5 easy ways to be healthier
Top tips for little things you can do to get healthier!
Written by Aideen O'Flaherty
Voices - Advice
Young people share advice based on their experiences.
As we all take a break from the constant sight of lecture halls and classrooms, the next few weeks of freedom offer the perfect opportunity to get your health and fitness back in gear. From food to fitness, this guide's got you sorted.
No, not arduous uphill climbs or magically running 10k with a day's training. Instead take it slowly, going from 30-minute walks, and then gradually increasing this to include jogging and running, over a number of weeks. It will hurt at the start, but honestly it does (eventually!) become enjoyable. If you're a bit unsure about doing it alone, there are a number of smartphone apps, like Couch to 5k, geared towards gradually improving your fitness levels.
Replace dessert with fruit
Fortunately, there are a lot of fruits, so you can leave behind the memories of mouldy apples and oranges from the bottom of your school bag. Blueberries, blackcurrants, watermelons, strawberries, raspberries – there's so much choice, you're bound to find something you like. Just resist the urge to put it on top of a cake/douse it in chocolate.
Walk instead of using the bus
This obviously won't work if you live in a rural area where everything's a fair distance away, but if you're in a city, then embrace walking over using public transport. Almost everywhere in the capital has a local shopping centre nearby, if you usually hop on the bus for a 10-minute or so journey, try walking instead. It will take longer but you'll feel better. You'll save money on bus fare and won't have to wait around at the bus stop either!
It's all too easy to reach for that chocolate bar when you're in the queue and ready to eat the entire shop out of its chocolate stock. But instead try a bit of creative snacking; healthy doesn't have to mean boring. Apple slices with a smattering of peanut butter (it sounds weird, but believe me it's delicious) will fill you up and satisfy both savoury and sweet cravings. If you're craving crisps, replace them with crunchy cashew sticks.
Okay, so technically they won't be invisible, but if you find it difficult to have your 5 a day try incorporating vegetables into some dishes with strong flavours. If broccoli and mushrooms aren't your friends, read on. Like spicy food? Put mushrooms, kidney beans, peppers, broccoli and sweet corn into a homemade chilli. The aroma of the chilli will make your mouth water and the flavour of the chilli will make your taste buds dance, you won't even notice the vegetables. If you prefer more muted flavours, give a vegetable stir-fry a shot using soy sauce and a combination of vegetables. The dishes are flavoursome enough that if you're not a fan of veg you won't have to worry about an overpowering taste of broccoli taking over your dinner. Delicious and healthy!