Get happy

HEALTH:

Studies have found that feeling positive helps boost the immune system, making happy people less likely to suffer from physical illness. In contrast, stress and negative thoughts can exert a negative on effects on your health through the same biological pathways.

Try these natural mood-boosters to help avoid stress and give yourself a lift.

EXERCISE:

44050902574705617xtH0qrFGcPhysical activity is vital for health, fitness and happiness. Those who exercise frequently not only feel better but benefit from the added sense of accomplishment that comes from meeting personal fitness goals and improving their physical appearance.

By making a commitment to exercise, you will reap the psychological and physical rewards on a regular basis.

NUTRITION:

When trying to get healthy, don’t think in terms of sacrificing the foods you enjoy: concentrate on all the delicious things you can add to your diet that will make you look and feel better.

Chicken or chickpea curry served with cashew nuts, brown rice and live yogurt makes a delicious meal that is also packed full of tryptophan, the feel-good amino acid.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Make the effort

HEALTH:

It was Woody Allen who famously commented that “90% of success is just showing up”. Well the same applies for the gym;  the hardest part is often just making the effort to get there.

You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you need to run or the amount you can bench press later; make your first priority simply packing your gym kit and getting through the door.

EXERCISE:

Once you have an exercise habit, it quickly becomes automatic. But after a week, a month or even a year off, it can be hard to get started again. The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop: avoid taking long breaks from the gym or you’ll find rebuilding the habit will take a lot more effort.

To keep the momentum going, try jotting down how great you feel after a really good workout and use it as a reference the next time you’re tempted to take a break.

NUTRITION:

Often the first area to be compromised when we are busy and feeling stressed is our diet; hectic lifestyles can lead to a reliance on convenience foods, which lack essential vitamins and minerals.

In turn, feeling stressed makes it more difficult for our bodies to absorb vital nutrients from food, particularly the B vitamins and vitamin C (which support our bodies in times of stress). It’s therefore very important to make an effort with your diet, however stressed out you feel.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Do what you love

HEALTH:

‘If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work’.

You’ve probably heard this saying before and it also applies to exercise and nutrition; by choosing ways to be healthy that fill you with joy rather than dread, you will find your journey to wellbeing feels more effortless.

EXERCISE:

Exercise should be about more than just a way to get in shape; it should be a break from the stresses of life and something you can really look forward to.

Don’t just hammer away on the treadmill; try a variety of different routines and machines and discover what your favourites are. You’ll be amazed by the extra lift you get from loving the exercise you do as well as the benefits it provides.

NUTRITION:

To eat well without feeling deprived, try making some healthier versions of your favourite foods.

If you love a fry up, grill some bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms and serve with scrambled eggs and wholemeal toast. If chips are your favourite, try chopping some sweet potato or celeriac into wedges and roasting with a light spray of olive oil. Delicious and nutritious!

© Sarah West Nutrition