Health & wellbeing

5 instant (easy!) health boosts

Start to make healthy living a reality with these easy steps - most of which you can do today.

It's always a great time for learning fresh feel-good tips to create new healthy habits. Here are five small things you (and your family) can do to give your wellbeing an instant boost.

1. Get your flu shot

This quick vaccination isn’t just good for you; it can also keep you from spreading viruses to your friends, family, and co-workers. While flu generally clears up on its own within a week if you're otherwise healthy, you can save yourself from the unpleasant range of symptoms (which include fever, cough and muscle aches) by getting a flu vaccination. This may be especially worth considering if you're aged 65 or over, pregnant, have an underlying health condition or have a weakened immune system. It's free on the NHS, so there’s no excuse to skip it!


2. Wear sunscreen every day 

This might seem like a no-brainer over the summer, but in the cooler months, it’s easy to forget to protect your skin from the sun. The fact is, sun damage occurs year-round, in every climate (yes, even the temperamental British climate!). Buying a daily moisturiser with SPF helps protect against skin cancer, keeps skin hydrated, and wards off wrinkles and other signs of aging. Well worth it, no?

RELATED: How to stay healthy in the sun


3. Eat Indian tonight

Preliminary research suggests that components of the spice turmeric can reduce the spread of certain cancers. And it doesn’t hurt that the spice also adds delicious depth to Indian dishes. Why not whip up a chicken and mushroom masala? It might do more than simply satisfy your appetite.

RELATED: Let's go out for Indian


4. Record your late-night shows

We love a bit of Graham Norton – but do you love your late night shows enough to let them sabotage your weight loss? Sleep deprivation can lead to overeating. "When you don't get enough sleep, your body is in an after-stress reaction mode, and you go to eat," says Karen Miller-Kovach, MS, RD, former Chief Scientific Officer for WW International. Another tip: turn your alarm clock around so that you can’t see it from bed. Sometimes, seeing the time can cause anxiety and make you restless and unable to doze off.

RELATED: Top 5 health benefits of sleep


5. Eat more often

Or, to put it another way, don’t let yourself get ravenous. When you’re starving, you’re more likely to scarf down that entire sandwich (and crisps, and chocolate bar) and overeat. Plus, recent studies suggest that faster eaters actually tend to weigh more. So eat often, and eat leisurely.

RELATED: The do's and don'ts of mindful eating