10 tips for a healthy lifestyle

Sometimes it can feel as though eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise and finding the time to find yourself is impossible. But learning to live a healthier lifestyle is easy when you change one small thing at a time. Follow Rosalind Ryan's advice and you'll soon be full of beans

1. Let it beet

It sounds bizarre, but beetroot could be a secret weapon against high blood pressure. The condition is a major cause of heart disease and stroke, but many people aren't aware they have it as it has no symptoms. Now, researchers from Barts and the London School of Medicine say drinking 500ml of beetroot juice could dramatically reduce blood pressure after just one hour. So drink up the pink stuff.



2. Think outside the box

Us lazy Brits will spend 17 years of our lives on the sofa, with seven years of that devoted to watching TV. Next time you hear yourself say, "I haven't got time to go to the gym" or you opt for ready meals because you're too busy to cook fresh food, think about switching off the box and doing something healthy instead.

3. don't take the biscuit

It may be a good idea to steer clear of the biscuit tin before you go shopping. A team from the University of Singapore recently discovered that the smell of chocolate chip cookies could make women splurge on unnecessary clothes when they hit the shops. The smell activates the part of your brain that wants instant gratification, although that's no excuse for maxing out your credit cards.



4 . Embracing good health

Giving your partner a hug doesn't just warm the heart, it can protect it too. A study by the University of North Carolina in 2005 found that hugging your other half for 20 seconds could lower blood pressure and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol have been linked to heart disease and other conditions such as diabetes.



5. Pouring salt on the wound

We eat around 9.5g of salt a day, but the Government wants us to cut this to no more than 6g, as high levels of salt can push up your blood pressure, raising your risk of cardiovascular conditions. Many food labels only list salt as sodium however, but you can do a simple sum to work out their real salt content; just multiply by 2.5. So 0.8g of sodium becomes 2g of salt.



6. Sunny side up

Get outside in the sunshine for a natural boost. The sun's rays on the skin help your body produce vitamin D, which has been shown to fight heart disease, depression, osteoporosis and even some types of cancer. There's not a lot of sun around at this time of year, so make the most of it when it does appear!

7. One is the magic number

One of the largest studies into diet and cancer – the Europe-wide EPIC study – found that eating just one extra portion of fruit and vegetables a day could cut your risk of dying early from any cause by 20 per cent.



8. Holding back the years

Add 14 years to your life by following four very easy principles; don't smoke, take regular exercise, drink sensibly and eat five portions of fruit and veg a day. These simple steps can have a huge impact on your life expectancy, say scientists from Cambridge University. If you only manage one thing, give up smoking as the study found this had the biggest impact on your health.



9. A step in the right direction

Previously, experts thought taking 10,000 steps a day was enough to control your weight, but a world-wide study has just established that women up to the age of 40 and men up to 50 need 12,000 steps a day to help shift that middle jiggle. Invest in a pedometer to make sure you're hitting your target.

10. Laughter is the best medicine

Become a glass-half-full person! Studies have found that those with a positive attitude suffer less from conditions such as heart disease. Find something to laugh at every day to give your feel-good hormones a boost.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Associate Recrutiment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

    Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

    £120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

    PMLD Teacher

    Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

    Time to stop running

    At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence