Feel-good life hacks: top 5 tips to fast-track yourself to a healthier lifestyle

03 January 2019

Wish you could be healthier but lead a busy lifestyle? You’re not alone! Try these 5 quick tips for a healthier you.

1.    Replace a sugary drink a day with a glass of water

Excess sugar in our diets is linked to being overweight, and being overweight is linked to multiple types of cancer (and even recurrence of cancer)1. A simple way to help maintain a healthy weight is to cut down on sugar by replacing the sweet things we drink with water. For instance, if you take sugar in your tea try cutting it out altogether, or reduce it gradually by having half a teaspoon less each time. Whatever works for you, you’ll be doing your body a favour with minimum effort.

2.    Give up smoking for good

It takes just 20 minutes for the harmful effects of cigarettes to begin to reverse2. Using your local stop smoking service means you’re much more likely to quit for good. There are lots of products and devices out there to help you give up, including patches, gum or vaping, and it may take a while to find one that works for you. Using e-cigarettes, or vaping, is at least 95% less harmful than conventional tobacco cigarettes, and they could be the key to your success3. For more info on vaping click here.

3.    Move more during the day

Many of us have jobs that require a lot of sitting – but there are steps we can take to keep active, even when we’re at work. Start by being sure to stand up at least once every hour during the day. You could go and get a glass of water, do the tea round or use the loo the furthest away from your desk…the possibilities are endless. There are also many creative (and subtle!) desk-based exercises you could do during the day.  Raising your legs in front of you under your desk and doing shoulder shrugs to name just a couple of our favourites. For more ideas on seated exercises and stretches, take a look at the NHS’ suggestions.

4.    Drink less alcohol each week

NHS guidelines state that both men and women should aim to drink less than 14 units of alcohol each week, this is the same as six pints of beer (4%) or 6 standard glasses of wine (13%)4. If you drink alcohol regularly, try spreading it over a few days rather than just in one session. Why not see if you can start having a few days each week where you don’t drink any alcohol? By drinking less alcohol, you can help keep your risk of alcohol-related cancers, and other problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and liver problems, to a low level5. Cutting down can even help improve your mood and sleep patterns, plus it will increase the energy you have you have for exercise – all helping you to lead a healthier life6.

5.    Start eating a healthy breakfast each morning

After the over-indulging during the festive period, you may be thinking about cutting down what you eat. But studies show that a healthy, balanced breakfast can often help people to stay slimmer as they snack less during the day7. As well as making you feel good, being a healthy weight is also a great way to reduce your risk of cancer. Take a look at these healthy breakfast ideas that will help you kick-start your morning.

For more information on lowering your cancer risk, click here.



  1. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/quit-smoking/stoptober/
  3. https://yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk/vapetoquit
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/calculating-alcohol-units/
  5. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/drink-less/
  6. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-mind/low-mood/
  7. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/eight-tips-for-healthy-eating/#dont-skip-breakfast

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