New Year, improved you: Health hacks to kick-start the New Year
Here are five health hacks to start your New Year strong
Sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week and staring at a computer screen with an endless to-do list has become the norm for the majority of us. From lower back pain to headaches and exhaustion, working is hard work and our bodies are taking the hit!
Wouldn’t it be great to take a nap at work or get a daily massage to re-energise? Unfortunately, that’s not possible for most of us, so we need to try and find other ways to energise that don’t involve catching a few Z’s at your desk.
If you’re struggling to stay awake at work, try to refrain from grabbing a third cup of coffee or reaching for the biscuit jar. Instead, give a few of these tips a try; they’re designed to make you feel less stressed and more energised.
If it feels like you’re glued to your phone, keep it on aeroplane mode until you hit the office and begin your workday. Save the screen time for work and enjoy a bit of you time during the morning. Instead of reaching for your phone as soon as you wake up, you could start your day with a stretch sequence, a walk in the sunshine, a morning meditation or by spending some quality time with your loved ones.
Pick something that works for you and gets you away from the noise and stress of the outside world, because let’s face it – there will be plenty of time for that once the workday starts.
Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water, so after a good night’s sleep we’re all in need of some H2O when we wake. Hydrating your body first thing will help boost your energy levels, make your skin glow and help with your weight loss goals. Now, I’m not saying you can’t have your morning caffeine hit – just save it for a time when your body needs it and will use it, which is usually around 9 to 10am. This is when your body naturally drops in cortisol, so you might need a little pick me up!
It’s important to fuel your body throughout your day with nutritious foods that will give you oodles of energy to keep on going. Beige food makes you feel beige, so enjoy a rainbow of fruits and veggies to reap the rewards. Make sure you also include lots of protein and healthy fats in your meals to stay fuller for longer and give your brain power. Try to avoid processed foods, but if you really can’t then check the labels and remember if you can’t understand what an ingredient is, it’s likely your body can’t either and won’t know how to process it. If you need healthy food inspiration, check out nib’s range of delicious and nutritious recipes.
These are the best kind of snacks you can have because they don’t have any calories. Energy snacks are bite-sized movements that will get you fired up throughout your hectic day. An easy go-to is a stretch at your desk. Simply stand up and release through any tight areas of your body (think chest, back and hips). Or, you could try a walking meeting with your team and get outside for a dose of vitamin D while strolling around in the fresh air. Another option is a quick four-minute sweat session at a nearby park in your lunch break. Try 30 seconds of exercise followed by 30 seconds rest, repeated four times. Easy!
This is something that we tend to miss out on during busy days, but it’s so important – just breathe! By taking a few deep breaths, you’re letting your body know you’re OK. Try this breathing method: inhale for eight seconds, hold for eight seconds and release for eight seconds. This will be sure to slow down your body, mind and soul, so you’re energised and ready to get on with your day.
Cassey Maynard is one of Sydney’s most recognised fitness experts and health advocates. Also known as The Energiser, Cass (@cassey.maynard) is passionate about energising people’s lives through health and fitness in a playful, fun and educational way.
For more articles by Cassey, check out The Check Up’s dedicated section.