Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Tips to improve your diet, fitness and mood this summer - Random Facts related to your Health

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Tips to improve your diet, fitness and mood this summer

Now that the warmer weather is here, it’s the perfect time to gear up for the ultimate health reboot. Here are some handy tips for you to get started.

SET A GOAL It’s easy to tell ourselves we’re going to get fitter or healthier, only to lapse into our old habits after a week or two of trying. But setting a challenging goal can help us make a long-term change for the better. Strength and conditioning coach Ruben Tabares says, “Set a target that’s attainable for you, whether it’s a short run, an amount of weight you want to lose or an exercise routine you want to follow each day. Having something specific to work towards will help you stay motivated.”

WALK BEFORE YOU RUN When we think of getting fit, many of us assume we need to start doing high-intensity exercise, like going for a run. But a long-term study by a US-based institute found that walking is just as effective as running for reducing the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. What’s more, the low impact of walking means it is more gentle on your joints. “Instead of going straight into jogging or running, start walking for 30 minutes a day,” says Ruben. “If you use public transport, get off the bus when you’re half an hour’s walk from your destination. Do this five days a week and you’ll soon start to notice a difference in your fitness,” he adds.

Tips to improve your diet, fitness and mood this summer
WORK OUT AT HOME If you want to get fit, there’s no need to get an expensive gym membership, or invest in fancy equipment. Simple body weight exercises at home will help strengthen your muscles, maintain healthy bones and regulate blood sugar. “Repeating a gentle movement conditions muscles and strengthens tendons, ligaments and joints. It could be something as simple as getting up from the sofa and then sitting back down again 50 times,” says Ruben. Repeat these 10 times each, building to five sets of repetitions.
■ Squats: Bend at the knees, keeping your back straight until your bottom is level with your knees. Stand up straight and repeat.
■Calf raises: Stand on your tiptoes, then slowly lower yourself back to the normal position.
■ Straight-leg deadlifts: Put one leg out straight in front of you, lift it up a few inches, then slowly down again, keeping your leg straight.

DRINK WARM WATER We all know that it’s important for us to drink plenty of water and stay healthily hydrated, but did you know that drinking warm water is better for you than cold? “It encourages the movement of the lymphatic system and prevents the build up of toxins in the skin, kidneys and gut,” explains Henrietta. “You should try to drink at least eight glasses of filtered water a day, although not with meals as this dilutes the digestive juices which break down your food.”

BOOST YOUR ENERGY If you’re feeling a little lacklustre, energyboosting foods can help put a spring back in your step. “Foods that are rich in protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates release energy into the bloodstream slowly, keeping you fuelled for hours to come. Eggs and plain yogurt, for example, are rich in protein and increase the production of a brain chemical that regulates concentration. Protein helps to improve focus, making you feel alert and on top of your game. So, when the mid-afternoon energy slump strikes, protein packed food can provide an instant pick-me-up and keep your energy levels consistent for hours,” says Hala.

THINK POSITIVE It’s natural to have negative thoughts, but too many can make you weary. “Generally, we notice when things go wrong or don’t go our way and this triggers the brain to look for more of these examples,” says psychotherapist Ali Moore. “When we refocus our brain to think about small positive things, we retrain our brain to start noticing more.” Before bed, write down five things you enjoyed during the day and notice how it affects your frame of mind.

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE Going out and enjoying nature can really boost our mood. It is thought that the oils called phytoncides, which are released by grass and other plants, trigger a physical response when we breathe them in. Within 15 minutes of being outside, our brain releases the happy hormone seratonin, our blood pressure drops and the levels of the stress hormone cortisol fall. A study showed that phytoncides can boost your immune system, too.

TRY A JUICE As the weather gets warmer and we stop consuming hot drinks, why not pack some extra vitamins into your diet and swap your morning cup of tea or coffee with a juice? “Beetroot, cabbage, celery, broccoli, spinach and chard are packed with nutrients,” says nutritional therapist Henrietta Horton. “As a general rule, adding lemons, apple or pears will make even the most adventurous vegetable medley taste palatable.” Try combining spinach, apple, celery and lemon juice for a tasty drink which contains iron to combat fatigue and magnesium to help reduce stress.

TAKE A MINDFUL LUNCHBREAK “Mindfulness is shown through MRI studies to actually change the way our brain works,” says Ali. “Simply focusing on our breathing helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, helping us feel calmer and more in control of our thoughts.” At lunchtime, step away from all screens and focus on the food as concentrating on one activity quietens anxious thoughts.

MAKE THE MOST OF MORNINGS A positive start with a morning routine will set you up for the day. “Take five minutes or an hour,” says health coach Olly Leicester. “Start with some kind of movement, like stretching or a jog, then have quiet time – meditation, breathing exercises or reading a few pages of an inspiring book instead of looking at social media or emails. You’ll feel better.” — Daily Mirror

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