Getting healthy without the diet

Summer beckons the attack of the ‘beach body’ ready adverts, and it’s easy to forget that the sole reason for eating healthy and exercising isn’t actually about weight loss or how toned you are at all.

You feeling good in yourself doesn’t automatically meaning going on a diet- follow these tips to feel just that little bit healthier and happier ready for summer.

Words: Susannah Keogh

Get outside

A University of Michigan study found that those who walked amongst nature did better in a test than their contemporaries who remained in an urban environment. Just talking a brief walk outside can help give your brain a mental boost.  Try getting outside in your lunch break to a local park, or make a day of it by taking a drive to a scene of natural beauty this weekend.

Focus on nutrition, not calories

Eating foods high in nutrients, as opposed to those low in calories with low nutritional benefits and high in sugar, will not only fill you up faster, but also contain mood boosting antioxidants. Empty calories, such as white refined carbohydrates, sweets and other sugary snacks, provide little nutritional benefit and lack the longer increase in mood.

Take time for yourself

Getting healthy doesn’t just mean getting fit: mental wellbeing is just as important. Taking the time to catch up with friends, have a relaxing night in or read that book you’ve been putting off can be just as beneficial to your mental health as going to the gym is for your physical health.

Get enough sleep

For your body to function, you need around eight hours sleep a night- but according to the British Sleep Council, in 2013, 70% of Brits surveyed slept for an average of seven hours a night or less. In other words, that’s one night a week we’re missing out on. Not only does sleep deprivation slow down your cognitive processing, it also increase your blood pressure and in severe cases, your risk for heart disease. Yikes.