New Year, improved you: Health hacks to kick-start the New Year
Here are five health hacks to start your New Year strong
Everyone knows a healthy morning sets you up for a great day. If you want to boost your energy from the moment you wake, then don’t reach for your phone first thing, avoid scrolling through social media, keep away from your work emails and try this stretch session instead.
By swapping cyber world stress for this simple stretch routine, you’ll be fired up for a more productive, focussed and energised day. It’s time to create some healthy habits to start your day off on a massive high.
This isn’t a race so flow through these stretches at your own pace, and feel free to repeat it as many times as you like.
Fire up your core in a high plank position. Keep your booty tucked under, belly button up towards the spine and body weight over the wrists. Now transition into a downward dog position. This flow will stretch and strengthen your shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands.
The downward dog yoga pose calms the brain and helps to relieve stress, so there’s no better stretch to kick-start your day! Now, it’s time to dance between the two moves for about 60 seconds. Enjoy the fluid movement and get in tune with how your body feels – it’s all about awareness and feeling the flow of new energy.
From a plank position extend your right leg up towards the sky then place your foot on the outside of your right hand. Open up through the hips and release any tension by moving forward, back or side to side – whatever feels good. Hang in that position for about 30 seconds and then open up your chest by extending your right arm. Hold here for a few breaths then switch to the other side.
Take your chin to chest then roll down slowly, while keeping your arms long and floppy. Head, neck, tongue – relax every part of your body as you head down. Feel the blood flow to your brain and allow it to fire up for the day ahead. When you’re ready, return to standing position.
Interlace your fingers behind your back and open up through your chest. Pull your shoulders open and release any tension through the front of your body. Look up towards the sky, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Now extend your arms in front of your body and interlace your fingers again, with palms facing you. Feel the opening between your shoulder blades, drop your head and breathe into the tight spots in your back.
Stand tall and lift your shoulders towards your neck and roll them back and down (like you’re trying to get them in your back pockets). Tuck your hips under and pull your belly button in towards your spine. Repeat for a few rounds. You should do this stretch regularly throughout your day to help promote good posture. It only takes a few seconds but can make a huge difference.
For bonus points and extra energy include meditation, deep belly breathing, intention setting, positive affirmations or gratitude practices at the end of your stretch session.
Looking to exercise more in 2019? Check out my top five tips for beginners looking to start their fitness journey.
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.