33 Healthy Hits

Healthy living isn’t always top of the agenda when you’re in the middle of your degree, even if you wish it was.

But it doesn’t take months to arrange a wholesome lifestyle. Bit by bit, there are many ways to look after yourself that little bit more. I list 33 suggestions below. What other healthy hits benefit you?

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  1. Listen to your body – Possibly the most important healthy hit. Your body can tell you so much about yourself that it astounds me.
  2. Remember to eat – I’ve done it many times. I stop at 3pm and think, “I’ve not eaten anything today”. On one or two occasions, I’ve gone without food the whole day. It’s not good. Don’t do it. When I do, it only ends in tears!
  3. Stop drinking coffee/tea – Caffeine keeps you awake but it doesn’t help your studious mind. Anyway, you’re more likely to munch biscuits if you’ve got tea around! If you want a warm drink, why not warm up some squash, or have some healthier green tea?
  4. Walk – Walking to a lecture doesn’t cut it. In fact, I’ve seen people walk up a flight of stairs and suggest it’s helped them lose the calories they just ate in a cake. Complete rubbish! Walk a mile or two with a brisk pace…then you’re doing some good. Walking is good for your breathing anyway, so it’s a double whammy.
  5. Do a 10 minute exercise – So many people can’t even cope with a 15 minute exercise, so why not have a quick stretch and then do a few sit-ups, press-ups, star jumps, running on the spot, whatever. Get your body active, that’s the main thing.
  6. Get the right sleep – I need 5-6 hours. My wife needs 8-9. We’re all different and we can train our body to change to an extent. Keep a fairly accurate routine if you can. I never had a pattern of sleep, although I always got up at the same time each morning, even if it meant less than 3 hours sleep!
  7. Keep a first aid kit – Not one simply full of bandages. Get yourself kitted out with pain relief gel, paracetemol/asprin/ibuprofen, sudocreme, plasters, etc., etc. You won’t have Mum & Dad’s medicine cabinet to raid anymore and who knows when you’ll be struck down with something?
  8. Eat your 5 portions of fruit and veg each day – We still don’t do enough of that, but it’s important stuff.
  9. Take a vitamin and mineral supplement – It’s not an alternative to fruit and veg, but it’s good to make sure you’re getting all the goodies your body needs.
  10. Wash your hands – Hands come into contact with many germs. Hands also come into contact with the face. Oh dear. So it’s best you wash your hands frequently. Also, try to use the back of your hand or your knuckles to rub an eye and get rid of itches.
  11. Clean your room, clean the kitchen, clean the bathroom (but don’t get obsessive!) – Get rid of the build up of dust and grime. You should be able to breathe easy and you’ll be at less risk of picking up the nasties lurking around.
  12. Get a massage – Big time relaxation. If you don’t have the money, why not ask a loved one. Or get a massage off a friend and then return the favour with a massage for them!
  13. Don’t put your hand over your mouth when you cough. Certainly don’t do it when you sneeze. – Why do we use our hands to splutter and snot all over!? Right after you do that, you go around shaking hands with people, touching door handles, using computer equipment, and so on. It’s madness. Instead, I always make a motion toward my armpit when I cough. Sneezing is more difficult, because you don’t want to risk sneezing all over your clothes. Hopefully you’ll have tissues, or at least wash your hands straight after you sneeze into them!
  14. Stay busy – The more you mope around feeling bored, the more likely you’ll come down with something. I haven’t a clue why. But when my Dad was bringing me and my brother up as kids, he was only ill about twice in 18 years. And he was only ill because we’d given him something like chickenpox!
  15. Talk to people – It’s great to socialise. With a bit of interaction, you’ll keep your spirits high and your immune system happier. But try to socialise with people who aren’t stinking ill! 😉
  16. Relax, meditate, chill! – Let go of everything for a while and it’s good for your body, as well as your mental state. Sometimes we forget to slow down, even for a short period of time. Bodies don’t take kindly to that type of treatment.
  17. Eat smaller meals – Don’t bloat up on two or three massive meals each day. Tuck into a more proportioned set of meals, 5 or 6 times a day. On some days, this suits a student lifestyle perfectly. On other days, you’ll hardly think you’ve got the time for one meal. But try it once in a while. You probably won’t feel so lethargic on smaller portions.
  18. Drink lots of water – while the ‘8 glasses a day’ thing isn’t necessarily quite true, you still need to be properly hydrated. If you don’t like water on its own, put a bit of squash with it, or drink a warm honey drink. And remember, if you feel thirsty, it’s already too late and your body is dehydrating more than it should be.
  19. Don’t panic about ‘superfruits’ – They’re more expensive and not always so easy to buy. If you’re trying to improve your fruit and veg intake, start by eating more commonly found items. Your body won’t reject grapes and cherries just because they aren’t goji berries…
  20. Don’t expect to change overnight – When you set a goal, don’t stress when it takes longer than a day to achieve. Allow that thing called ‘time’ to ease you into what’s needed. Our culture may be 24/7, but we can’t always subscribe to that as individuals. Success doesn’t always come from the fast lane.
  21. Get rid of unhealthy rubbish – If it’s there, it’s a temptation. If there are too many sweets/biscuits/cakes/crisps lying around and you know you shouldn’t be eating them, get them out the way. Why not give them away to your friends? I’ll be your friend…
  22. Eat more slowly – Not only is it better for your body’s digestion, but you’re also less likely to overeat. The quicker you eat, the more you’ll have guzzled down before your brain tells you that you’ve had enough.
  23. Turn the heating down – the dry atmosphere can play havoc on your body, especially around the mouth, eyes and nose. If it’s too dry, you might be warm, but you’ll also be inviting the possibility of illness.
  24. Open a window – Let your room get some fresh air and circulation. Stale air isn’t going to do you much good and disguising smells with air freshener or deodorant is even worse.
  25. Clean hard to reach places, like fingernails – Dirty fingernails aren’t always properly cleaned. Give them a proper scrubbing!
  26. Drink alcohol/Don’t drink alcohol – The jury is out on this one. Some reports suggest you should have a small amount of alcohol, others say it’s no good at all. So long as you’re not drinking to excess all the time, you should be fine. Although students and cheap booze… 😉
  27. Breathe deeply – This used to be one of my favourite relaxation techniques. Take a long-lasting deep breath, hold it briefly, then expel that air back out slowly. Do this a few times and the world will seem a better place.
  28. Eat a variation of foods – If you eat healthily, but only the same three healthy foods, over and over again, you won’t be getting a the right nutritional balance. And sorry to disappoint those who eat five portions of carrots a day to get their fruit and veg requirements…but you have to eat five DIFFERENT portions of fruit and veg.
  29. Find time to smile – Don’t worry, be happy. A grumpy state of mind is bound to bring out the worst.
  30. Give someone a hug – But remember to get their permission! Tell them that they should feel the benefit too…
  31. Move around – sitting around in the same place is rubbish and it’ll mess your body up. It’s a recipe for tiredness, restlessness and achy joints. Get up, shake yourself about, have a stretch, go somewhere else. Do it often.
  32. Listen to the classical goodness – If moving about sounds like too much hard work, you could perhaps sit back and listen to some Mozart. While Mozart is always claimed to be the mind-gym king, any classical music is worth a go. And the lack of lyrics (unless you’re listening to opera or choral delights) mean you won’t be concentrating on the words either!
  33. Do something kind today – Spread the love. You’ll feel better for doing something good, as will the recipient of your kindness. Now that’s what I call healthy.

3 comments

  1. Love the new site design, Martin! Glad to see things are going well.

    I’m back up and going, perhaps not at full speed, but still…. New site is called “mindfulink.com”. Hopefully no giant publishing company will try to sue me over it. :grins:

    Cheers!

  2. Thanks, Gideon. I feel a lot happier with this theme.

    Yes, I was happy to see you show up on my RSS feeds again. Good times! Welcome back.

    Let’s raise a glass to Mindful Ink. Cheers!

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