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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Teacher Belinda Norton shares the seven things she wishes she knew earlier for good health

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A teacher who looks better aged 43 than she did in her 20s has revealed the seven things she wishes she knew earlier in life, and the advice she would pass on to her daughter.

Belinda Norton, from the Gold Coast, said after four decades of keeping fit and healthy and many years of teaching physical education, she has realised several important life lessons.

These include the idea that food is more important than exercise if you want to stay lean, you cannot ‘buy’ good health and you need to prioritise some form of movement every day.

A teacher (pictured) who looks better aged 43 than she did in her 20s has revealed the seven things she wishes she knew earlier in life, and the advice she would pass on to her daughter

A teacher (pictured) who looks better aged 43 than she did in her 20s has revealed the seven things she wishes she knew earlier in life, and the advice she would pass on to her daughter

Belinda Norton (pictured), from the Gold Coast, said after four decades of keeping fit and healthy and many years of teaching physical education, she has realised several life lessons

Belinda Norton (pictured), from the Gold Coast, said after four decades of keeping fit and healthy and many years of teaching physical education, she has realised several life lessons

1. Food is the most important thing

If you’re looking to be lean and toned, Belinda said the most important thing to focus on is your diet and what you’re eating.

‘Food is more important than exercise and water even more crucial for the skin and body function,’ Belinda wrote on her website.

She also said stretching is better than any kind of over-training.

‘Make the goal a flexible trunk section – meaning a supple spine,’ she said.

You can do this by involving some sort of yoga moves into each and every day. 

If you're looking to be lean and toned, Belinda (pictured) said the most important thing to focus on is your diet and what you're eating, rather than exercise

If you’re looking to be lean and toned, Belinda (pictured) said the most important thing to focus on is your diet and what you’re eating, rather than exercise

2. You can’t buy health 

The second life lesson Belinda wishes she knew when she was younger is the idea that health cannot be bought.

‘We cannot pay for health or mobility – once we stop activating our muscles it all stops and it goes rapidly,’ Belinda said.

If you lose mobility, you can’t get it back. The 43-year-old recommends you prioritise some form of daily movement to keep your limbs and muscles supple.

Even if it’s just getting up from your desk to do a lap of the office every hour, this will help.

3. Be aware of your own finances

Belinda said you need to assume financial responsibility, and remove the mindset of having to keep up with others in your purchasing habits.

‘Known your own budget, know when your pay goes in and where it goes out too, as we are all responsible for our own spending,’ Belinda said. 

You can do this either on your phone or with something like an Excel spreadsheet, and you should always aim to hold some cash back in savings.

For the past 10 years, Belinda (pictured) said she has got up with the sun and gone out for a walk at least once per week

For the past 10 years, Belinda (pictured) said she has got up with the sun and gone out for a walk at least once per week

4. Get up at sunrise once a week 

For the past 10 years, Belinda said she has got up with the sun and gone out for a walk at least once per week.

‘The sun will give you energy and the sunrise will provide positivity even on the harshest heartbreaks,’ she said.

The 43-year-old recommends a once-weekly bath in magnesium salt with a clay mask on the face, which helps to remove any built-up toxins from the week.

5. Take responsibility for yourself 

Assuming full responsibility, both in your identity and your finances, will pay dividends down the track.

Now she’s 43, Belinda said she would have told her younger self to keep her own name when she got married along with her own private bank account.

‘Your name is your identity and not about ownership from another,’ she said.

It can also be good to keep some of your finances separate from one another if you are in a couple.

6. Prioritise good quality sleep 

Like eating well, making sure you get good quality sleep is key to staying healthy well into your old age.

‘Sleep soundly by stating two grateful moments as your head relaxes onto the pillow,’ Belinda said.

She also recommends absolutely no technology or screen time before bed as a rule.

Belinda (pictured) moves her body 'with varying speed' every day, whether with a long, slow run, hill sprints or a leisurely walk along the beach

Belinda (pictured) moves her body ‘with varying speed’ every day, whether with a long, slow run, hill sprints or a leisurely walk along the beach

7. Move your body with varying speed every day

Finally, Belinda said movement every day is the key to longevity.

She moves her body ‘with varying speed’ every day, whether it’s a long slow run, hill sprints or a leisurely walk.

‘Lift weights regularly and daily stretch on the rug in front of the TV at night,’ Belinda said.

You could also get your children to join in with you too for added enjoyment.  

To find out more about Belinda Norton, you can visit her website here

This post was first published on DailyMail.

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