Post Written by Samantha Allaker

It’s the little changes that can make the biggest difference to our quality of life. That’s why, in celebration of World Health Day (7th April), we’re rounding up some of our favourite health hacks. These hacks didn’t make our list just because they are easy and simple. They made the list because they’re small enough that they can be accomplished each and every day, with minimal effort.

A chapter a day
There’s been a lot of research surrounding the benefits of reading every day. For example, studies show that reading improves your cognitive functioning, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, improves your quality of sleep, alleviates symptoms of depression and can even help you live longer.

Thankfully you don’t need to carve out much time to start reaping some of these amazing benefits. Research shows that spending just 30 minutes a day reading a book/magazine/newspaper is enough to improve your mental and physical health.

Carry a water bottle with you everywhere
If you’re still trying to keep hydrated with glasses of water it may be time to switch to a bottle.
Carrying a bottle with you 24/7 will be that physical reminder you may need to keep sipping at that H2O. If you can, always keep your water bottle in your line of sight and within reaching distance.
Make sure to use a reusable water bottle and not single-use plastic, which is terrible for the environment. Instead, find a reusable bottle that suits your personality and style and treat it like your favourite accessory.

Don’t eat more. Eat raw
We all know the importance of eating our veggies. Despite this, many of us are still struggling to get in our 5-a-day rainbow of fruits and vegetables. One of the simplest ways around this is to eat more raw veg. Vegetables actually lose a lot of their nutrients when we cook them. So, to get more bang for your veggie buck, try snacking on some raw veggies throughout the day.

Stretch
You don’t have to be an uber-flexi yogi to take some time to stretch out those muscles. Here are a couple you can do from your desk, or in between the ad breaks when you’rer watching TV.

Side bend (seated/standing)
• Stand or sit with your legs together.
• Reach up to the ceiling/sky as you take a big breath.
• Lean to the left gently as you exhale.
• Repeat on the other side.

Forward fold (seated/standing)
• Stand or sit with your legs together.
• Reach up to the ceiling/sky and you take a big breath.
• Bend forward at the hips as you exhale.
• Touch the floor or hold your legs as you deepen your breath. Don’t worry if you need to bend your knees. This is just a sign that your hamstrings are tight. This is very common in people who sit for long periods of time.

Try Eating Outside
If your work-life is on the hectic side, it can be difficult finding the time to treat yourself to a walk in nature. That’s why we’re recommending that you try eating outside instead. Get out of the cafeteria, step away from your desk and enjoy your lunch in the
great outdoors.
According to studies, being out in nature for just 20 minutes a day can significantly reduce cortisol levels. Plus, you never know, once you’ve finished chowing down on your sandwich, you may feel inspired to take a walk too.

Written by Aspect County Health and Beauty Editor
Samantha Allaker

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