It is coming to the end of January and people are starting to get back into the swing of things for the new year.
Holiday time for most is becoming a distant memory and the kids are nearly back to school, meaning the daily grind is well and truly underway.
A new year means new beginnings right!?
But often these new beginnings are all or nothing attempts to change one's life. By the end of February people are burnt out and tired and fall back into old less healthy lifestyles.
So today we are going to discuss ideas to help you kick start your year and improve your health.
Firstly we need to keep in mind it takes 28 days to form a habit, or so they say. Remember when we make changes they need to be achievable for 28 days. According to this theory in 28 days you have created a habit which you can then sustain easily. Simple right?
1. Plan and prepare meals.
It is as simple as planning. Plan your meals in advance and prepare any food you can in the weekend. Guys, this actually only takes at maximum an hour to do, once you get good at it you can plan and prep in 30min. That 30min on a sunday afternoon saves hours during the week. Stop with the excuses, and as Nike says "just do it". For 28days. Create a habit. Save yourself time and stress through the week and decrease your maccy D's drive through runs on the way home.
2. Get moving
Movement is life. Get amongst it. Movement helps us release happy hormones called endorphins which are awesome. Hate the gym? Get walking. Hate walking? Go to Jump classes (this awesome new fitness fad where you jump around on trampolines, cool right?)
You can make excuses all day long but your body lives to move, and by not moving you are doing yourself an injustice.
Find a movement buddy, have more sex (always practice safe sex), join a tramping club, play lawn bowls, just find something that works for you.
Everyone is different.
3. Get enough sleep
Adequate sleep is awesome, it helps regulate just about every function in your body. I could talk about this for days. But long story short. Sleep is needed, so get what your body requires DAILY or should I say "nightly"?.
Just remember some people need 9 hours a night and some people need 7 hours, find what works for you, and be aware that your need for sleep may increase or decrease with corresponding stress levels.
4. Make changes one at a time.
Take your pick of what you would like to change in your life.
Oh you want to change everything all at once? Go for gold if you can sustain it. Otherwise change one thing at a time and roll with it for 28 days (create a good habit). Then move onto the next thing.
Professional athletes are always refining their training, recovery and food to enhance their performance, we can do that with our life too. Take parts you don't like and overhaul them. In knowing you can create change in your life people often feel more fulfilled and therefore are more likely to make healthy choices. Double Winning.
5. Drink more water.
Did you nearly stop reading because you are so SICK of hearing people say this? It has been proven numerous times in numerous studies that drinking more water will help you feel and function better.
If you are drinking less than 2L of water a day then you just found your first 28 day challenge (see number 4 health hack point).
Just suck it up and drink more water, literally.
So at the end of the day what do all these things have in common?
They are all REDUCING STRESS in your life.
Planning meals allows less stress about what you are going to eat when you get home from work. It also takes away the "I didn't have time to pack a lunch" because you already planned and prepped your lunches for the week.
Moving allows our body to be stimulated which decreases the physical stress of postural changes from sitting at a desk all day.
Getting enough sleep means that you are likely to feel recharged and less likely to bite your colleague's head off (we all know how awkward that is).
Making changes one at a time reminds you that you are in control of your life and capable of creating any change you wish.
Drinking more water means you go to the toilet more, which means less work, more toilet breaks and therefore more time moving (winning!). No but actually drinking more water has greater benefits than that.
So what is the major take home "Health Hack" for 2016?
DECREASE YOUR STRESS. Period. WHY?
Because you are awesome and you are worth it. Say that again with me. You are awesome and you are worth it.
2016 is YOUR year.
Dr Ainslee (chiroprator and wellness extraordinaire)
Hi. My name is Ainslee, I am a chiropractor and wellness extraordinaire. My passion is getting people well and keeping them that way.