Upgrade your health with these 30 tips and transform your life in 30 days

Want to transform how you feel? You can improve your health – both physically and mentally – in just one month with these easy tips:

1 Stand up

“Remain upright for 30 minutes after lunch,” advises Nuffield Health’s Professional Head of Physiology, Justin Jones. “Studies have shown that both eating and sitting for long periods can cause glucose spikes, making you feel tired and sluggish. So walk about or stand, at least.”

2 Try a new fish

We rarely venture beyond the seafood world’s “big five” – salmon, tuna, cod, prawns and haddock. But being a bit more adventurous means discovering new flavours and relieving over-fished species.

Discover new flavours by trying a new fish dish


3 Start your day with a kiss

Kissing lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. And German psychologists found those who kissed their spouse each morning missed less work through illness and lived longer than those who did no smooching.

4 Spring-clean your mobile

Research suggests that the average phone has 25,000 germs per square inch – more than the soles of shoes. Turn your phone off before using a designated screen cleaner and microfibre cloth. But take note that experts say antibacterial wipes and disinfectants can corrode the screen’s protective coating.

5 Arrange a night out

“Because of social media, we can see what our friends are up to, their holiday photos, their children, what they had for dinner, so we feel like we don’t actually need to see them in person,” says Dr Rangan Chatterjee, author of The Stress Solution (Penguin Life, £16.99).

But loneliness is on the rise and affects young people as much as the old and it causes physical changes in our body. “One of the simplest things to de-stress is set a date to see your friends in person. Get a date in the diary – even if it’s in two months’ time.”

6 Play chess

Playing chess encourages fierce concentration


Dr Chatterjee suggests focusing on activities that require skill and patience such as a board game or playing cards instead of binge-watching TV shows.

“Playing chess, for example, encourages fierce concentration, mindfulness and focus.”

7 Swap seasoning for flavour

“Try replacing salt with spices like chilli or curry powder to add a bit of oomph to your food and without the blood pressure-raising saltiness,” says Justin.

8 Add cinnamon to your morning porridge, smoothie and yogurt – or even eggs

The spice balances your blood sugar levels which helps at keeping your energy levels more stable and also helps to combat any sweet cravings.

9 Eat like a kid

Make a tub of finger food


Struggle to meet your five-a-day? Make up a tub of “finger food” just as you would for children. Carrot, pepper and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, grapes and berries are all nutritional powerhouses packed with antioxidants.

10 Put a (new!) shoe on your pillow

This will help check whether synthetic pillows support your head and neck adequately. Fold the pillow in half and pop a shoe on top – if the pillow springs back, it’s OK. If not, replace it, say experts. With natural filled pillows, test over your arm. If the pillow hangs down over your extended arm, it needs replacing.

11 Adjust your rear-view mirror

This will prevent slouching on long drives. Simply tilt it slightly so you have to sit up to see the cars behind. Your back will thank you for it.

12 Stand on one foot while brushing your teeth

“The instability will engage your core muscles and give your abs a workout,” says Justin. It will also improve your general mobility, keep you more agile and stable, and help to prevent trips or falls. Use your toothbrush timer to stand on one leg for a minute then swap.

13 Eat at the table

Staring at the telly while eating is a proven cause of weight gain. It’s distracting so you don’t register how much you are eating or how full you feel.

14 Have a quickie

“Sex increases the heart rate and some studies have shown that having an orgasm provides the same heart benefits as light exercise,” explains Justin.

15 Eat a handful of olives every day

“They act in a similar fashion to aspirin in reducing inflammation and artery plaque formation, but they taste way better,” says Justin. Cook with olive oil and use extra-virgin olive oil for salads and drizzling.

16 Eat an apple before grocery shopping

Have an apple before you head to do your supermarket shopping

Cornell University researchers in the US randomly gave 120 people an apple, a cookie, or nothing before they hit a supermarket.

Those who ate the apple bought 28% more fruits and vegetables than those who received the cookie, and 25% more than those who got no snack.

17 Don’t be so house-proud

Dr Sally Norton, of, says: “As we understand more about gut bacteria we are starting to realise that our over-sanitised lifestyle and obsession with super-strength cleaning products may be doing us more harm than good. That’s not to say that basic hygiene should be ignored… but a few healthy bugs are a good thing.”

18 Put your phone on airplane mode for an hour a day and talk to your family

“Conversation with loved ones is important for close relationships and is a great way to talk through – and resolve – any issues you may have had. Sometimes just saying it out loud makes problems disappear,” says Justin.

19 Swap one regular cuppa for green tea

Justin says: “Green tea is bursting with antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage, and is naturally low in caffeine which can increase blood pressure .” And add lemon juice to boost absorption of antioxidants by as much as 80%.

20 Ditch the snooze

Exercising in the morning ticks it off the “to-do” list before the day starts, so there’s no chance of your workout getting bumped later on when things get hectic. You’re also more likely to make healthier choices during the day.

21 Pour yourself red wine rather than a G&T

In a study comparing the two drinks, red wine increased the abundance of bacteria known to promote gut health and decreased the number of harmful gut bacteria, whereas gin did the opposite.

22 Walk tall

Walk tall to be more positive


A US study found that those actively trying to walk with their head held high and shoulders back were more likely to experience good moods while slouchers were more likely to focus on negatives rather than positives.

23 Watch Marie Kondo on Netflix and declutter

In a recent poll, more than 82% of Brits admitted that their mood is affected by clutter in some way, with nearly one in five confessing that it almost always increases their stress levels.

24 Shop online if you’re usually tempted to buy unhealthy foods

They aren’t half as appealing viewed through a computer screen, and the total totting up as you add to your basket will stop you from wasting money on foods that you don’t really need.

25 Carry your own pen

Get your own pen and avoid picking up germs


Cold and flu viruses can live for up to 48 hours, and communal pens – and the handles of supermarket trolleys – are notorious for germs.

26 Try the “3D greeting” to reduce stress and boost your mood

Dr Chatterjee says: “Smile, maintain eye contact, and say something positive. Practise the ‘3D greeting’ as often as you can on people you encounter. Immediately afterwards, observe how much brighter you feel.”

27 Go to bed earlier

Studies show those at risk of diabetes who slept for five hours or less per night were 70% more likely to develop the condition over two years, compared to adults who slept for seven hours each night. Lack of sleep appears to increase the body’s production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can lead to insulin resistance.

28 Choose eggs for breakfast – but ditch the bacon

Ditch the bacon


Eating three rashers of bacon a day could raise the risk of dying from heart disease by almost a quarter, say studies. Far better only to eat processed meats occasionally.

29 Do something unusual to boost memory

Singing a new tune or jumping up and down twice while locking a door or turning off hair straighteners will ensure you remember doing it later and don’t panic that you have forgotten it.

30 Make short journeys by foot

Lack of exercise kills twice as many people as obesity, say researchers at Cambridge University.

Adding 30 minutes of walking into your daily routine five days a week can add three-and-a-half years to your lifespan, irrespective of weight.

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