ULTIMATE health boosters
FEEL FITTER AND BEAT STRESS WITH SOME SIMPLE LIFESTYLE TWEAKS
Spring is a time for fresh beginnings, so if you’re thinking of setting a weight-loss or fitness goal, it’s the perfect opportunity. Seeking guidance from a professional is a great way to get started. “An exercise physiologist who specialises in helping people with aches and pains, or conditions such as osteoporosis, can soon help you achieve your fitness goals,” says exercise physiologist, Jacci Allanson.
Try these simple ways to increase health and happiness.
GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY
Tending to the garden has multiple health benefits.
Apart from the physical activity, it provides mental wellbeing by promoting a sense of achievement from completing a task.
“Not only is plunging your hands into a messy job a terrific way to be more active in the sun, it’s also a clever way to introduce heavier tasks into your day, which are great for building strength,” says Jacci.
Two minutes is all the deep breathing required to enter a blissfully calm state. According to the American Institute of Stress, deep breaths using the abdominal muscles increase oxygen to the brain, helping you relax.
“When you breathe in deeply it settles your stress hormones, which enables you to provide enough oxygen to all of the cells in your body,” explains Jacci.
Try inhaling to a count of four. Hold for two counts. Exhale to a count of four.
ON THE MOVE
A study by the University of California, San Francisco, reveals just 14 minutes of vigorous physical activity can slow down the ageing process at DNA level. All you have to do is get moving enough to elevate your heart rate – something that’s easy enough to do by pushing the kids on a swing or playing backyard cricket.
THE 88CM RULE
That’s the waist measurement where the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers increases for women. As part of your spring health overhaul, GP Dr Magdalena Simonis recommends checking your waistline.
“If you do this regularly, you can avoid the ‘middle-age spread,’” she says. To take a correct measurement, find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs, and wrap a tape measure midway between these two points.