10 ways to improve your health in 2022

In December 2021 / January 2022, Trucker's Health6 MinutesBy Laura PeacockFebruary 13, 2022

It’s time to start thinking about those New Year’s resolutions. Here are some tips to achieving greater health in 2022.

1. Drink more water
This tip seems obvious and over-used, but the simple act of drinking more water and being more hydrated and alert, can help you get through a big day at work. It can also help reduce the likelihood of headaches and hunger triggers, which are often, in fact, thirst triggers.

2. Eat more vegetables
Again, simple but very effective. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins and goodies that your body craves and needs daily. It doesn’t mean you have to eat bunches of spinach and kale. Find vegetables that you enjoy and filter them through your day. For example, capsicum and onion with scrambled eggs for breakfast, lettuce and tomato in a nice hearty ham sandwich for lunch, carrot or celery sticks with hummus for arvo tea and hearty root veggies with your dinner, such as pumpkin, kumara or potato.

3. Get more vitamin D
When you’re working an inside job, or you’re on the road a lot, you often don’t get a huge amount of sunshine or fresh air. It’s really important to go outside and ‘smell the roses’. This can be anything from taking a stroll around the neighbourhood, going fishing, hunting in the bush or anything in between. It can be helpful if you have an outdoorsbased hobby – two birds, one stone (enjoyment and fresh air).

4. Spend time with family
I understand that everyone has different family dynamics and situations, but if circumstances allow, it’s important for your mental health to stay linked and in contact with family, especially given our recent lockdowns. Family can give you perspective and can recharge your batteries after a stressful week of work.

5. Be social
If friends extend invites to you, do your very best to make the time and take them up on their offer. I think having friends in different circles and environments can add other elements to your life. For example, having mates you go fishing with and mates you go cycling with gives you a great variety socially and will keep your social cup full.

6. Manage your alcohol intake
Through the summer months, in particular, it is nice to enjoy a cold beverage at the end of the day (and I have nothing against that). But I do think it is important to keep tabs on our alcohol intake as it can disrupt sleep, work performance, concentration and overall health. Sometimes, you don’t realise just how much you are consuming over the week, a ‘couple’ every night can really add up over a week. So it’s just about being mindful about your intake and how it may affect you daily.

7. Make time for hobbies
It is so important to find something that you are passionate about and interested in outside of work. It can give you a sense of pride to excel at something. Even if you are terrible at your chosen hobby, at least you get pleasure and enjoyment from it. It’s easy not to prioritise hobbies because you’re busy with work and chores around the house – but I think it is very important.

8. Reach out if you need help
If you are struggling with aspects of your life – whether it be your nutrition, training, stress, anxiety or anything related to your mental health – you need to reach out to people who can help you with your specific issue. It can be daunting to admit that you have a problem, but there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about – everyone has their battles. If you feel too shy to speak to someone, podcasts can be an amazing tool to find strategies to deal with a specific issue.

9. Be positive
As cliché as that is, it is so important to be pragmatic and at least attempt to be grateful about the positive things in your life. It is very easy to get bogged down in the everyday grind and let it overwhelm you. A simple strategy is to have a gratitude journal where you jot down three things you are grateful for as you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning. It can start and end your day in a positive light.

10. Stay active
With the business of life, it is very easy to let your exercise routine slip by the wayside. But staying active should be at the forefront of your priorities because it has a direct link to your physical and mental health. Staying active doesn’t have to be slogging it out at the gym every day. Find something you enjoy and stick with that. Whether it be sports, group classes, the gym, cycling or anything in between. Try and move your body 30 minutes a day – you will feel better for it.