Oh my goodness, that women has just walked past you again. You know the one; slim, well-dressed, brimming with confidence, shiny hair, smooth skin, toned legs and just oozing energy. Is she the ultimate of happiness?

As you miserably munch your way through your third donut and add chocolate sprinkles to the large latte, you watch the woman sashay her way down the street, and much as your hate her, you also have to admit it … you want to be like her.

Well here is the good news… you can be. You can feel true happiness. You have the ability to feel and look great. It is completely in your own hands to have the figure you want and the lifestyle you choose. You might need a little help on the way, but that slender, fit, healthy person is just waiting to burst out.

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The benefits of eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise are well known. Weight loss, an ability to fight illness, warding off life threatening diseases, lower cholesterol, more energy, and a feeling of wellbeing are just some of the outcomes that a healthy lifestyle can produce.

But that is all very well if you have the time, energy and knowledge to plan and carry out a regular exercise program; or if your culinary skills will allow you to rustle up a healthy, nutritious and well-balanced meal. The reality is usually a little different to that. Whether you are in a full time job, have young children to shuttle to nursery or school, older children who need a regular taxi service, or simply lack the motivation to get your gym gear on, you know that taking those first steps towards a fitter you is going to take one momentous push and some compromise to your current lifestyle.

 small changes to a happier yu ref.generousnomads.com

The best approach towards achieving that lifestyle is to take small steps and set achievable targets. Making 5 small, easy-to-achieve changes is a much more sustainable way of creating the new you than throwing yourself straight into a seven-day-a-week gym routine that will have you exhausted after two consecutive days.

Healthy happiness tips

Dilute your morning fruit juice so it is fifty per cent water

Swap your breakfast toast and spread for yoghurt and fruit

Do 20 sit-ups each morning

Make a regular date to play squash or tennis with friends

At least once a week get up earlier than usual and go for a walk or a jog

Read happiness quotes

However, the biggest, ‘small’ change is to add more movement to your everyday activities. Get off the train/bus a stop early so you walk to work; on the way home from school play ‘catch’ with your kids.

At lunchtime go for a walk

Take the stairs, not the escalator. And make that extra movement an intrinsic part of your day. Put your exercise shoes in your bag, so that if the opportunity arises to step out for a walk, then you really have no excuses.

A study that was first carried out in the 1970s, and has recently been confirmed by health experts in the US and the UK, shows that walking 10,000 steps a day will significantly improve your health and increased you happiness level. This works out at about five miles, which can sound daunting, but in fact, by making small changes to your routine you will soon be clocking up the miles and watching the pounds drop away.

So, put a spring in your own step. Find ways to add movement to your day, and don’t keep those ideas to yourself; share them on Facebook or Twitter and see if you can get all your friends and relatives to swap their heels for trainers every once in a while.

 

(pictures: freelancefolder, stokemyfire)

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