A new study has found that people struggling with anxiety, stress or mild depression who were involved in outdoor conservation activities felt better emotionally and physically, and needed fewer GP visits. No wonder The Wildlife Trusts are calling for the NHS to ‘prescribe’ more time outdoors.
Early to bed, early to rise – right? But if your biological clock favours staying up late, it’s easier said than done. Psychologist Stephanie Silberman, Author of The Insomnia Workbook (New Harbinger Publications) suggests bringing your bed/wake times forward in 15-minute increments, so your body clock can gradually adjust. Smart.
Six or more cups of coffee a day can increase your risk of heart disease by up to 22%! Researchers from the University of South Australia have found that too much caffeine can raise your blood pressure, a known precursor to the condition. (Just as well the UK adopts a recommended daily limit of around four cups a day for adults.) Figure you can slam the decaf instead? Sure, it’s not as bad, but most brands contain at least some caffeine, so check the packaging. And another rule of thumb: if it gives you the jitters, it’s time to be a quitter!
Sex can help reduce stress, bolster our immune systems, and is good for our hearts. Need help getting in the mood? It could pay to get to know your monthly cycle. During the ovulatory phase – about two weeks into your cycle when an egg is released – unsurprisingly (given the chance of pregnancy around this time) nature’s primed the female libido to surge. Research even confirms that women are more likely to initiate sex at this time. So even if you’re not trying to get pregnant, this is a great time to enjoy a bit of bonding. Date night?
If you’re genetically predisposed to being overweight, you might have given up trying to beat those fat cells into submission. But an extensive Taiwanese study has found that regularly jogging had the biggest effect on reducing all five measures of obesity, including BMI. If your bottom has forged an imprint on the sofa (join the club!), start gently by walking – which also rated well in the research – and build up from that. Check out the free Go Jauntly app, which can help you find walking routes all over the UK.
One reason why you’re more likely to get flu in the winter months? Low humidity, which may hinder the body’s immune defences¹. So keep the air moist with humidifiers both at home and work. Of course, a flu jab* offers another layer of protection. Check out boots.com/flu for more information.
Struggling to curb your smoking habit? Here’s something to muse on next time you reach for a cigarette: Brits spend a whopping £17bn on smoking each year. Check out the NHS Cost Calculator to discover how big a hole your cigarettes are burning in your pocket, which could give you the motivation you need. Ready to take action? Try a consultation at the Boots Stop Smoking Online Clinic, which can offer access to prescription-only medication† without the need to see your GP. Go to boots.com/stopsmoking.
Want more reboot inspo? Go to boots.com/reboot-quiz and take the free quiz, brought to you by Boots, together with Public Health England, to get a free personal wellness score, plus simple tips to help you feel better each day.