Are you looking for a new phase? Full of promises, hopes and dreams, including those for our health, which typically go something like this: “Lose 10kg, do a detox, work out everyday, only eat lettuce, quit smoking, learn how to cook and never drink alcohol again… Sound familiar? However, what normally happens is that initially we are extremely motivated, doing all the right things and sticking to our goals, but all too soon the body stiffness, tiredness, detox headaches and boring rabbit food defeats our resolve and sends us right back to square one (or even minus one!). I think it’s about time that we break this cycle and stop putting so much pressure on ourselves. This new season should be about simple and attainable, not complicated and unrealistic. Let’s reset our health by going back to the basics.
1. Eat Real Food
Rather than obsessing over what you shouldn’t or cant eat, focus on what you can eat and then get creative from there. Basically, eat REAL food. Food that is fresh, unpackaged and simple i.e. quality proteins, healthy fats, fruit & vegetables, roots, nuts & seeds, herbs etc – all the foods found on the perimeter of the grocery store. Too many of us rely on take-aways, ready-made meals or convenience junk foods to the detriment of our health and waist lines. Reset your eating habits and grow, rear, prepare and/or cook REAL food like grandma (or great grandma) did!
2. Drink To Replenish
Our body needs water to survive not coffee, fizzy drinks, fruit juice or alcohol. We consume far too much caffeine, chemicals, toxins and sugar in our beverages, all of which further dehydrate us, deplete minerals and damage our health. Get back to beverage basics by drinking only what your body needs: water. Other beneficial drinks include coconut water, herbal tea, home-made iced teas, fresh vegetable juices and aloe vera juice.
3. Stop the sitting
Getting back to work, school or university often involves long hours of sitting at a desk, surfing the internet or commuting. Studies have shown that the longer you sit, the slower your metabolism – even if you exercise later. Also according to Dr. Marc T. Hamilton’s paper published in the journal Diabetes, “Sitting time and nonexercise activity have been linked in epidemiological studies to rates of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.” Not good! Simple ways to combat the sitting are; set a get-up reminder every half an hour, cycle or walk to work, stand up when taking calls, get a standing desk, use an exercise ball as a chair or walk to talk to a colleague rather than email or sms them.
4. Sleep is Important
Too often sleep is so low on our priority list that we learn to ‘survive’ on only a handful of hours a week. While this is unavoidable in certain situations, for those of us that have no excuse, its time to think of sleep as important again. Trust me, your health, emotional state, skin, memory, post-exercise recovery time, weight and stress levels will all benefit. Get back to sleep basics by going to bed earlier (the hours spent sleeping before midnight are worth two after), spend the hour before bed unwinding (without any electronic devices – cellphones, tablets, computers, TV etc), make sure your room is completely dark and aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
5. Work Out Smarter Not Longer
Gone are the days of running for hours on a treadmill. Studies have shown that you can achieve FAR greater results in a quarter of the time with high intensity workouts. Examples of these are functional fitness programs such as Crossfit, Sprint 8, Compound Training, Plyometrics, Kettlebells, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) etc. Do a bit of research, pick a program that suits you; then go for it!
6. Simplify Your Supplements
Feel like you are swallowing a bucket of pills every morning? Why not bring in all your products to Lifestyle Health and we’ll be more than happy to sort through them for you. There are many new exciting and effective combination nutritional supplements now available that offer a range of health benefits all in one. Cost effective and easier – what could be better?
Now those aren’t too hard are they? Get these health basics right and then start aiming higher!