Finally spring has arrived (sort of!) Now that April is upon us, we have gained another hour of daylight, we are fresh from the Easter break and at the beginning of a new financial year.
We may not yet have the spring weather that we had all hoped for, so why not make the most of those drizzly days and invest some time in giving your health a spring clean to set you up for a great year ahead? Here are a few tips to get your body and mind in great shape for a healthy and lean 2018!
- 1. Revamp your workout routine
We can all get a little bored with the same routine, especially when it comes to working out. Many of us set goals to get fit in January, but only 20% manage to stick to it come the end of February! Sometimes we aim for something that is too demanding or unrealistic to maintain, or we simply reach a level where we plateau and don’t see any improvement in how we look, feel or perform. Think about what you enjoy and what challenges you or try something completely new that will give you a different kind of workout. Setting yourself a new challenge is a great way to get motivated and stay on track with your health or fitness goals!
- 2. Eat seasonal and local
Fresh is best! Give your gut the good food it deserves with fresh fruit and veg that’s in season and preferably local. You will be supporting local farmers and getting the freshest produce you can that has not travelled hundreds or thousands of miles to get to you! Local farmers do not usually farm their crops with the pesticides that the larger supermarkets suppliers may use and you know exactly what you are getting and where it is from. Fruit and veg isn’t always more expensive from your local farm shops, and the taste can be so much better! You may be able to reduce the use of packaging of produce you buy, even better!
3. Make time to wind down
Finding time to relax and unwind can be tricky or feel impossible when you have a demanding job or family commitments to juggle. It’s so important to make time to wind down and remove yourself from the day-to-day stresses of life and work. Treat it like a work appointment in your diary, and make it regular, whether its 5 mins first thing in the morning, 15 mins at lunch or an hour doing something you enjoy after work. What works for one person, may not work for you, so keep an open mind and try different things to see what helps you to unwind. You should soon reap the benefits from improved concentration, better sleep, a calmer disposition, more energy and greater productivity.
- 4. De-clutter your inbox
Having a to do list can help to get organised and make sure you don’t forget tasks, but it can be a cause of stress if the list is constantly growing! Each morning, flag emails that must be dealt with today, focusing on your top priorities. Dedicate 30 minute blocks every two hours to stay on top of email. During those blocks, make decisions about each message immediately: Respond if it takes less than two minutes, delete, archive, or defer to respond later. Make time to tackle the things that are bothering you or constantly on your mind. It doesn’t help if you have visible piles of paperwork that needs to be processed or things to be put away or fixed. The same goes for your home, research has shown that people who live in a clutter-free space without constant reminders of a to-do list, will have a clearer head, be more focused and find it easier to adopt healthy living routines.
- 5. Monitor your connectivity
Many of us are more connected to technology than we realise and it’s having a huge impact on our health! We wake up to the alarm on our smart phone, check social media, review the online tabloids on our commute to work, sit in front of a computer for hours, perhaps check social media again in our lunch break or at the end of the day. We get home and maybe if we are really good we may put on our garmin and go for a run, upload it on Strava, grab some tea and do a bit more social media or TV before bed… Sound familiar? The effects of being connected and how we interact with technology and also with other people at home and work can be astounding! Notifications interrupt us 24/7, constant use of screens affects our eyesight, interferes with sleep and can be a cause of stress, anxiety and has also been linked to depression. The rise in mental health problems in young people related to social media shows just how much of an impact that this can have. Try to maintain a healthy balance by reducing your online time, give yourself a curfew on devices at night, turn off notifications, remove devices from your bedroom and buy an alarm clock!
For more information or to find out how you can take steps for improving your health personally or for your place of work – contact Claire. firstname.lastname@example.org