(5 Simple Steps to Boost Your Health & Energise Your Spirit)
Spring is finally here! The sun is rising earlier, the air is getting warmer, and nature is re-emerging with vibrant life, all fresh and renewed. You’re feeling it too, right?!! The buzz of new-season vitality surging through you, allowing you to radiate your inner confidence and joy?
Hmmm…. well if your response wasn’t a resounding “HECK YES!!”…. it’s ok…. life is rarely as glamorous as the ones depicted on TV or by your favourite insta-famous ‘influencer’…. but you can certainly boost your health and energise your spirit with these simple little secrets:
1: Reach for Rainbows:
It’s common during winter, to indulge in comfort foods that are thicker, richer, and generally a little heavier. This can often result in the ‘winter kilo-creep’ if not enjoyed in well balanced moderation. Spring is certainly the season for new beginnings, so take an opportunity to review your menu and ensure that you’re including adequate servings of fruits and vegetables from each of the five (5) colour categories.
It’s recommended that adults consume two (2) servings of fruit and five (5) servings of vegetables each day, and by selecting your produce from each of the different colour categories to create your rainbow, you can be confident that your body is receiving a the full range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Consider these delicious varieties:
- RED: apples, tomatoes, cherries, capsicum, strawberries, watermelon;
- PURPLE/BLUE: blueberries, aubergine, purple cabbage, Spanish onion;
- ORANGE/YELLOW: pineapple, mango, sweet potato, orange, lemon, carrot;
- GREEN: broccoli, apples, zucchini, beans, peas, celery, cucumber, spinach;
- WHITE/BROWN: cauliflower, mushrooms, potato, garlic, onions, dates; parsnip.
If fruits and vegetables aren’t a regular feature on your menu, why not embark on a fresh produce ‘adventure’, and try one new variety each week. Test out something you haven’t tried before, or something you haven’t eaten since you were a kid… you might just find you like it!
2: Feel the Flow:
Get up and move…. allow every part of your body to flow through its complete range of motion. Aim for at least 2 ½ hours of moderate intensity exercise each week and at least two (2) strength focused sessions.
Keep in mind that moderate intensity exercise isn’t just a relaxing stroll through the shopping centre or meander around the block. Invest some effort…. and move your body with a sense of purpose. You should feel your breathing become deeper and your heart rate increase.
Consider these amazing benefits:
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes
- Better regulation of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels;
- Reduced risk and of some cancers and an effective recovery and rehabilitation strategy;
- Improved weight management;
- Stronger muscles and bones;
- Improved metal health status.
Overall, you’ll experience far better physical, mental and even social well-being…. and most importantly, you’ll live a longer and happier life!
3: Seek the Sunshine:
It’s the perfect time of year to get outside into the fresh air and sunshine!
Every single day we’re breathing in pollution…. everything from aerosol sprays and toxins released by plastics and furnishings, right through to vehicle and industrial pollution….. our bodies need fresh air though!
Fresh air cleans the lungs and helps them to deliver more oxygen to the cells… and this in turn increases energy levels & brain functioning. It can also improve blood pressure and even support immune system functioning and digestive processes.
Getting out into the sunshine is also important for the release of seratonin, which is one of those happy hormones associated with mood elevation. It also helps us to feel more calm and more focussed. Sunlight has also an amazing support therapy in the treatment of depression and can also prevent the development of Seasonal Affective Disorder (or the winter blues), which can be more prevalent during the winter when sunshine is less abundant.
Exposing your skin to sunlight for up to 15 minutes at a time, a couple of times per week, can also help in the production of vitamin D, which plays an integral role in bone health, because it helps the body to absorb calcium.
Where possible, get your fix of fresh air and sunshine from the great outdoors, rather from a built-up, man-made environment. The natural environment is going to be far less polluted for a start… and there’s also something really special about reconnecting with a greater life force around us… trees, grass, dirt, animals…. getting back to nature, serves as an important & humbling reminder that we’re part of something much, much bigger!!
Consider these additional benefits:
- Significant de-stressing effect and lowered blood pressure;
- Improved short term memory, creativity and ability to focus;
- Reduced inflammation and boosted immunity;
- Safeguard against fatigue, depression and anxiety.
What more reason do you need, to get back to nature?!
4: Enhance Your Emotional Health:
The state of your emotional health is just as important as your physical health, and the coming of spring is the ideal time to de-clutter your life of stressors that weigh heavily on your heart and mind, and embrace the elements that allow your spirits to soar!
Ensuring that you get enough sleep is a fantastic way to begin. Sleep experts agree that adults should aim for between 7 – 9 hours sleep each night. Children and teenagers can require up to 10 hours or more.
Adequate sleep will make you more capable of making good decisions, boost your creative and cognitive performance, and generally make you far more productive! This in itself will help you manage stress far more effectively.
From a well-rested state, identify sources of stress in your life. Work? Relationships? Finances? Losing sleep over these issues isn’t helping. Instead, aim to develop a realistic plan to address, and ultimately eliminate the problem.
Take some time out to enjoy time with friends, or family. Talking about our worries is a great way to lighten the load, and often a different perspective or second opinion can immediately ease the heart and mind.
Aim to focus some time and attention towards a hobby that you love…. whether that be an artistic pursuit, a physical challenge or even volunteering for a local charity. These activities not only lift your spirits and help you feel more emotionally reenergized, they can help you to feel less alone, more mindful of your strengths and capabilities, and more intrinsically aware of the value you share with this world.
5: Harness Your Habits:
Whether we are conscious of them or not, we all have habits…. some of which help us in our pursuit of health and happiness, and others that hinder us.
Take this season of renewal and rejuvenation as an opportunity to identify your least helpful habit, and focus your attention towards reining it in, and reclaiming your control over it. It could be a harmful habit like smoking or excessive consumption of alcohol…. or it could be negative self-talk or the way you constantly de-prioritise your own needs…. It could even be a ‘thinking habit’, that causes us to automatically come up with excuses like “I don’t have time”, or “I can’t afford it”, without even stopping to think whether that is truly the case or not.
We all have the ability to control our habits. Just as they were established over time, with consistent conscious thought, they can also be broken down and re-established as a new, more helpful habit. Focus on one at a time though…. trying to change the world over night has the potential of creating a sense of overwhelm, thus depleting your stores of ‘willpower’ and effectively undermining the process of habitual behaviour realignment.
Approach each of these simple steps with a positive attitude. Be curious in your pursuit of boosted health and enjoy the adventure of discovering the elements that allow your spirit to shine brightly!
Feel ALIVE! energized and capable of performing at your peak, by nourishing your body with real, fresh, living foods…. just the way that nature intended!
ALIVE! is the Ultimate Perfect Produce Guide…. listing what’s in season (in a month-by-month format), as well as loads of great information and feature recipes.
Get your FREE COPY here:
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