23 simple lifestyle tips to make you happier, fitter, healthier and wealthier

Stuck in a rut? Feeling the pinch? Bursting at the seams? Ready to snap?

By making very tiny changes to the way you do things, you can create a fitter, healthier, happier, wealthier, calmer YOU – with little effort!


■ A large coffee – about 8-12oz – can help you work out at a higher intensity without feeling like you’re trying harder, research from America suggests. The University of Florida discovered it cuts your risk of Alzheimer’s and oral cancers too.

■ Alternate between high-impact exercise (squats, high knees, star jumps, skipping) and low-impact moves (when both feet or your bottom are on the ground). You’ll find that you can go longer without resting, which means you’ll squeeze more exercise into less time.

■ Standing in a post office queue? Contract and flex your abs. Waiting for the kettle to boil? Do some standing lunges. “How about doing slow and steady squats twice a day while brushing your teeth?” adds wellbeing expert and yoga teacher Dani Binnington. “It’s a great way to build exercise into everyday moments.”

■ Work out with your other half – 43% of couples who exercised separately gave up their gym memberships within a year, according to research by Indiana University. However, of those who worked out together, only 6.3% jacked it in.


■ “Store fruit and veg at eye level in the fridge rather than away in the drawer as you’re more likely to use it if you can see it,” suggests Vicky Silverthorn, professional organiser at @youneedavicky.

■ Eating dinner in front of the TV can increase your food intake by a whopping 10%. “Watching TV or scanning social media diverts your attention so you don’t register whether you’re full or actually want those last few mouthfuls,” says weight-loss expert Dr Aria Campbell-Danesh (dr-aria.com). “And research has also shown that each hour of TV viewing is linked to an extra 167 calories being consumed.”

■ “Write down what you need to do the next day at least an hour before bed,” advises Dr Marilyn Glenville, nutritionist and author of Natural Solutions for Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

“The aim is to stop the dialogue in your head which can prevent you falling asleep or wakes you up in the middle of night.”

■ “Indoor air can be up to five times as contaminated as outdoor air and much more stagnant,” says Lisa Looker at Haskins Garden Centre. “Houseplants can help. Calatheas remove toxins caused by cleaning products and synthetic materials. Areca palms are a humidifier and cacti are great for eliminating bacteria, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing more oxygen, which can aid sleep.”


■ “Work out how much spending money you have left after essential outgoings, then transfer it out of your main bank account and into another with a separate debit or pre-paid card,” advises Andrew Wayland, of Everyday Loans. “That way, you won’t spend it.”

■ As consumers, we’re creatures of habit – once
we buy something, we stick to it. Instead, try a weekly shop without buying any brands. You may like many own-brand products as much, if not more, and you’ll save money too.

■ The average UK family throws away £700-worth of food per year, so download OLIO, the free food-sharing app. OLIO connects neighbours with each other and local businesses so that surplus food – stuff nearing its sell-by date, spare home-grown veg etc – can be shared, not thrown away.

■ Instead of handing over your debit card, draw a set amount of cash for the week. Handling ‘real money’ focuses your mind on where you’re wasting it.

■ Use a cashback site such as Quidco when shopping online. Go on to the site, then click on to one of the 4,500 retailers signed up (they include Debenhams, ASOS, TUI and Sainsbury’s). You’ll earn between 1% and 20% as cashback to withdraw to your bank account, PayPal or receive as a voucher.

■ “Set up minimum payments for all credit cards to avoid bank fees, text alerts from your bank account to stop surprise overdrafts, alarms on your phone next time you park to stop you paying too much, reminders for when your electricity deal ends,” suggests Cocofina owner Jacob Thundil.


■ “Time-block your life,” says Lisa Johnson, success coach and founder of justownthis.co.uk.

“Each Sunday, I spend one hour inputting everything happening the next week into my online diary so I know what I should be doing when – work, meetings, shopping, even spending time with family. By putting it down in writing, you’ll be happier and more organised.”

■ “Use your commute to learn something. Everything from simple meditation techniques and new languages to audible books can be downloaded and listened to as you travel,” suggests leading life coach Carole Ann Rice.

■ Add a 30-second sprint to the end of your walk or bike ride. It doubles your endorphins and increases levels of noradrenaline, boosting your mood for up to 90 minutes afterwards, say sports psychologists at the University of Essex.

■ If you read before bed, try something from the Reading Well Mood-Boosting Book List. It features titles such as A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen and Dodie Smith’s I Capture The Castle, chosen by readers and reading groups for being uplifting. The scheme, supported by NHS England, aims to combat depression, anxiety and stress .

■ Jot down lovely things that people say to you or about you and keep them in a jar. Next time self-doubt creeps in, just dip into the jar for a little boost.

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■ Research by Soft & Gentle reveals 46% of us feel stressed each morning. Make school runs less manic by playing the kids’ favourite CD and get them to complete a different task for each song – dress by the end of the first track, shoes on by track two, teeth done by three, bed made by four. Less panic and moaning, and everyone can have a fun singalong.

■ Every time you wear an outfit combination you love, take a snap of your reflection on your phone and file it appropriately – ‘work’, ‘party’, ‘shopping’ etc. A quick look at your photo diary saves a lot of wardrobe fretting.

■ “We waste so much time in groundhog day-like scenarios when a tiny bit of effort could smooth the future path,” says life coach Emma Jefferys (emmajefferyscoaching.com). Business coach Kate Tojeiro advises: “Can’t find your keys and wallet every morning? Pop them in your shoes the night before. Always looking for a lip salve? Buy 10 and put them in every coat pocket. Broken kitchen drawer jams every day? Fix it! Stop saying, ‘I’ll try’.

“People only use those words if they haven’t really got time. Saying ‘I’ll try’ can be misinterpreted as ‘I will’ and leads to others being disappointed and you feeling stressed. Instead say, ‘I’m sorry I can’t’ and explain why, or say ‘I will’ but set out your terms – you can do it next week or you’ll share the job. You’ll feel happier and more relaxed, and the other person will be clear what’s happening.”

■ Don’t multi-task, single task. “Finish one thing before starting another and you’ll be amazed to find you still manage to get most stuff done, but you’ll end the day feeling significantly calmer and less hassled,” says Josephine Lade, a remedial masseur and manipulative therapist.

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