By Samuel Smith
Last updated on: May 1, 2019 at 4:58 pm
Renovating your life can be as simple as improving your diet or getting a good night’s rest – any one of the 4 changes below could greatly improve your health and happiness. Scroll down to find out how you can win a share in $50K worth of life-changing prizes.
1. Improve your sleep
According to the Sleep Health Foundation of Australia, adults need an average of 8-and-a-quarter hours of sleep every night. If you’re clocking up any less – whether it’s due to a creaky bed frame, dodgy mattress or lumpy pillow – you’re likely to experience a range of negative side effects ranging from concentration issues to increased anxiety and stress.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your sleep. First, make sure your bedroom is well-equipped with comfortable bedding, appropriate heating and cooling, curtains or blinds to block out sunlight and soft lighting.
Try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day and try to put your phone or laptop down half an hour before going to sleep. The reasoning behind this is the harsh blue light emitted by these devices. If you must use your devices directly before nodding off, switch them to night mode, which emits a softer light.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes, and don’t nap during the day.
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2. Improve your diet
The saying ‘you are what you eat’ may be more accurate than you thought. What we put into our bodies has a huge impact on not only our physical health, but our mental health as well.
According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, most Australians need to eat more vegetables, fruit, grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats. We need to eat less confectionary, salty snack foods, processed meats and fried foods high in saturated fat.
Cutting out the latter and eating more of the former can result in significant weight loss, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Combined with exercise, even small dietary changes can lower your risk of developing type-2 diabetes, depression, tooth decay and some cancers.
To ensure you’re eating well, try developing meal plans in advance, and eating as many nutritious home cooked meals as possible.
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3. Get more exercise
Much like diet, exercise (or lack of) has a huge impact on both our physical and mental health.
Regular physical activity can maintain and/or improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. It can assist with weight loss and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
According to the Australian Government Department of Health, regular exercise can also help prevent and manage mental health problems.
RAA members get 15% off all Goodlife Active Plus gym memberships. This includes a free fitness program and quarterly coaching sessions with a qualified personal trainer.
4. Be smart with your energy
Being smart with your energy can save you money and help the environment. Solar panels, home insulation and roller shutters can drastically reduce your electricity bill as well as your carbon footprint.
The benefits of solar energy in particular are innumerable. After the cost of initial installation, you’ll save on your power bills, drastically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and pay minimal maintenance fees.
Home insulation and roller shutters keep heat out in summer and keep heat in during winter – the less energy you use for heating and cooling, the further you’ll decrease your carbon footprint.
RAA members get 10% off all Cool or Cosy solar, insulation, roller shutters and air conditioning products.