HACK #6 - STOP THE CALORIE COUNT
In an already high strung society, calorie counting is just one more stress that we do not need. Spending all day weighing food, counting calories and stressing over reaching a certain target or macro count is no way to live. Unfortunately, calorie and macro counting does not educate us about our food and the effects it has on our mind and body. All you learn is how to count.
Focusing on eating fresh wholefoods, quality meat sources and drinking plenty of water, will provide you with all the energy and mental clarity you need to get through the day, reduce bloating and inflammation, help you drop that unwanted body fat and reduce your levels of stress as you won't need to count calories day in and day out for your remaining years. Eating a wholefood based diet will not only provide all of these benefits, you will feel much fuller and find you struggle to reach your determined 'calorie target'.
Unsure of where to start? Try some of our favourite wholefood recipes!
HACK #7 - VITAMIN D-aily
Vitamin D is produced when our skin is exposed to UV light, the sun. Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more and more common in a world where we are more vigilant than ever when it comes to sun exposure, with over 30% of Australian adults having some level of deficiency. However, we do not require a great deal of exposure to maintain healthy levels.
Healthy levels of vitamin D are required for absorption of calcium as well as maintenance of strong bones and teeth, normal immune function, disease prevention and may even reduce levels of anxiety/depression and boost weight loss.
There are many factors that will determine just how much exposure you require, such as your ethnicity, location, season, etc. Put your phone down, take 10-15 minutes per day for yourself, get out in the sun and enjoy improved health!
HACK #8 - SLEEP, ARE YOU DOING IT RIGHT?
Sleep is an often overlooked process in recovery. Are you making the most of this precious recovery time? Do you wake feeling fresh and rejuvenated or tired and drowsy? There are a few simple steps you can follow to improve your sleep and beenfit from this recovery time.
Create a routine that you can follow every single night so your body and mind knows it is time to switch off. Here is a simple routine you can employ tonight:
Have a designated 'bed time', stick to it every night
Switch off all electronic devices an hour before bed, the light produced by these devices prevents your body from producing melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Have a hot shower/bath
Read a book, NOT an e-book!
BREATHE. There are many breathing techniques that may help induce a deeper sleep. I have found the Wim Hof method has been effective in producing better quality sleep.
Ensure your room is cool and as dark as possible. cover all standby lights, etc.
HACK #9 - BREATHE
Sounds simple, right?
Take a second to analyse how you are breathing this very second. Shallow or deep? Quick or slow? Nose or mouth?
Breathing has been harnessed by many cultures for centuries but in the Western World it is one automated function we do not give a second thought to. However, in our high strung, stress ridden and anxiety bound society, it is one practice you can most definitely benefit from today.
It is as simple as taking 5-10 minutes each day to just, breathe. No goal, no thinking, just, breathe. Switch off and follow your breath.
Find a nice quiet place (it might be first thing in the morning before you get out of bed, sitting in the sun at a park on your way to/from work or last thing at night before you nod off to sleep), breathe smoothly through your nose, allow your lungs to completely inflate, pause, slowly release and pause again. Aim to make as little or no noise if possible, perform to a slow count of 4 if it helps you maintain consistency. Repeat the process for 5-10 minutes.
Be sure not to practice breathing techniques while in water/submerged and take a minute or two to regather yourself before proceeding with your day.
At S3 we have found and recommend the Wim Hof method as being highly beneficial and providing some amazing results.
HACK #10 - TIME IN NATURE, IS TIME WELL SPENT
As human beings, spending time in nature is essential for optimal health.
Research is showing that time in nature may improve short-term memory, concentration and cognitive function, restore mental energy, relieve stress, reduce inflammation, prevent vision issues in children, boost your immune system, improve mental health and reduce the risk of early death.
Research also suggests, that spending time in nature may also have anti-cancer or cancer prevention effects.
Simply make time for 5 minutes per day to stop at or walk through a park, on the beach or by the lake and be present in nature. Being present means, forgetting about what happened yesterday, not worrying about what needs to be done tomorrow and simply enjoying the present moment.