January is often a good time to pay attention to our body and give it some TLC. During the winter months, staying active or taking regular exercise can be more of a challenge due to the fewer hours of daylight, poorer weather and seasonal viruses. This can be compounded by busy-ness and over indulgence during the Christmas period. Unfortunately human beings have largely evolved in a time of scarcity so we have less developed restraint systems for times of plenty! The current thinking is to cultivate good healthy lifestyle habits that will hopefully stand us in good stead to enjoy a fulfilling and long active life.
Here are some ideas for giving the body some much needed care and attention:-
*Bodies love to have regular exercise or physical activity. Little and often is thought to be better than exercising all in one go. At least half an hour each day (or even shorter bursts of 3×10 mins) of moderate exercise is thought to be most beneficial. Devices and apps such as fitbits or pedometers can be useful in tracking physical activity.
*Those who build regular exercise into their weekly routine and do something they really enjoy, whatever that may be, have more success in following through on their intentions. Going with someone else to the gym, an exercise dance class or team sport can also help with maintaining motivation.
*Bodies like eating well, especially fresh ingredients and food high in fruit and vegetables. It is important to follow a balanced diet and eat within moderation. Try to cook meals from fresh and reduce ready-meals or take-away consumption, as the latter tend to be higher in salt, sugar and fat.
*There is some suggestion that having an array of different naturally coloured fresh food on your plate not only looks appetising but is good for the body, with “purples” (including beetroot, blueberries, blackberries and red cabbage) gaining in popularity for health reasons.