Written by Princeler Coke Massage Therapist
There are many different diets and get fit quick programmes which promise to make you healthier in a short amount of time, but these can sometimes be impractical, costly, time consuming and very difficult to follow, so if you just don’t have the time and want to make small simple changes now, then here are some simple ideas you can do today, and hopefully in no time you could start to feel the difference.
- Eat more Vegetables:
We all remember our parents telling us that we must eat all our vegetables, especially the green ones…. But they had good reason, vegetables are so versatile, inexpensive, easy to prepare and packed full of goodness. Just make sure you try to eat a variety of different types to get the necessary vitamins and minerals, they are one of the best sources of dietary fibre, try to add an extra portion every day with your meals, fresh is always best, obviously organic is a great choice but with the spiralling costs of food at the moment this can be difficult to justify, so another option is for you to buy frozen vegetable. If you want an extra healthy tip then you should think about using an Air fryer to avoid the extra calories from cooking oils.
- Healthy Snacks:
Research shows that there are many benefits from eating smaller snacks throughout the day, this can help with weight loss, improved glucose tolerance, reduced appetite, reduced cholesterol levels, reduced cortisol levels and reduced insulin levels, but you need to avoid sugary and processed snacks, instead you should choose more natural sources such as mixed nuts, seeds and fresh or dried fruit, protein smoothies, even a small amount of organic 70 – 80% dark chocolate is good for you as it contains antioxidants.
- Work on your posture:
Think of your body like a car, if the car has a wheel out of alignment this can influence the whole car, and it will not perform as it should. Your posture can also lead to numerous side effects in the body, such as neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, reduced lung capacity and general discomfort.
Your spine has a natural curvature for strength, balance and mobility, there are 3 segments (Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar) the whole spine moves as a unit, so it is important to keep it mobile and healthy. We are not designed to sit for hours at a desk or slouching over your mobile phone, this can cause added stress in the neck, shoulders, upper and lower back, so it is important you try to sit with your head up, shoulders pulled back and have a slight curve in the lower back. Adding a lumbar cushion can help, it might seem strange at first, but over time this will feel more natural. You should also try to get up and move every 30 minutes if possible, gentle stretching, rotations, side bends etc, if your posture is something you are worried about, then get yourself checked by a Chiropractor, who can carry out an assessment and advise you on ways to improve your posture.
- Get some sleep:
Poor sleep can lead to poor health, low productivity at work, impaired memory, fertility problems, social and intimate relationships. It’s not just the quantity of sleep that is important but the quality as well.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine especially in the evening, try to wind down before you go to sleep, simple things like switching off the TV 30-45 mins before you go to bed, read a book, meditate, these are all good ways to relax before you go to bed.
Meditation may seem complicated, but it is really a simple way to be mindful of your breathing, it is a great way to reduce stress, you don’t always need a lot of time or a quiet place to practice, it can be really beneficial when you are stressed. If you feel tension in the neck and shoulders, then just stop for a moment, close your eyes, take some deep breaths in through the nose and out of the mouth, be mindful of the areas in your body where you are stressed, try to relax each area individually, calm the mind and then you will be better able to deal with the stress. Imagine if you started doing this regularly, it could give you more energy and help you think more clearly.
- Move Move Move:
You should be aiming to do 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day, the type of exercise is dependant on your own physical ability, if you are not sure then consult your local health care provider, but if possible try to do a combination of gentle stretching, regular aerobic activities such as walking can be great. If you prefer more intense form of exercise then swimming is a good way of exercising without placing to much stress on the joints, if you want to do running just be aware of your technique and ensure you have the correct running shoes. You should also aim to have regular resistance training (such as weight training) to improve strength, power, stamina. But more importantly try to find exercises you enjoy, as you are more likely to continue tis routine in the long term.
I hope you found the above information useful, this is by no means an exhaustive list, you need to find what works for you and repeat regularly and consistently, make sure you focus on the long term goal, you can set yourself targets or challenges along the way such as achieving a certain amount of weight loss, walking more steps each day, swimming further and faster etc, I just wanted to get you thinking about making a change to your life……so now it is up to you, make a commitment to yourself and get out and go for it.
If you would like to talk to learn more about how we can help then contact us here at Wellbeing Chiropractic Health Centre, we have Chiropractic, Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Laser Therapy, you can book online on our website www.wellbeing-chiropractic.co.uk or call us on 01604 422488