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Small steps to a healthier you.

Woman running on the road.

Improve your fitness with these simple tips.

Words: Jeremy Rochow

These simple changes to your daily routine will help you stay in tip-top shape. The best part? You’ll hardly notice.

You don’t need to make multiple trips to the gym, hire an expensive personal trainer or create an extensive meal plan to improve your health and wellbeing. These four simple alternatives can help you lead a healthier life without too much extra effort.

1. Walk this way.

Walking seems like an obvious change if you’re trying to lead a healthier life, but it’s one of the easiest to implement. If the weather’s nice, get outside during lunch for a quick stroll, or park the car a bit further from work. If you can’t do any of that, organise a walking meeting with your colleagues or meet up with some friends for a stroll. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can increase your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your bones and reduce excess body fat.

2. Start a DIY project.

Sawing wood, painting a wall and nailing a kennel together are all activities that’ll get you off the couch and moving. Starting a DIY project, like building the children a cubby house or renovating the kitchen, will keep you active for extended periods of time and help you lead a healthier lifestyle. DIY will also give you a sense of achievement once you’ve finished projects.

3. Don't skip meals - eat more of the good stuff.

Skipping meals can cause fatigue, moodiness and lack of concentration. A study by the medical journal Metabolism found skipping meals and eating one large meal at night can result in delayed insulin response – a condition that, if continued in the long term, could lead to diabetes. The lesson? Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, but cut the bad stuff like chocolate, takeaway and fatty foods. Eat more fruit, vegetables and grains instead.

4. Dance like no-one's watching.

Ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, line, flamenco, belly dancing – the list goes on. There’s a type of dance for everyone, whether you want to learn with a partner or go solo. So, how does learning to dance help keep you fit? It actually has a variety of benefits – improving your balance and coordination, toning muscle and assisting with weight control. Dancing also strengthens your heart and reduces stress, high blood pressure and the chances of getting heart disease.

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