Imagine you have just woken up from a full night’s sleep. You feel great. The challenge now is to organize your routine to make your body feel good the whole day. Follow these tips and you will soon see some lasting health benefits.
1. Do some stretching.
Stretching can get the muscles ready for the day. It improves circulation and can make you feel more relaxed as you face your grueling routine. If you have a desk job, you really need to do this as long periods of sitting can shorten the muscles, and that can easily lead to sprains, injuries and discomfort. Here are my 3 favorite exercises:
- Stretch your arms as far as you can.
- Embrace your knees and hug them tightly to your chest.
- Using the above position, stretch your arms out and then lower the knees to one side, still bent. Turn your neck gently in the opposite direction. Bring the knees back and then lower them to the other side.
2. Don’t reach for your smartphone yet!
If you are in the under 30 age group, you may well be among the 63% who take their smartphones to bed with them! That means that it is most likely to be the first thing you reach for as you wake up. Try doing the stretching exercise mentioned above first and leave the phone till later. Preferably after breakfast.
3. Have a healthy breakfast.
They say that a great breakfast can set you up for the day. But is it true? Research shows that breakfast eaters consume fewer calories during the day. In addition, you get more energy, better stamina, and greater concentration. These are crucial to helping you feel great all day.
Some fast food breakfasts contain over 1,000 calories and 50 grams of fat! Stay away from waffles, muffins and sugary cereals. Opt for safer choices such as:
- Eggs or cheese to give you protein.
- Wholemeal bread or toast.
- Cereals such as oatmeal, muesli with fruit and nuts.
- Unsweetened low fat yogurt.
- Fresh fruit.
4. Get some fresh air.
Whatever climate you live in, you will have to go out to get some fresh air, even if the weather is freezing cold or boiling hot. There are very good reasons why you should be doing this:
- Walking outside on a real surface, rather than on a treadmill, is much healthier. The muscles used when negotiating sidewalks, puddles, pedestrian crossings, and a variety of inclines gives a much healthier workout.
- If you are lucky enough to get some sun, this will stimulate the production of the serotonin brain hormone. This puts you in a better mood.
- You are getting some real air (smog levels permitting!) which will beat the air conditioned, stuffy atmosphere in an expensive gym.
- Lots of studies show that exercising outdoors can increase optimism, self esteem and energy.
5. Sit up straight.
Most of us have to spend a lot of time sitting down during the day. You may be one of the 80% of Americans who suffer from back pain at some stage in their lives. The number one reason is usually a poor posture while sitting down. People often lounge on the sofa while watching TV, which is even worse. Watch the video for some tips to make sure that back pain and other issues do not ruin your day.
6. Get some lumbar support.
If your office chair does not have proper lumbar support for the lower back, then it is time to think about getting a lumbar support pillow. This will help you to stop slumping in your chair. When you buy one, make sure that there is a way it can be secured to the chair, so that it does not fall off every time you stand up!
7. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
Have you checked the height of your desk? This could be one of the reasons why your shoulders are too high and you cannot keep them at their normal level. It may be that your office chair is too low.
Relaxed shoulders at the right height ensures that you are not going to get pain or discomfort. It also helps to maintain the natural S curve of the spine.
You have to do one essential exercise to stretch the shoulders a few times during the day. Try this:
- Raise your hands above your head and intertwine your fingers.
- Make sure that your palms are looking at the ceiling
- Perform a movement which simultaneously pushes back the shoulders and also stretches your arms up so that they are trying to reach the ceiling.
8. Learn to breathe properly.
Did you know that you breathe 20,000 times every day? If you do not do this properly, it can lead to depression, a compromised immune system, panic attacks, and affect quality of sleep. Watch this video to understand how to breathe correctly.
9. Walk tall, walk straight.
If you see someone walking with good posture, one’s first impression is that this is someone who is confident and has a certain presence. But there are very good health reasons why you should maintain a good posture while standing or walking. It means that there is less strain on the muscles, ligaments, and joints because the force of gravity on your body is evenly distributed. It also helps you to breathe correctly and has beneficial effects on blood circulation and digestion.
As we have seen, these are easy ways to make you feel great during the day. Start using these techniques today. If there are any other techniques that you use, let us know in the comments below.
Featured photo credit: Feeling good/ Camil Agapie via Photo Pin