Setting unrealistic health goals for yourself can come with pitfalls. We resist, give into temptation, break the cycle and do it all over again. And lets not forget the mind-grinding guilt we get afterwards too. (We're so over it.)
Pull yourself out of a slump and start making your week count towards your health. We've collated 17 easy peasy ways to become healthier and happier in just 15 hours!
6AM: Drink hot water and lemon
While we agree there are many healthy benefits to a cup of coffee, there’s nothing like a mug of hot water and lemon juice to detox your bod' first thing in the morning. Lemons have powerful antibacterial properties and immune-booster powers that you just can't get from your usual cuppa. Squeeze half a fresh lemon in some warm (not scalding) water and zone out for 10 minutes. Enjoy it! It’s a refreshing way to start your morning.
7AM: Body brushing
This is an easy trick that will do wonders for your health and beauty. Dry skin brushing is an Ayurvedic practice that cleanses and detoxes the body. As we age our body becomes less effective in skin cell renewal which can cause stress on our organs. So give your body a helping hand by gently brushing in long upward strokes with a body brush. This will help open and activate your pores, circulate blood and encourage the skin to shed dead skin cells, leaving you refreshed and energized.
8AM: Exercise while commuting
If you normally drive to work check out what other forms of transportation are open to you. Can you ride your bike? Take the train? Bus hop? Walk? All of these require more physical activity than driving - meaning the elusive 30 minutes of exercise each day can be easily achieved come Friday.
9AM: Positive thinking
Had a nightmare commute? Running late to work? Everyday when you come into work make it a habit to re-set your mind into positive thinking. Positive visualizations and affirmations of the day ahead will set you on the right path to a productive workday. Once you brush off those gloomy thoughts and start thinking happy you’ll start to feel much more motivated (in every aspect of life).
10AM: Go nuts
By this time, your tummy might be talking to you. If you had breakfast before the commute chances are your energy levels will have dropped slightly by now and this is when we become guilty of bad at work habits. If you fancy nibbling on something, have a bag of walnuts or almonds by your desk to keep you from dashing out for a bag of chips or chocolate bar. Nuts are chock full of vitamins, are super filling and pretty delicious too.
11AM: Listen to music
Crank up an inspirational Gaga or Beyonce jam and pump yourself up for the day. Studies have shown that listening to music can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, boost your mood and, get this, help with chronic back pain. So next time you have some mundane admin to do just blast out some tunes on your headphones and get your happy back on track.
12PM: Drink up!
Don’t neglect your body’s need to stay hydrated throughout the day! H2O is so important to help flush toxins out of your body and keep you energized and on the move. After all, your body’s made up of 60 percent water! Download WaterIn, a dandy app to help you reach your water goals stat.
1PM: Avoid mayo for lunch
We’re not going to tell you to always eat salad for lunch, but one thing we’d urge you to do is to avoid unhealthy lunch staples like mayonnaise. Mayo is a classic ingredient used in sandwiches, salads and wraps, but it’s so easy nowadays with marketing traps to get tricked into eating something that looks pretty damn healthy, but really, doesn’t even come close. Mayo offers little nutritional benefits, high sugar content, artificial ingredients and fat. Case in point? Just say no to mayo.
2PM: Take a mini break
Staring at your computer screen hardly does any good for your health so make sure to give yourself mini breaks during the day to avoid common problems such as eye strain, back pain and tiredness. Get up and grab an antioxidant-rich green tea or make small chat with your colleague to give yourself a brain break. (Just don’t be a nuisance though.)
3PM: Schedule some tasks for tomorrow
Forgo the daily migraine and de-stress your mind by writing down what you need to do for the next day. You’ll feel a lot better knowing that you’re not forgetting anything that needs to get done. Plus, it makes going home and unwinding something to look forward to at the end of the day.
4PM: Fight the 4 O'Clock sugar hit
Get your paws out of the cookie jar! When the 4pm slump hits defeat it by keeping a bowl of fruit by your desk. It's best to go for lower GI options like blueberries which make a great snack to chow down during work (especially for brain-boosting). TIP: Keep a bar of dark chocolate (70%) in your desk drawer for cocoa emergencies.
5PM: Take the stairs instead
If you find yourself in subway or train station and the lines for the escalators are a mile off, take the stairs! In fact do it anyways, you’ll be surprised what a few steps can do for your legs and butt.
6PM: Meatless Mondays
Meatless Mondays can make a major difference to your diet. While the flexitarian diet is on the rise the Western diet still contains high amounts of meat which means we’re leaving a lot less room for fruit and vegetables. If you give this a shot you’ll be way more likely to reach your 5-a-day!
7PM: Bish, bash, bosh
Amateur cook or gourmet chef - everyone can whip up something! It doesn’t have to be fine dining - there’s tons of easy to follow recipes online and even more that require less than 30 minutes of your time. Ditch the ready meals and join the home cooks!
8PM: Prepare for tomorrow
We sound like your mom, we know, but if you make the extra effort to prepare, say your clothes for the next day, you’ll definitely save yourself from the morning scram. Sensible time management will make your mornings a whole lot more relaxing. So much so, that getting out of bed won’t seem like a task anymore!
9PM: Meditate to clear your mind
Meditating is a lot easier thank you think. A bit of spiritual healing can help quiet the mind by creating a higher level of awareness and calm. The perfect nighttime ritual before bed? As easy as 'Ommm'.
10PM: Get more sleep
Sleep is vital for your health and beauty. Everyone works on different schedules, but by 10pm make sure you have kip on your mind. It’s a good time to get out a book or magazine and start reading yourself to sleep. A lack of sleep can cause a whole host of problems for your sex life, well-being, memory and weight. It's time to get sleep-strict girl.
Have any more nifty tips to make your work week healthier? Tweet us @wewomenCA!