Firstly I must point out that I am not in any way a health expert – I am just sharing what has worked for me over the last few months. People’s bodies respond differently to certain foods, exercise and activities.
Breakfast. Eat it. I start my day with wholegrains – porridge and muesli being my favourites. Usually they keep me full until lunchtime, as the energy gradually releases into your body instead of just a wham bam thank you ma’am initial glucose hit.
Green tea. Well, any kind of herbal tea really. Particularly while Melbourne is enduring one of the coldest winters on record, the need for a warm drink is at its peak. I LOVE me a good coffee, but try not to have more than 2 a day (one is more common) due to the caffeine making me into a shaky, jittery mess. Green tea boosts the immune system and your metabolism, two big pluses in my books.
Vegetables. Ingest as many of these little vitamin packed suckers as you can. I find a vegie/fruit juice combo is one of the easiest ways to incorporate them into your diet, but fresh is always best. I quite like carrot sticks with hummus as a snack, stir frys (with plenty of garlic, chilli and ginger thrown in for good measure), adding spinach and mushrooms to an omelette or scrambled eggs, or vegetable pizza.
Vitamin C. The immune system certainly takes a beating in the winter, so load up on Vit C. Kiwifruit, oranges, broccoli and strawberries are my favourite sources.
Listen to your body. Feeling achy and lethargic? Then stretch, do some yoga or go for a walk. Don’t try to push your body into something it’s not ready for.
Sweat it out. Challenge yourself with high intensity cardio every few days. It keeps both you and your heart in shape, produces endorphins and can help deal with stress and negative energy.
Stretch. I am consistently nagging my boyfriend about how important stretching is. Be kind to your muscles, especially after a vigorous workout. Stretching not only helps to prevent injuries but also reduces muscle tension and increases mobility and flexibility. Plus it feels good.
Vitamin D. I get very cranky if I haven’t had a slice of sunshine in a few days. Get out in the fresh air and soak up some rays (wearing sunscreen with a suitable SPF of course)!
Destressing. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Little aggravating things drive me crazy. Someone driving 10 – 20kms slower than the speed limit, being hounded by telemarketers, people bumping into me along the footpath and not apologising… *sigh* it all gets to me. Recently I’ve been trying to take a deep breath when anything small irritates me and remind myself that it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Check ups. I have become an adult. It’s frightening to say but I realised that the true mark of an adult is having private health insurance and using it for preventative check ups. I went to the dentist the other day, not because anything was wrong but because it was 6 months since I had been. Bizarre, I know. Peace of mind is fairly priceless though when in comes to health.
Reading. Letting myself get lost in a book, disconnecting from all the chaos in the real world, just for a moment = bliss.
Yoga and osteopathy. My posture is not unlike the Hunchback of Notre Dame at the worst of times, but after a little yoga and a manipulation or two by my osteopath, I resemble something slightly more human.
What activities, foods or rituals belong on your Health 101 list at the moment?