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7 healthy everyday habit changes you can make for free

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

The best time to start focusing on health and wellness is now. And it doesn't have to cost the earth... or even a penny for that matter!

 With ads for #wellbeing product, programs and services rife across social media, we looked at ways you can make happy, healthy changes for free.

1. Walk - every day

Walking is a great way to improve your overall health. Studies have shown that walking for just 30 minutes a day can increase your cardiovascular fitness, reduce excess body fat, build muscle and strengthen bones.

Most mobile phones count how many steps you walk each day, making it easy to track. But why not challenge yourself to walk 10,000 steps per day and reward yourself at the end of the week if you manage to reach your goal?

If you find it difficult to get out for a walk each day, there are some small changes you can make to help increase your step count. Walk to the shop instead of driving. If your commute to work is within walking distance, try going on foot instead of on the bus - or just get off a few stops early. If you work at a desk all day, try and get up and walk around for a bit every hour.

Walk with other people to make it more fun. Or try listening to music or a podcast.

2. Join an exercise community

To get fit and healthy you don’t need to spend lots of money on exercise equipment. You can go for a run or do some yoga at home - and there are also plenty of free apps you can download that allows you to monitor your progress and communicate with like-minded people.

The Nike Run Club app measures your running time and distance and will keep track of your achievements. There are also weekly and monthly challenges you can get involved in as part of the Nike Run Club app community.

Strava allows you to measure a variety of exercises, from running and cycling to surfing and kayaking. You can follow other members of the Strava community and comment on their progress. 

If yoga is more your thing, you could do Yoga with Adriene. Adriene has a large following, and she hosts regular 30-day yoga challenges that you can get involved with for free!

3. Never go to the shop without a list

Before you go food shopping, you should write a shopping list and stick to it. You won't be as tempted to make impulse purchases and you'll be able to plan out exactly what you need.

Make a healthy food plan for the week, with a mix of fruit, veg and some treats on your list so you can have a balanced week.

Having a shopping list will help you feel more organised and save money too.

4. Drink more water

The water in the human body helps our bodies run efficiently and function properly. So, a high intake of water is needed to maintain the balance of body fluids.

The recommended daily amount of fluids advised to consume in a day is between 6-8 glasses. By opting for water instead of fizzy drinks, tea or coffee, you'll do your body a favour.

5. Use toxin-free cleaning products

Make your home a healthier place to live by using toxin-free cleaning products.

A lot of household cleaning products are made with toxic chemical ingredients. These ingredients can be particularly harmful to pets and children, and even your plants. Instead, opt for some DIY cleaning, and you’ll save money as well.  

6. Write a Journal

Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body.

Writing a journal can relieve stress and anxiety, but it’s also a great way to identify your future goals and aims.

If a daily entry seems like a big commitment, try writing in your journal once a week instead. Or you could start by writing a minimum of one sentence a day to get you started.

7. Cut down on screen time

Social media can be addictive, and once you’re in a scroll-hole, it can be difficult to climb back out.

Cutting down on the amount of time you spend in front of your phone can have numerous benefits, and give your mental health a much-needed boost.

Spending too much time in front of a screen causes interrupted sleep, and there's evidence to show a link between internet overuse and low mood.

If you usually have your mobile glued to your palm, then try making some small reductions to help you cut back.

For example, avoid sitting in front of a screen when eating, and especially when you go to bed. You could also try setting yourself a screen limit so that you only spend so many hours a day on your phone.

To give your health an even bigger boost, read here to find out how to get better sleep.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

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