10 tips to lead a healthier lifestyleIt’s time to get back on track, as some of you will know I finished the rowing season last weekend. After training for almost a year, I decided to take a week off healthy eating and exercising to give my body a little break and allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted. I even took the week off work to help me relax and unwind, but starting tomorrow I am jumping straight back into my routine. I will be returning to work and getting back into exercising again. Follow my top 10 tips below and join me in a healthier lifestyle!
- As soon as you get out of bed do some gentle stretches to wake up your body, this will help you feel more alert and ready to start the day. Using a body brush*, dry brush your body starting at the soles of your feet, moving up your legs ensuring you do the whole leg in upward long sweeping strokes, then your bum, tummy, back, arms and neck avoiding the chest area and face. Always brushing towards your heart; it should be invigorating not painful or sore. Then have a shower. This is great as it gets your blood flowing and helps to remove any bad toxins from your body in the shower after. It gives your skin a better tone and texture and helps you glow! Oh and did I mention it helps you shed a few pounds when used daily over several months when combined with a healthy diet and it reduces cellulite!
- Have a glass of lemon water at room temperature, a detox or green tea and a nutritious satisfying breakfast.**
- Plan your day and know exactly what you are going to eat. This will stop you unnecessarily snacking or binging. If you are going to work, pack enough food so you won’t be tempted later to buy a snack from the local shop or cafe. A good example for a packed lunch would be a hearty salad, 2 pieces of fruit and lean meat, fish or vegetable protein. If you are following a low carb diet you could have carrot sticks as a healthy snack. If you are not following a low carb diet you could also have a small serving of rice, quinoa, sweet potato or a few boiled new potatoes.
- Prepare a large 2 litre bottle of water to drink throughout the day and infuse it to your liking. I really like the combination of raspberry, cucumber and mint but try using different fruits and herbs and get creative. Aim to have a drink at least every hour even if it is a few sips, this is really important to prevent water retention and help you body cleanse throughout the day. Also if you are dehydrated it is hard to concentrate and you will not be able to perform physically as well.
- On your lunch break try and go for a short 10-15 minute walk, this is especially important if you work at a desk most of the time. A walk in the fresh air is very good for you, as it will give your brain a rest, allow you time to yourself and give you a bit of exercise.
- After work has finished or in the evening try and do some more exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes but ideally 45mins-1hr. You don’t need gym membership to do this, you can do a run around your neighbourhood or exercise at home, whether you use a fitness dvd or the internet to find a workout, there are so many available! Interval or resistance training is best, using a set of dumbbells, pilates ball or resistance bands will greatly improve your workout as will doing high intensity interval training. It is important to vary your workouts and don’t train every day. For instance a typical exercise programme for me will be Pilates on a Monday, weights on a Tuesday and Thursday and a run on a Wednesday or Friday. I then typically in the summer race on Saturdays and have Sundays off but in the winter due to daylight hours I will usually train in the mornings on weekends and have one or two days off during the week. You must incorporate one or two rest days per week!
- After you have exercised have a quick shower to wash away the sweat and refresh. Now you are ready to cook your dinner. Go to my dinner recipes selection and choose one that is low in fat, sugar and salt. A good choice would be my carrot fries and turmeric cod, an omelette or my Singapore noodles. I would avoid my chicken enchiladas as this is a more indulgent recipe that you would have as an occasional treat. There are also other great examples in my ebooks.
- After dinner have a peppermint tea to aid digestion and allocate an hour to do something for yourself. Whether it be pampering yourself by doing your nails or having a home facial, catching up on a tv series, reading a book or simply just sitting and listening to music with scented candles. This is important as you need a healthy mind as well as body. Just one hour to yourself can help to reduce stress and improve happiness. Only use electronic devices up to an hour before bed!
- Plan the remainder of your weeks meals, this will help you keep on track for the rest of the week. Allow yourself one treat dinner and one dessert in the week but do not have both on the same day.
- Have a green tea or calming tea (Camomile, Peppermint or Night Time teas work well***). Get an early night’s sleep you should aim for a minimum of 8 – 10 hours depending on your age. Try to stay within the sleep cycles (this website is very useful: http://sleep-calculator.com/) and don’t set a snooze button on your alarm, as this often leads to you feeling worse than if you’d got up straight away. Remember it takes between 10-30 minutes to fall asleep so you need to allow for this when choosing a bed time. Ideally use ear plugs to shut out any noise and use an eye mask to block out light. On the build up to sleeping reduce the lighting in your house and if possible dim lights. Our bodies associate light with activity as it gets darker our bodies naturally want to sleep so by using less lighting and/or dimmer lights we are preparing our body for sleep.
I hope this was helpful, thank you for reading. Please post your comments below. I would particularly like to know if my daily routine works for you? I really hope it does, but I understand we are all individuals and what works for one person may not suit another.
* I use Elemis Body Detox Skin Brush
** I use Twinnings detox tea as I prefer the taste but any brand should work. Alternatively a green tea will also work as it speeds up your metabolism, helping you to burn more fat and it has been shown to cleanse and detox the body. Both teas are around the same price so it is down to your personal preference, I personally prefer the taste of detox tea. With regards to nutritious and satisfying breakfasts it should be low in fat, sugar and salt and keep you feeling full until lunchtime.
*** I use twinning peppermint or camomile tea or pukka night time tea.