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Small Everyday Changes to Improve Your Health


What with spending half your time essay writing in the ASS and the other half downing toffee vodka shots at Lounge, finding time to go to the gym and eat healthily can be difficult. It can often seem like there’s not enough hours in the day to make a nutritious meal or go for a jog, sometimes resulting in costly takeaways or salt-laden ready meals to the detriment of both your purse and your health. Luckily, being fit doesn’t mean hours spent pounding away on a treadmill. Incorporating small changes into your everyday routine can result in feeling fitter, stronger and healthier with minimal effort.

  1. Eat breakfast. Its one of the most common pieces of advice and no doubt something your mum has told you every morning for the past ten years, but it’s true! Having a filling, nutritionally balanced breakfast such as porridge or eggs will help fill you up and stop unhealthy snacking before lunch. Not only does it provide you with energy for the day and aid cognitive function, it also has long term health benefits including reducing high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

  2. Walk wherever you can. It can be tempting to get the bus to and from halls, especially after hours of lectures on a cold winter’s day, but embrace the Bristol hills and walk – you’ll feel much better for it!

  3. Set your alarm clock… to go to sleep. Chances are that your university years aren’t going to be marked by having an excellent sleeping pattern, but when you do have a night in try to get as close to the recommended 8 hours as possible. One way to do this is to set an alarm to remind you to start getting ready for bed; brush your teeth, put your phone down and make up for all the previous sleep-deprived nights.

  4. Pack your bag with healthy snacks. If you’re planning on spending the whole day at uni, make sure you pop a few snacks in your bag to avoid buying expensive, unhealthy treats. Try cereal bars, pieces of fruit and bags of nuts.

  5. Food shop online. Get your housemates involved and do a large online shop; this will help you plan out your meals and stop you reaching for unhealthy impulse buys. Its also cheaper as you can compare prices.

  6. Fit in exercises when you can. For example, see how many calf raises you can do whilst brushing your teeth, or how many squats while the kettles boiling. Adding small amounts of exercise to your daily routine can have a significant impact on your fitness over a longer period of time.

  7. Invest in a water bottle. Keep a reusable water bottle by your side or in your bag and fill it up constantly throughout the day to make sure you get the recommended amount of 1.2 litres. Not only is water important for hydration, but it can help you feel fuller and thus less apt to consuming calories.

  8. Try meat free Mondays. If the majority of your diet tends to be centered around red or white meat, switch things up on a Monday and go meat-free. Try out a new vegetarian or vegan recipe; not only is it cheaper, a vegetarian diet has been associated with having lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease.

  9. Record what you eat. A simple way to become healthier is by recording what you eat everyday, for example on an app like My Fitness Pal. This will help you keep track of calories and see if you need to alter the amount of protein/ carbohydrates/ fats you’re getting in your diet.

  10. Have a vodka soda. Next time you’re at the pub or at pres, switch from your regular pint or rum and coke to a vodka soda; at just 62 calories, it’s significantly less fattening than other alcoholic drinks.

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