There is a time-tested adage that you get out what you put in - and the same goes for your body; the more you look after your body, the healthier and happier you’ll be.

How can you make sure you’re living at the pinnacle of what’s achievable and get the most out of your body, your lifestyle and your life?

Exercise

Exercise is a valuable component of overall wellbeing and has a range of benefits including helping to reduce the risk of type two diabetes, cancer and heart disease.1

Physical activity can also help to improve self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as helping to reduce stress and depression.

For those who cringe at the thought of going to the gym or intensive exercise regimes, remember that easier exercises such as walking, cycling and jogging are beneficial too. The NHS suggests we do at least 150 minutes of physical activity like this over a week.1 Broken down over the course of a week, that’s just over 20 minutes a day.

Eat well

We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat”, however the thought of healthy food can often be associated with cost. However, eating well doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. By shopping more efficiently and planning ahead, i.e. writing a shopping list, planning meals and buying supermarket own brands, you’ll soon find that eating well can be done on a budget.

The BBC has a great selection of ‘Eat Well for Less’ recipes detailing how to make tasty, filling meals which don’t break the bank.

Relax

Whilst stress can motivate and push us to run faster, work harder and act quicker, there are many health benefits linked to relaxation including protecting your heart, lowering your risk of catching a cold and boosting your memory.2 There are lots of ways we can try to relax, including taking time out to enjoy hobbies, having a bit of ‘me-time’ and even sleep! However, if you are struggling for ways to relax, check out our blog ‘5 easy ways to de-stress’.

Enjoy yourself

In the fast-paced 21st century we often lose ourselves in work with the increasing pressure to ‘keep up with the Joneses’, striving to earn as much as possible to buy the biggest house, the fastest car, the latest technology, and this can have a negative effect on our health in the long-run.

Rather than focussing so much time and energy on work, if you have a hobby or interest, be it sport, cooking, reading or gardening, it’s worth pursuing - and if you haven’t, maybe consider taking one up.

By taking the time to enjoy the things we like doing, we can help reduce stress and anxiety. This in turn can reduce the risks of muscle tension or pain, sleep problems and tiredness/lethargy, among many others.

Invest in your health

You can also show your body some love by taking out a health care cash plan. Cash plans give you money back towards your everyday health care costs, encouraging you to have a more proactive outlook on your health.

Getting money back on prescription charges or visits to the optician and dentist are by no means an exhaustive list of what’s available with a cash plan, you can also claim money back towards acupuncture, reflexology, physiotherapy health screening, chiropody and much more. The extensive range of treatments covered by cash plans means they can be a great option for people who want added peace of mind that they can have the treatment they need, when they need it, without having to worry about the associated costs.

To find out more about cash plans from Sovereign Health Care click here.

1 NHS https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/whybeactive.aspx

2 Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/stress-awareness-day-relaxation-benefits_n_1424820#gallery/362758/1

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