We all have a bad habit or two in our day-to-day lives. Nobody's perfect, and there's no getting around that. What's important is that you don't let these habits get the best of you. Many New Zealanders find themselves in tough situations because of their habits, and they wreak havoc on their health. It's time to make some slight adjustments to reduce the impact of these habits and make life more comfortable. Here are a few healthier alternatives to common bad habits.
Choose nature over cramped spaces
New Zealanders spend a lot of time indoors nowadays, and there's no doubt about it. Having permanent shelter has been a boon to humans ever since homes were invented. Having a roof over your head is not a bad thing in any sense of the word. The problem arises when you consider exactly how much time we spend indoors.
Between work, school, gym, and sleep, most of our days are spent within confined indoor spaces. This isn’t exactly healthy for us, as our bodies have evolved to enjoy natural and open spaces. While sleep and work can’t and often shouldn’t be done outside, the various recreations we partake in can be done in a natural environment. If you have the option, spend time in the fresh air while working out. It's going to make for a much more fulfilling experience, while not preventing you from getting the exercise you need.
If you're not particularly busy during your daily lunch break at work, try to spend it outside. Where you eat your food doesn't influence how it tastes, but it does influence how you'll feel. Stick to spending time outside, and you'll get some vitamin D, a tan, and a much more positive outlook throughout your day.
Snack infrequently, or switch it up
Too much of anything can be bad for you, but this goes double for snacks. The overabundance of caloric foods in supermarkets might look like a godsend to someone time-traveling from the 1400s, but it has its consequences. New Zealanders are gaining increasingly more weight every year, and it’s leading to consequences like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity.
A big part of this calorie gain comes from snacking. There are lots of snacks to go around, and people can find it hard to resist a snack between bouts of work and relaxing at home. To prevent this unnecessary caloric gain, snacking should be kept to a minimum.
Since this might not be feasible for those with an appetite, a more reasonable solution would be to switch up the snack choices. Instead of eating empty calories in cookies and chips, nuts and fruit are recommended. While they may seem like bland choices, they can be surprisingly tasty when slightly prepared. Not to mention, they feel a lot more fulfilling, which helps reduce the craving for additional snacks.
For cigarettes, go the electric route
Cigarettes have been popular ever since people decided to dry and roll their tobacco. Before that, tobacco was still a pretty important part of people’s daily lives wherever it was grown. Other than a few fleeting moments of clarity, cigarettes don’t provide much for our bodies. What they do in harm is more than substantial enough to compensate, though.
Quitting cold turkey is a process millions of smokers have struggled with. It’s nearly impossible to kick nicotine out, especially when it’s so readily available on every corner. However, nicotine isn’t the worst out of the substances in cigarettes, which is why alternatives exist. E-cigarettes are proving to be extremely popular quitting tools for smokers trying to kick the habit. While they took some time to get traction, they’ve become quite widespread as of late. You can easily find any kind of e-liquid in NZ, no matter what kind of taste you prefer, whether it's strawberry, coffee, mt. Dew, or otherwise, there's more than enough variety. Switching to e-cigs is easier than ever, and they can provide much of the same relief as cigarettes, with much fewer consequences for your health.
Sleep better and longer
Sleep is a pretty controversial topic in today’s time. While the general consensus is that you need around eight hours of sleep every night, this is very hard to achieve. Try telling a student that they should sleep off the night before a big exam. It's not going to go over well. Many New Zealanders work two jobs, and others like to party, which is why sleep schedules tend to become quite erratic.
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To provide the best kind of shut-eye despite circumstances, you need to be able to increase the quality of your sleep. Try turning off all ambient lighting and gadgets before you go to bed. This will make it a lot easier to fall asleep, and you won't spend as much time shuffling around in your bed. If your responsibilities don't allow for a regular sleep schedule, try bi-phasic sleep. Have a one- or three-hour nap in the afternoon after a long night of minimal sleep. It's not going to be as good as nine hours at once, but it will get you through the day and prevent exhaustion for quite a while. Remember to get a good mattress that allows you to drift away into sleep quickly and peacefully as well.
There are lots of ways to modify your habits and improve your day-to-day life. Some changes are less demanding than others, but they all provide some relief from stress and make for a much more comfortable lifestyle that will ease the burden and make you feel better.