2017 is here and 2007 was ten years ago. Feel old yet? Time really does fly, and to keep your fresh New Years Resolutions from taking to the skies as well; we’ve created a list of five extremely simple steps to keep you on the right track for the rest of the year.
1.Start the Day With Lemon Water
Lemon water is easy to prepare and has a couple of health benefits. It’s as simple as waking up and squeezing some lemon into a tall glass of water. The mixture helps improve your immunity because of the vitamin C and encourages digestion. Many people feel tired because they are dehydrated, so this is an easy way to make you drink more water. But remember, lemon has citric acid, which can erode tooth enamel. Try drinking lemon water with a straw and rinse your mouth afterward to avoid the citric acid effects.
2. Get the Blood Flowing with 'Deskercises'
Avoid being a couch potato! Or rather, a work potato. There are waves of research that report having a more sedentary lifestyle puts you at increased risk of negative health effects compared to living a more active routine. Just because you’re spending 9 to 5 at the office doesn’t mean sabotaging your health. Get moving, no matter how briefly. Also, stop stress and channel your mood with these simple “deskercises:”
Chair squats: To work out those glutes, stand about 6 inches in front of your chair and lower yourself down until your butt hits the edge, then pop back up. Repeat.
Book press: To tone those triceps, grab the heaviest book you can find around the office. With your elbows overhead, hold the book behind your head. Slowly lower the book down by your neck and then extend your arms up. Remember to keep elbows close to your ears. Repeat.
Perform these exercises if you’ve been sitting for more than an hour. Also, you can up productivity and exercise potential by having “walking meetings”. Set a pre-routed course around your work area and have your meeting while walking. This is scientifically proven to help with your memory of the conversation and increase awareness of the tasks mentioned.
3. Energize Your Brain with Dark Chocolate
Sounds too good to be true, right? Research shows you can increase your alertness by eating dark chocolate. That’s thanks to flavanols, which are key components in dark chocolates. They work in dilating blood vessels, which allows more oxygen and blood to reach important parts of the brain. You also feel happier and more content. Flavanols are also found naturally in tea leaves and in certain fruits and vegetables, but the amounts vary. We recommend consuming dark chocolate squares that are unsweetened since they have fewer calories and a more concentrated dose of flavanol. Don’t reach for the milk chocolate candies and stick to a modest consumption of high-calorie chocolates, the darker the better for the benefits.
4. Refresh Your Refrigerator
When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to grab a quick and easy snack, which often isn’t the healthiest. Try putting the healthier foods front and center in your fridge, keeping the indulgent foods out of sight, and doing some prep work. The technical term for this is “choice architecture.” Instead of keeping the fresh fruits and veggies in the crisper, put them in clear containers at eye level — those will grab your attention when you open the door. It’s also helpful to do a weekly inventory check. Throw out those takeout containers, because they may fuel your eating habits.
When you're standing in front of the refrigerator, you’re already caught up in your urges to eat. Make it easier to choose something healthy by having it at eye-level and ready to grab.
5. Treat Yo'self with a Massage
Let go of 2016 stress and treat yourself. The healing touch has some scientific backing. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate it’s an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s even used in physical therapy.
Massages reduce headaches and other pains since we carry a lot of stress in our neck and shoulders. They don’t need to last an hour to reap the benefits — 10-15 minutes works well. But they are not for everyone; if it feels painful or uncomfortable steer clear.
In short, these things may seem like small adjustments, but if consistently followed, these tips can drastically change your health and outlook on life. So, cheers to a New Year and cheers to your health!