Have you been looking to lead a more healthy lifestyle? Eat better? Exercise more? But not quite managed it? Maybe you donâ€™t have enough motivation. Try doing it for yourself and the environment.
â€˜We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our childrenâ€™,
This famous quote is very poignant and a great inspiration when looking to becoming more green. Luckily, becoming healthier and more environmentally friendly come hand in hand. It is possible to improve your health and lifestyle for yourself and the rest of the world.
Change is hardÂ
The best way to lead a healthier lifestyle is to develop good habits. This is the tricky part â€“ but luckily, once a certain routine and way of life becomes ingrained into the way we live day to day we will tend to thoughtlessly continue with this method.
So how do I develop new habits?
Since the 1960s, it seems that the accepted figure for how long it takes to break and form a new habit is just 21 days. This is thanks to a study done by a surgeon who found that it took an amputee around this time to adjust to the loss of a limb. ItÂ doesn’tÂ make sense to assume that this is the case for all habits â€“ more recent studies find that it takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to become ingrained and automatic. However, this ranged from between 18 and 245 days, the study found that the time it took for the habit to become second nature increased for bigger changes.
Green and Healthy habits
There are so many ways that you can positively impact the environment and your health, here are just a few:
- Walk or cycle more. Whenever you can – use your body to transport yourself around rather than your vehicle. This will improve your health and dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. Experts recommend that we should walk 10,000 steps a day to remain healthy â€“ make this your goal, take the stairs instead of the elevator and if you have to drive park a bit further away and walk the remaining. Every little helps!
- Get outside. Not necessarily for exercise! Being outside will help to reduce your consumption of electricity indoors (reducing your carbon footprint), give your eyes a rest, get you more active and improve your health. Research shows that sunlight helps to reduce blood pressure which will cut heart attack and stroke risks and help to prolong life. Vitamin D, produced by your body from exposure to the sun can also boost your immune system and is also known for preventing cancer, hormonal problems, obesity and inflammation. Being in a natural setting can also help increase the quality of our sleep and research shows that sunlight helps the bodyâ€™s internal clock – it tells us when to eat and sleep and we all know sleep is important for our health and weight loss.
- Try to eat sustainable and locally sourced food. If you can, avoid intensively farmed food and meat, these are often pumped full of hormones or sprayed with chemicals, which research shows are not healthy for our bodies. Farmworkers who work in industrial fields and spray chemicals and pesticides are known to suffer certain cancers and other diseases and over fertilising and chemicals released into water have also poisoned water life and animals and also helped accelerate global warming. On the other hand, organic farms are sustainable and they replace the key nutrients back into the soil naturally. The crops and livestock live a more natural, happier life and are better for you and the environment.
These are only small changes but remember, smaller changes make easier habit changes. Just keep incorporating the above in your day to day life and soon it will become second nature!
[colored_box color=”blue”]This article was written on behalf of QMS, who offerÂ ISO 14001 (www.qmsuk.com/)Â to help businesses become more environmentally sustainable.[/colored_box]