30 small changes you can make to improve your health

Here’s our list of 30 small but significant lifestyle changes you can make to get you well on your way.

OneLife  staff writer

OneLife staff writer

Staff writer

1. Look to inspirational figures

Make a list of 5 healthy people and use their stories for inspiration.

2. Join the gym

AIA Vitality offers a range of significant discounts when you sign up for a gym membership with Anytime Fitness, Fitness First or Virgin Active.

3. Download the app

Fitness apps can be an excellent way to set goals, stay on top of your exercise routines, and keep track of your progress. AIA Vitality syncs with a wide range of fitness apps and offers discounts on Fitbits and Garmins to help you become your healthiest self.

4. Cut down alcohol

Cutting down your alcohol intake can help reduce the short-term and long-term health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption. Setting yourself limits at the beginning of a social event, drinking slowly, alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and eating while you drink are just some of the ways you can keep your drinking at a healthy level.

5. Treat yourself

Sticking to healthy changes you’ve made in life deserves regular acknowledgement. Set up a reward system for reaching your health goal, including smaller rewards for hitting milestones along the way.

6. Make training personal

Make every workout a social occasion by joining a personal training group, like Step into Life, where AIA Vitality members can save 40 per cent on the cost of a monthly membership.

7. Invest in new workout gear

Research has suggested that you can just write feeling good in your workout gear makes you more likely to actually work out. Get discounts on JAGGAD athletic apparel with your AIA Vitality membership.

8. Be kind to yourself

No more negative self-talk! Always give yourself credit, praise and encouragement for every big or small effort you take towards realising your health goals.

9. Reward your efforts

To boost your morale and reward your hard work, plan one big treat for yourself at the end of every month.

Make your #onechange

Pick one of these small changes and you’re already on the road to better health.

10. Stop smoking

There’s never been an easier time to quit smoking. Countless programs with great success rates are available to help you every step of the way, including Allen Carr’s Easyway, which has an AIA Vitality member saving of up to 100 per cent.

11. Track every step

Each step you take is a step closer to your personal health goal. Keep track of every one with a pedometer. AIA Vitality members save up to 25 per cent on the retail price of a Fitbit or Garmin device when purchased through the AIA Vitality website.

12. Wake up a little earlier

Whether it means a chance to meditate, warm up your body and mind with a burst of exercise, or enjoy some time to yourself before the kids wake up, getting up at least half an hour earlier than usual can be the perfect way to start your day. If you’re not a morning person that’s okay, here are some steps you can take to become one.

13. Stretch it out

Improve your flexibility, posture, stamina, balance, blood circulation and overall athletic performance by incorporating stretches into your workouts and daily routines.

14. Believe in breakfast

Having a good breakfast every morning can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (build-ups in the artery walls), improve cognitive function, and fire up your metabolism.

15. Learn how to brush

Keep your teeth healthy and white by making sure you brush them properly – with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and a gentle circular motion.

16. Give your brain a break

In the middle of a busy week, carve out time to do nothing. Studies have found that daydreaming or being bored can aid creativity, increase self-awareness, slow your heart rate and even make you kinder.

17. Have a heart

Performing acts of kindness produces oxytocin – known as the ‘love hormone’ – which helps to lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

18. Know your history

Investigating inherited conditions within your family can be invaluable when it comes to preventing or addressing future health concerns.

19. Ask your doc what’s up

Been putting off that full health check-up appointment with your doctor? Make it now and keep on top of things. Further, members of AIA Vitality can earn up to 6,000 Vitality Points while you’re at it.

20. Check the UV

When you check the weather in the morning, check the UV Index too, so you know what the healthy level of sun-exposure will be for the day.

21. Expose yourself

On days when the UV Index is 3 or more, expose your bare skin to direct sunlight for just a few minutes to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D.

22. Cover up

Reduce the risk of skin cancer by shading your skin from direct sunlight after taking in the recommended daily dose.

23. Ask for help

Asking for help when you need it isn’t just useful for solving a problem – it also has the power to develop your growth mindset, increase productivity and strengthen your relationships.

24. Talk it out

Talking about your feelings to someone you trust can be one of the best ways to release tension, clarify your thoughts and help you gain perspective on an issue.

25. Get to bed early

Getting a good night’s sleep can be excellent for stimulating your metabolism, improving your mood, supporting your immune system and increasing your focus during the day.

26. Avoid sleeping in on weekends

If you rise early during the week, sleeping in on weekends can disrupt your overall body clock. If you need the extra sleep, having a daytime nap is a better way to balance out a late night.

27. Have a cuddle

Giving a loved one a good, long cuddle is another way to stimulate oxytocin in your brain, which could lower your blood pressure, help you sleep and deepen feelings of connection with your hugging partner.

28. Get down and boogie

Aside from being heaps of fun, having a good, solid dance can increase muscular strength, aerobic fitness, balance and flexibility.

29. Take a hike

Whether it’s a literal hike, or a steady stroll to the milk bar, going for a walk isn’t just good for your physical health – it can also be great for stress relief and stimulating the imagination.

30. Turn off your screen

Research shows that reducing the time spent looking at a screen can lead to better sleep and reduced anxiety – not to mention more quality time with loved ones.

Healthier doesn’t have to mean harder. In fact, making just #onechange can put you on the right path. AIA Global Ambassador David Beckham believes walking the kids to school is a great way to stay active. Commit to #onechange today to take the first step towards better health.

OneLife  staff writer

OneLife staff writers come from a range of backgrounds including health, wellbeing, music, tech, culture and the arts. They spend their time researching the latest data and trends in the health market to deliver up-to-date information, helping everyday Australians live healthier lives. This is general information only and is not intended as medical, health, nutritional or other advice. You should obtain professional advice from a medical or health practitioner in relation to your own personal circumstances. The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as medical, health, nutritional or other advice. You should obtain professional advice from a medical or health practitioner in relation to your own personal circumstances.

Disclaimer:
The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as financial, medical, health, nutritional, tax or other advice. It does not take into account any individual’s personal situation or needs. You should consider obtaining professional advice from a financial adviser and/or tax specialist, or medical or health practitioner, in relation to your own circumstances and before acting on this information.