As January draws to a close, only 11 months remain to achieve your New Year goal of improved health and wellbeing. Traditionally, January and February are when people are most motivated – although sometimes the approach is a little too gung-ho. Improving your health and wellbeing is best approached as the turtle not the hare; making small changes slowly is the best way to prevent injuries, make continuous progress towards your goal, and to form new and lasting habits.
Here are some suggestions for a healthier you:
- If you sit at a desk during the day, try to get up every 30 minutes. Walk to the kitchen/toilet/printer; maybe even do some squats!
- Shoulder rolls and gentle neck stretches during the day may help relieve neck and shoulder tension, especially if you use a computer
- Park your car further from the bus-stop, train station or workplace and walk the extra distance (2 minutes or 20 minutes depending on your fitness)
- Try to be active on your lunch break rather than sitting – go for a walk,
go to the gym, do some stretches, stand up to eat
- Assess your workstation ergonomics – check your elbows are at 90 degrees, the top of your computer screen is at eye level, and your feet are flat on the floor
- Add some stretching to your day – morning, lunch, evening – whatever time suits you
- Have a walk-and-talk meeting rather than sitting around a table – you can still take your coffee!
- Don’t forget to breathe. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, then out through your mouth. Repeat 4 times.
- Schedule time to exercise. If it’s a ‘date’, you’ll be less likely to skip it
- Exercise with a friend or family member
- Remember that exercise doesn’t have to mean running a marathon. Find what you enjoy doing – boxing, bushwalking, swimming, Pilates, yoga, running, weights, crossfit. There are so many options out there!
- When eating, take your time. Chew your food and enjoy it.
- Have that niggly pain assessed and diagnosed; prevention is always better than cure.
- And finally, don’t forget to put a smile on your dial – it keeps those face muscles strong and you never know who might be watching. ☺
Not sure how to make small and safe changes to your lifestyle? Our dedicated team of physiotherapists can help. We are movement and exercise specialists who want to help you improve your health and wellbeing. We recognise that all our clients have different goals and abilities and are always happy to help.
If you’re unsure about your body’s abilities, how to perform an exercise, or need further lifestyle advice – we are only a phone call away.
This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor.