With the year winding down and the thoughts of Christmas and summer holidays occupying our minds, we may start feeling a little frazzled thinking of how many deadlines loom before the festive fun can begin. To help me stay zen amongst it all, I rely on health hacks because I believe we all need a little help to save time! Here I share with you my health hacks, which assist in all areas of health and prevent good habits from taking a slide.
We all know the best way to keep our diet on track is to have a plan in place. Meal planning doesn’t need to take hours; a rough idea can save and stress time in the kitchen. My hack to streamline meal times is:
- Write down which proteins you will have on what day/night and add them straight to the shopping list, do the same for complex carbs and you already have ½ your meal sorted. When the time comes, add vegetables/salad to your meal and you have a healthy meal in no time!
- Do the same for snacks, pick 3-4 snacks such as nuts + fruit, yoghurt + berries and crackers/carrot + hummus and have on rotation during the week. Simple!
Poor sleep can undoubtedly impact quality of life and make us not the most joyous person to be around. The last thing we want at this time of year! To ensure your night is not disturbed or abruptly cut short here is my health hack for restful sleep:
- Change your diet, diet can impact sleep, research has shown a greater intake of fibre is linked to more time spent in the deep sleep stage. Alternatively a higher intake of saturated fat and sugar predicts more arousal from sleep.
- Tip: swap refined grains at dinnertime for quinoa/brown rice, legumes/chickpeas, roasted sweet potato, cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli.
- Tip: snack on a piece of fruit with a handful of macadamia nuts rich in monounsaturated fats in replace of a sugary pick me up.
You may have previously read that prolonged sitting is the new smoking as it increases risk of disease. We know the importance of breaking a daily sweat but with todays busy lifestyle some of us struggle to find the time. To promote better health we must prioritise movement. Every little bit counts, so if caught on time, here is my health hack for movement:
- Get up from your desk every 30mins for a stretch and brief walk
- Get outside at lunch time and go for a 10-15min brisk walk
- Wake up 20mins earlier and try a strength-based exercise circuit in the lounge room
Despite the benefits of mindfulness, when time is short, being mindful is the first thing to go! Some quick health hacks, which take no time but help to promote mindfulness include:
- Sit in the park or go for a gentle walk during a lunch break or coffee outing
- Leave your phone at home when going for a walk or out to the shop, if you don’t have it, you can’t look at it!
- Eat mindfully, sit down to eat in a stress free environment away from distraction, sit outside if you can in the fresh air
I hope some of these health hacks will help you during the busy times ahead to stay on track and make sure you enter the new year feeling refreshed and recharged!