Health Space Helpful Tips

Your Health Space needs healthy food, filtered water, movement, happy thoughts, good posture and ergonomics and big deep breaths! Here's some handy health tips!

Smile - it takes less muscles than frowning and releases endorphins 

Breath - many of us don't breath properly, especially if stressed out. Scientific studies have shown that correct breathing can help manage stress related conditions (Victorian Department if Health). Deliberate retraining or mimicking of relaxed diaphragmatic breathing patterns calm the autonomic nervous system helping us feel calmer, deal with stress better, improve our immune system, digestive system and reproductive system functions. Try putting one hand on your chest and one on your tummy and take a deep breath. Your tummy should expand long before your chest moves.

A great App to help you retrain your breathing is called My Calm Beat. 

Think positive - and have positive self talk (e.g.. Don't say " stupid old me" or "I'm so dumb sometimes" when referring to your self - try positive phrases like "Im improving everyday" or " I release negative patterns with comfort and ease". 

Talk positive - For example instead of saying "I hope I don't forget to..."  use positive language such as "I must remember to...." 

Associate with positive people - tell positive uplifting stories, spread good news (avoid getting caught up in rumors, gossip, bullying etc as These things attract negative energy. 

Drink water - your body is 70% water and your discs more than 90%! Being hydrated helps flush toxins and maintain homeostasis (balance) within the body. If you are sick, injured, stressed or exercising/ sweating daily,  we recommend 1L per 25kg of body weight per day of filtered room temperature water

Eat a high protein breakfast (or a protein shake if you don't feel like eating). The first thing in your mouth in the morning starts your engine for the day. If caffeine or sugar is first it stimulates your adrenal glands which secrete your stress hormones. If you have protein first you will have more sustained energy, so even if you have a coffee or something sugary later in the day it won't be as bad!

Eat your fruit and veggies - Australian Government Recommends 2 pieces of fruit and 6 cups of vegetables per day. Try salads, smoothies, juices, frittata, sir fries, casseroles to increase your daily intake. 

See a Naturopath / Nutritionist to help tweak your diet and prescribe good supplements. if you find it difficult to get your RDI of fruit and veggies everyday then make sure you are prescribed and take good practitioner only brand supplements (prescribed by a health professional) - bare minimum you need a good multivitamin and /or mineral (e.g. Juice Plus), quality fish oil, magnesium supplement  (ideally powder for easy absorption), and a green drink (spiralina, wheatgrass, barley greens etc). 

Move frequently - if you have a stationary / sitting job you need to move every 10-20 minutes and walk around every hour. Having your work station ergonomically assessed is important but moving is more important. People who move frequently at work have more energy, are more productive and get less work related injuries.

Exercise daily - Australian guidelines recommend 20 minutes a day of moderate exercise and 2 resistance session per week to maintain health and double that to improve health. Some handy tips are : Choose something you like doing, set goals, have an exercise buddy or group to keep you accountable, write yourself a timetable, use apps to give you variety and objective measures, reward yourself when you reach your goals

Mediate or have down time scheduled in weekly (ideally daily). Good idea is to set aside 1 minute a day to start with where you know you can close your eyes. Set an alarm and when that alarms sounds close your eyes and think about something positive - it may be something you are grateful for e.g. your family, it may be something that motivates you to be a better person, or something in your life that reminds you to live in the moment, it may be a picture of something you want or something you already have but are grateful for. Or use a pre written or recorded affirmation or visualization. Could be small or big but something that makes your heart flutter and makes you feel good and maybe even excited!

Sleep 8 hours - try and go to bed and get up at the same time to keep your circadian rhythm balanced. Handy tips for a good nights sleep include being fitted for a bed that individually suits you, sleep on supportive contour pillow, avoid stimulating activity such as computers, emails, Facebook, TV etc at least an hour before bed, avoid eating at least 2 hours before sleep, especially stimulants (e.g. coffee , chocolate, sweets), ensure something positive is running through your head as you fall asleep (can read it, listen to it or just be grateful in your head)

Power naps - if you are tired try a power nap. Make sure it's 20 minutes or less otherwise your sleepy hormones will be secreted and you will actually feel more tired when you wake up.

What you see in others you see in your self - look for the good in people and avoid being judgmental. Love yourself.... If you don't then no one else will!

Posture - if you sit/stand up tall, move frequently, breath diaphragmatically and arch your back regularly you release more endorphins and decrease risk of injury

Say no sometimes - don't be yes man! Prioritise your values - family /friends, work, sleep, exercise, play to get the most out of your time. 

Focus on your strengths and what you DO have and be grateful. A useful way to be more grateful is start a book (could do on your phone or carry a notebook) and write in it daily for things that you are grateful. 

Alkalise - a great idea is to have your acidity levels checked via a quick urine test. If you are acidic your body is more likely to get sick, hold onto fat or cholesterol to try and buffer acidity and long term you are more susceptible to disease. Some easy tips if you ate acidic is to put lemon in your water in the morning, eat more alkaline foods (google alkaline/acid food charts), decrease or have strategies to combat stress, avoid sugar and caffeine products and drink lots of water

Detox your home and body - Get rid of all the chemical cleaners - use things like white vinegar, tea tree oil and bicarbonate soda. Buy chemical free or organic beauty products to minimise toxicity in your body. Don't be fooled by the branding - it may say organic or natural but if it doesn't have the certified organic symbol it may be part of their branding. Avoid sleeping with your bed (especially head) near on power points to decrease electromagnetic radiation exposure. 

Food - things to be aware of:

  • Just because it has the good health tick doesn't mean it's good for you (you can buy the tick)
  • Grain fed meat is not a specialty - since when do cows eat grains? Grass fed is best.
  • Ensure you buy chemical and hormone free chicken - unless you want to start growing feathers (amongst other things)
  • Buy eggs that ate organic or free range (otherwise you could be eating eggs full of hormones, chemicals and antibiotics)
  • Lite usually means light in colour or favourite (not fat!)
  • Fat free is generally not sugar free (excess sugar = fat)
  • Australian Food regulations are some of the most lax in the world so learn to read labels - anything with added colours, flavours or preservatives are toxic to your body and will cause health problems

Ergonomics:

  • Buy a good ergonomic chair with low back support (use a low back support if you don't have a good chair)
  • Sit on your chair and bend your elbows - they should slide onto the desk
  • Screen height should be set so bottom third of the screen is at eye level
  • Feet should be flat on the ground, ideally with toes slightly up on a foot rest
  • Phone and mouse on opposite sides
  • Gel padded mouse pads to support the wrists and keep slight extension

Strategies to combat injury and fatigue at work:

  • Have your work station ergonomically assessed
  • Buy an ergonomic ally designed chair
  • Breathe
  • Drink lots of filtered water
  • Put printers away from desk so you have to get up regularly
  • Computer programs that lock your computer can be used and exercises displayed on the screen if you are really serious
  • Move every 10-20 minutes
  • Have healthy snacks available - nuts, fruit etc you can pick at
  • Exercise at lunch time or commute on foot/bike to or from work

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