6 ways to commit to healthy living at home this year
Living a health-conscious lifestyle doesn’t have to mean investing in exy gym memberships and week-long stays at exotic health retreats. Here’s how to live well in and around your place.
After an unprecedented few years (oh hey once-in-a-century global pandemic!), a recent Australian survey shows that for 80 per cent of us, doing what we can to keep ourselves and our family healthy is now a top priority. Given everything COVID threw at us, it makes sense. And if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s how important it is to be able to ‘do’ healthy living close to home.
It’s something we’ve been committed to at Lendlease for a long time, ensuring that every single community we create is a place to live well. There are many elements that go into achieving that, but at the heart it’s providing opportunities and spaces to connect with nature and with each other, as well as encouraging movement and nurturing the sense of ‘treading lightly’ when it comes to the planet.
Keen to adopt the same philosophy yourself this year? Here are six things you could consider trying and committing to, if you want to live and feel better in and around home right now.
Spending time in a green space is a science-approved way to feel better. In fact, recent research shows that spending as little as 10 minutes in nature is all it takes to start improving mood and reducing the impact of mental stress. We know – TEN minutes! Hard to believe, but refreshingly true.
From walking paths to nature reserves, Lendlease communities are purposefully designed to connect residents with nature, but if you don’t have a dedicated green space near where you live, don’t panic – the research also shows that simply sitting on a patch of grass or under a tree can deliver benefits.
Lendlease communities strive for 6 Star Green Star ratings, and it turns out the environment isn’t the only thing that reaps the rewards of that ethos.
Research has begun to reveal that for a lot of us, living an eco-friendly lifestyle genuinely feels good. While some studies show that knowing we’re doing our bit for the environment makes us feel better about ourselves, another shows it helps us feel more satisfied with life.
And then there’s research that links performing eco-friendly habits and activities with feeling happier – and we love that because happy people tend to live longer, healthier lives.
Living more sustainably can involve a wide range of activities and lifestyle tweaks and choices, including integrating some energy-efficient features at home.
The results of a recent study show that getting to know just a handful of your neighbours reduces loneliness in as little as four weeks. And that matters, considering research has also linked feeling lonely regularly to an increased risk of a range of health problems – some of them pretty serious.
Sadly though, surveys show that in many neighbourhoods around Australia, connections are dwindling, with three out of four people agreeing they hardly ever talk to the people who live nearby. It’s just one of the reasons Lendlease communities are consciously designed to inspire togetherness.
This is a health boost for all kinds of reasons.
For starters, at least two different Australian studies have made the connection between dog walking and feeling more neighbourly (and we’ve already talked about the benefits of feeling more neighbourly!), with one labelling dogs as ‘social glue’. Nice!
Then there’s also the fact that enjoying regular pooch time reduces loneliness, encourages regular physical activity and improves mental wellbeing.
Don’t have a dog of your own? Ask a friend or a neighbour if you can hang with theirs occasionally, by making a beeline together to a local walking path or dedicated dog park, which many Lendlease communities provide.
Regular exercise provides physical and mental health benefits, which are not only impressive, but no secret either. This is why outdoor exercise equipment is strategically placed throughout Lendlease communities, many of which offer free exercise classes regularly, too.
What you might not know, though, is that every bit of exercise counts, with new research showing that even small one-minute bursts of activity during daily tasks have a positive impact.
Keen to get more of a dedicated workout done? Great – and you don’t even need to leave home if you don’t want to. Fancy some fresh air with your fitness? That’s good too, with research showing that making the effort to be active in the outdoors can improve mental focus on its own.
Remember what you’ve just discovered about how good living sustainably can feel? Start growing your own fruit and vegetables and, as well as reducing the distance your food travels from soil to plate into just steps, home-grown produce also uses less water relative to the amount of food you’re able to harvest.
Research also shows that people who grow their own food don’t waste as much of it either, perhaps because they’re more appreciative of the effort required to grow and harvest it. Plus, spending time gardening can improve both physical and mental health.
Community veggie gardens are sprouting up in Lendlease communities right around the country, but you can also put your green thumb to work in the garden beds, pots and planters at your own home.
With welcoming communities all over Australia that are designed to be places to live well, now is a great time to explore the possibilities.