey so jazz it up with some spices. Adding a generous shake of cinnamon and nutmeg instantly give this chocolatey drink an exotic boost.

You can add this spicy combination to your daily tea or coffee and enjoy the health benefits of increasing your consumption of cinnamon which is reported to lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Nutmeg is reported to help relieve pain, aid digestion and assist in giving you a good night’s sleep. Spice up your health today.

7. Cut this and not calories for better weight management right now
Eating a little bit of a lot of things is better than eating a lot of anything. Moderation is a good rule for life - especially if you like fried, salty or sweet treats.

Cutting portion size without feeling hungry is hard at first and you may need to trick yourself until you get used to it. Start today by using serving bowls and plates that are one size smaller than your regular crockery. Use a dessert bowl for cereal. Use a bread and butter plate instead of a dinner plate for meals.

Eat the portion in the smaller dish then go and do a favourite activity such as gardening or reading. Instead of eating until you are full, what you’ve done is eaten enough until you are no longer hungry. There’s a big difference between the two and when you re-train your body away from wanting to feel full, you will be taking a positive step today in managing your weight.

8. Drink 1 glass of water with this in it for better health instantly
We are told to drink filtered or purified water and most of us suspect we don’t drink enough. Water is a habit and it’s a fact that lots of people are not fond of drinking plain H20 when there are so many tasty alternative beverages available.

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Add lemon to your water to help revitalise your body and mind

Squeezing the juice of half a lemon into a glass of room temperature water and drinking it first thing in the morning stimulates the metabolism and hydrates your vital organs. There are plenty of medical reasons as to why lemon water is best consumed first thing in the morning and here’s another one – if you are still waking up, it may be harder to talk yourself out of doing it.

Just like Monopoly – go straight to the kitchen, do not open the fridge and drink your lemon drink to feel better.

9. Make a cuppa and do this to feel healthier by the last sip
One of the healthiest things you can do for your body, mind and kitchen is make yourself your favourite beverage then instead of sitting down to enjoy it, open up the pantry.

Practise your aiming and throwing skills by tossing every dusty, out-of-date product into the bin. Not only will you have more space for fresher products, you will enjoy the feeling of clearing kitchen clutter.

10. Say this out loud to feel better in an instant
One of the quickest ways to feel better and healthier is to find an affirmation that is particularly relevant to your mood right now and say it out loud.

An easy way to track one down that suits you is to go to Google Images and search ‘affirmations’. Searching ‘funny affirmations’ can put a smile on your face before you get to the bottom of the first page. Here are a few to get you started:

Every day may not be good but there’s something good in every day.

I am worthy of love and respect.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Worrying is using your imagination to create things you don’t want.

I can change.

What are your favourite habits for better health? 

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