The change in season offers the perfect excuse to re-evaluate health and wellness goals in the countdown to Christmas.
Longer, warmer days and an abundance of fresh produce provide extra motivation to spring into action.
The temptation for many is to dramatically overhaul exercise routines and diet. However, Nature’s Own Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist Kate Save says that incremental changes are most effective when returning to a more active and nutritious lifestyle.
“Many people feel pressured to get in shape for summer instantaneously and often overwork themselves by undertaking strenuous exercise and extreme detoxes. While these practices may produce immediate weight loss results, they are ultimately unsustainable and won’t contribute to achieving long-term health and fitness goals.”
To ease the transition into spring, Kate shares three health hacks to kick start your daily routine in 30 minutes or less:
1) Focus your mind and unwind in… 10 minutes
For those who are time poor, managing demanding schedules is challenging, particularly in the latter half of the year. While it may seem difficult to make time for regular breaks throughout the day, it is essential to take some time out to achieve a calm, positive and focused mind.
Try these simple relaxation techniques during the work day:
- Keep Calm and Meditate: Use the daily commute to your advantage and start the day stress-free. Download a meditation track or app, close your eyes, practice slow breathing from the diaphragm and focus on the physical sensations in the body. Breathing in this way will increase oxygen in the blood stream and slow heart rate, triggering a relaxation response.
- Have a Tea-Break: Stepping away from the desk for a cup of tea can provide a brief escape from everyday stresses. Herbal teas such as chamomile, lavender and lemongrass are most effective for relaxation, while pomegranate, green tea, ginger and rooibos varieties are rich in antioxidants and may help enhance mood.
- Stretch it out: A short stretching session at the desk several times a day can improve circulation, relieve muscle tension and re-energise the mind. Try simple stretches such as slow neck rotations to the left and right, clasping hands behind the back and pushing the chest outward, and reaching for the toes whilst remaining seated.
2) Nourish from within in… 20 minutes
As the weather warms, our bodies begin to crave lighter meals packed with fresh, seasonal produce as opposed to dense, carb-loaded comfort foods.
Look for fuss-free recipes which incorporate the following key nutrients to detoxify and improve the health of all vital organs, boost energy levels and achieve glowing skin this spring.
- Omega-3 fatty acids have some great overall health benefits, particularly for the heart and brain. Shopping list essentials: Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna. Alternatively, opt for foods fortified with omega-3 fats such as eggs, bread and margarine.
- Dietary Fibre is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Shopping list essentials: Quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat and oat bran.
- Carotenoids and Vitamins A & E are powerful antioxidants that are essential for cell repair and maintenance, and reducing damage to the skin’s collagen and elasting. Shopping list essentials: Carotenoids and vitamin A can be found in foods with orange and yellow pigmentation such as pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots. Nuts including almonds, macadamias and walnuts are a rich dietary source of vitamin E.
3) Get the most out of your workout in… 30 minutes
Spring clean the workout regime by incorporating a 30 minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) program into your schedule.
Intense periods of exercise with a short recovery between sets are designed to burn the maximum amount of calories in the minimum amount of time.
Participating in HIIT three times per week for 30 minutes can achieve faster training results than longer endurance sessions five times per week, and when combined with resistance training, can boost metabolism for up to 48 hours post workout.
For more information on the Nature’s Own range visit www.naturesown.com.au