We have reached the end of our 21 day Healthy Habits challenge. We hope you have enjoyed all of the tips and challenges we have been posting daily! Please do let us know what challenges you tried and if you have stuck to any of them! You can find a round up of week one here! In case you missed any of our healthy tips and challenges over the last two weeks here is a recap:
8. Create Phone-Free Zones
Our phones play such a huge role in our daily lives – on average we unlock our phones 110 times per day! That’s 110 times that we pick up our phone, check notifications, make a call, read/send a message or…fall into the dreaded “scroll hole”. We’ve all been there, scrolling away and before you know it an hour has passed! Making a habit of this at night time can be particularly damaging to our health as late-night phone use can upset our sleep patterns.
A healthy habit is to put your phone away at least 30 minutes before bed or leave it outside of your bedroom altogether! You will notice a huge difference in the quality of your rest and your mind will be a lot more relaxed too.
9. Take The Stairs
This is an obvious one….but skip the lift and get those steps in wherever you can!
10. Eat Seasonal Fruit & Veg
We all know how important it is to get in our recommended 5-a-day but did you know that eating fruits and vegetables that aren’t in season carry less nutrients?
Locally produced foods are often fresher because they don’t need to travel long distances in transport and they are harvested when they are closer to their peak ripeness. Pumpkins and other root vegetables contain large amounts of stored nutrients for the autumn and winter months. To know what fruit and veg you should be eating in what months check out this handy ‘Best In Season’ calender from by Bord Bia.
11. Stand for 1 Hour
Reading today’s tip you might think you are always standing, and perhaps you are, but the majority of us are unfortunately sitting waaaay too much!
Most of us get out of bed in the morning, get ready for work, get into the car and sit for anything from 10 mins to 2 hours, or more, depending on how long of a commute you have! Then we get to work and we sit at a desk for up to 8 hours and then repeat the car journey home. When we eventually get home we are so tired all we want to do is sit down in front of the TV or fire and chill, but sitting is detrimental to our health!
You need to make a conscious effort to stand more, especially if you have a desk-job or make long commutes. There are so many benefits to standing vs sitting: Standing reduces the risk of weight gain and obesity, lowers risk of diabetes, reduces long-term mortality rate, reduces the risk of cancer and can reduce chronic back pain.
If you are now panicking that you don’t stand for long enough periods of time in your day job we have a couple of tips for you:
1. Stand up while you make phone calls.
2. If you are listening to a podcast or reading an article why not stand or walk about while you do it!
3. If there are any errands to be done around the office offer to do them and stretch your legs.
4. When you are home in the evenings do some activities that require standing i.e ironing, wash dishes.
5. You could even stand while ad breaks are on during your favourite TV show as a fun challenge?
12. Try Plantbased Milk
There are so many benefits of plantbased milks – they contain little to no fat, are packed with nutrients and they are more environmentally friendly! Did you know that 1 gallon of cows milk is equivalent to 17.6 pounds of carbon dioxide?
Not only does switching to a plantbased milk help to decrease your carbon footprint, but it also tastes good too! Either try it in your cereal (coconut or almond is great in porridge) or switch up your coffee! We tried this Oat Milk Latte in bia + brew…it was so tasty!
13. Listen to a Podcast
Because we are always on the move, and on our phones, audiobooks and podcasts are a great option when we don’t have time to sit down and physically read! They are so versatile too – you can listen in the car, at the gym, walking the dog or even at the desk!
Podcasts can be funny, entertaining and sweet, but they can also be informative, heartbreaking or even awe-inspiring. Since there are so many different kinds of podcasts, there really is something for everyone to listen to. But if that doesn’t convince you to give a listen, here are some additional benefits that come from listening to podcasts:
1. You’ll become more imaginative
2. You can learn new things
3. Use your multi-tasking skills (listen while you do other tasks)
4. You will become a better listener (helps you engage more fully in stories and what you are listening to)
5. Learn about the world
6. They’re a different kind of entertainment
7. Gain new interests
One Podcast we love is The 2 Johnnies podcast – it’s hilarious and they always have great guests on!
14. Make A Meal Plan
Meal planning has so many benefits! Not only does it save you time during the week but it will mean you will also save money on grocery shopping because you will only buy what you need! You will also find yourself eating healthier when you meal plan because you won’t find yourself running to the shop for lunch or getting a takeaway on the way home!
If you are looking for some healthy recipe inspiration we’ve got you covered here!
15. Take Up A New Hobby
Taking up a new hobby can carry so many benefits including time out, a new challenge, learning a new skill, stress relief and it can be a great way to meet new people! There is no time like the present so why not take up dancing, painting or yoga like you’ve always wanted to and do something for you?
16. Try Meat Free Meals
We all know that consuming large amounts of processed and red meats is not good for us. Why not reduce your meat intake by going ‘meat-free’ a couple of times a week?
There are so many delicious vegetarian and vegan alternatives now that there is something for everyone.
Plantbased foods are more sustainable and better for the environment as well as being packed full of nutrients! One meat-free dinner recipe that we love is this Vegan Tumeric Curry.
17. Start Your Day Right
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and eating a healthy breakfast will keep you feeling fuller for longer and stop cravings! So many of us are rushing in the morning and we don’t always have time to make a healthy breakfast! We love Chia Pudding or Overnight Oats – they are simple to make (and you can do it the night before) and loaded with fibre, protein and Omega 3 ! We have a really simple Chia Pudding recipe that you can use and make your own by adding whatever fruits and flavours you choose!
18. Turn Off Notifications
We are all guilty of this one – our phone lights up, we reach for it, open the notification and the distraction ensues. Constant distraction and stimulation like this is not good for our minds and it can cause us unnecessary stress, particularly if these notifications are work related.
When you leave work, whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, it is important to switch off your work related notifications. When you are sitting down to your dinner after a long day at work the last thing you need to see is an email from your boss! For your own stress management and self care it is important to set boundaries between work and personal life. This can be even more so as an entrepreneur as you can feel like you are always on the clock. If you switch off notifications you can be more present and enjoy your time out!
19. Plan A Roadtrip
“To travel is to take a journey into yourself”. It goes without saying that travel has many benefits. One of the greatest rewards of travel is taking empowering steps in self-development. Not only are you actively seeking for yourself places and cultures you may only have seen in pictures, but at the same time you’re building a myriad of memories that will last a lifetime. The joys of such adventures helps you to discover things about yourself that you may never have realised from the comfort of your home.
When we hear travel we think money and rightly so, but travel doesn’t have to be expensive. Taking a roadtrip in your own country can be so much fun and you will get to see places you never knew even existed. We are blessed here Ireland’s Ancient East with lots of attractions so why not check out what is on your door step and get planning a trip for this weekend?
20. Reduce Your Plastic Use
The issue of plastic consumption has been making lots of headlines recently and governments and businesses all over the world are taking steps to change packaging policy, but what can we do as individuals?….Here are a couple of simple habits we can all implement:
1. Buy a reusable water bottle (stop buying plastic bottles of water)
2. Buy a reusable travel mug (bring it to your local coffee shop and get your coffee/tea to takeaway in this. Most coffee shops are now offering discounted rates if you bring your own cup)
3. Buy loose fruit and veg where possible (Lidl have committed to scrapping single-use plastics)
We couldn’t complete our 21 days of Healthy Habits without talking about EXERCISE! As human beings we all need to move our bodies to survive and thrive! Exercise releases endorphins that make us feel better – it has positive effects on both our mental and physical health!
Some of us hear the word exercise and want to run a milk (pardon the pun 😉 but its important to find an exercise that works for you! If you like walking, do that….if you like to swim, run, dance or box, whatever it is, just get out there and do it!
We hope you got lots of food for thought throughout our 21 day challenge! If you have any tips or challenges that we didn’t mention please let us know 🙂