As the New Year starts, it’s a time to take positive steps towards a happy and healthy 2018. Rather than giving you a list of things to cut down on or give up, we thought we’d offer you 10 constructive ways to improve your health.
1. Posture Check: aim to improve your posture in everything you do – work, rest and play
- Shoulders back
- Neck long
- Chin in
- Tummy tight
- Hips neutral
All of these should be considered whether sitting or standing. Support yourself well in a chair or on the sofa, so that you are not slouching, outing unnecessary pressure through your spine. Assess your workstation (make sure your screen is directly in front of you and at the right height, that you have a supportive chair also at the right height) and don’t overlook your mattress and pillow (upgrade in the New Year sales if they are no longer supporting you)
2. Get Out – Get Active: join a gym, attend a class, swim, walk, run or simply take the stairs more. Movement is medicine – so stay active, we are not designed to sit still.
3. Set A Fitness Goal: it’s always easier to be active when we have something to work towards. So, whether it’s to get fit/fitter, lose weight or enter an event, just give yourself a target.
4. Strengthen Your Core: core strength improves posture, protects your back and improves your sporting performance. It is such a key form of exercise and one you can do at home. We have Pilates and Core classes at the clinic, or you could try having a session with our Personal Trainer to learn the basics and do the exercises in your own time.
5. Stretch: daily stretching can invigorate your body and mind. Try the ‘Sun Salutation’ to give you an energy boost in the morning, or simply work through a few stretches each day, covering legs, hips/glutes, back, neck and shoulders. Stretching out through the day is important if you are repetitively doing one thing (eg sitting, digging, painting etc), as a minimum, roll your shoulders out regularly.
6. Book A Regular Massage: this can help address postural problems, repetitive strains, overuse injuries, muscle tension and tightness, and generally keep on top of your wellbeing.
7. Up The Nutrients: ensure your diet contains plenty of oily fish (salmon and mackerel are good) and as many of the nutritiously packed leafy greens, berries and other superfoods as you can (eg kale, broccoli, blueberries, nuts and seeds). When it comes to food, variety is the spice of life and remember, you are what you eat! So filling up on healthy foods rather than sugar and stodge is going to reflect the way you feel – light, bright and energised, or a little heavy and lethargic?
8. Make That Appointment: sort out that niggle, pain or problem you’ve been meaning to address for ages. Unfortunately, things don’t always ‘just go away on their own’.
9. Get Fresh: take in plenty of fresh air, fill your lungs right to the bottom – don’t just breathe into the upper ribs and shoulders. This is good for bodily function as well as flexibility through the ribs and back.
10. Hydrate: need we champion the body’s favourite (necessary) drink?