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Tag: exercise

Killer Ways To Relieve Stress At Home In Five Minutes

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doing yoga

The kids need to get to school on time, you have to run a thousand errands, and there just isn’t enough time in the day. Are you feeling stressed? Quite simply, you should be because life isn’t easy, especially when other people need your attention. The thing is because there aren’t enough hours in a day, it feels as if there is no time to relax. Even a Netflix binge at the end of a tough 24-hour is out of the question.

So, those things that other do to relieve stress aren’t going to be on your to-do list. Well, exercising or going for a massage might make the top ten, but you won’t tick them off anytime soon. No, what you need is to eradicate tension without leaving the confines of your home. Yep, it is the dream, and yes, it is possible.

Here are the six ways to make it happen. For a bonus, the following should work in five minutes or less.

Cook A Meal

As stressful as it sounds, preparing food is very relaxing once the heavy lifting is out of the way. In fact, lots of people find chopping onions and sautéing vegetables pretty cathartic. The trick is to turn up the volume on the radio, pour a glass of vino, and take your time. Yes, the dish has to be on the table when the kids get home from school, but you can leave it to simmer for hours if need be. Actually, slow cooking a piece of meat in a gravy sauce is as delicious as it is relaxing. All you have to do is use up the leftovers and throw them in a pan with some stock. Then, turn the heat down low and check on it every couple of hours to make sure. Voila! Does that sound like a tense day in the kitchen?

Grab A Quick Burst Of Energy

Sometimes, waiting for a meal to cook is too long. After all, a factor in the build-up of stress is a lack of energy. When the muscles and the brain don’t have enough fuel, cortisol begins to form. Once these levels reach a certain limit, it can feel as if your head is about to explode. Thankfully, some foods are readymade and contain the nutrients the vital organs need to work efficiently. You’re going to love this – chocolate is a prime example. Yep, the brown stuff you only like to eat sparingly is a nerve calmer. According to reports, it regulates the metabolism as well as the stress hormone we have previously mentioned. Always go for dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa for health reasons.

pouring green tea

Drink Tea

But not just any old rubbish. No, only the best will do for those of you who need to calm down within the next 300 minutes. There is a reason the poms drink it like it’s going out of fashion! That motivation is called L-Theanine, a chemical which does something remarkable. Studies prove this element helps to relieve anger and reduce the possibility of mood swings. So, instead of going purple with rage, you can go green with relaxation instead. Sure, it’s not the colour of stress relief – what is? – but L-Theanine is found in green tea and herbal remedies. Therefore, a cup of this emerald coloured goodness should make you feel at ease instantly. If you use a teabag, leave it in the mug so that the chemicals continue to absorb into the water. Herbal drinkers should pour out the bits before taking a sip.

Play An Instrument

Letting your fingers tickle the ivories or strum a set of guitar strings is incredibly relaxing. As soon as the tones begin to sound from the instrument, the mind drifts off into another world. Plus, experienced players can jam on autopilot so there is no need to concentrate. All you have to do is let the equipment do the work and follow the notes on a musical journey. If that’s too pretentious, just let your hands do as they please and see it where it takes you! For the people who are saying “but I can’t play”, you can learn. Guitar lessons are very affordable these days, as are most musical lessons, and the instructor will come to your home. Remember the immortal words of fake Jim Morrison in Wayne’s World 2: “Book them, and they will come.”

Go Outside

Okay, so you may not be inside all of the time, but you’ll still be on the property! Wandering out into the garden is a great way to gain perspective for many reasons. Firstly, staying inside all day can encourage negative thoughts because you’re cooped up and feel suffocated. So, getting some fresh air feels like a form of relief. Secondly, stress usually builds up when the brain harbours negative thoughts. Going out into the Great Outdoors helps to reverse the process as there is a lot of natural light. Without light, it’s easy to feel down in the dumps and depressed.

Work Out

There’s no need to hit the gym to release tension when you can do it from the comfort of your bedroom. In truth, you can do it from any room in the house as long as there is plenty of space. Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to flog your body to feel the benefit. Often, the best form of exercise is the low-intensity form because it targets excess fat. Running, for example, as opposed to walking, burns carbs. If you don’t know where to begin, there are plenty of home workout routines online. Or, you can build up a sweat by scaling the stairs throughout the day. Anyone that wants a less active method should consider meditation. By sitting down and focusing on nothing in particular, you can forget about the rigours of life. Yoga is an excellent way to mix both exercise and meditation.

stretching yoga

What do you think? Are you willing to give them a try?

What You Can Do Now to Get Yourself Ready for Summer

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It might not feel like it right now, but summer is not that far away, and the sooner you get yourself ready for the summer, the more you’ll enjoy it. Many people want to get their body in slightly better shape before the summer beach season starts, and if that applies to you too, you need to move fast. It’s not just about looks either; there are ways in which you need to prepare your body for the demands of summer too.

Start Exfoliating Your Skin

Skin exfoliation is really important during the summer and it’s even more beneficial if you start this regime ahead of the summer’s arrival. There’s really no reason not to, and by doing so, you’ll prepare your skin for the harsher conditions that it’ll face when the heat and humidity rise. You’ll avoid that dryness and damage that heat can cause.

Get Into the Habits That You’ll Need During Summer

There are some things that you might neglect during the winter months but have to start doing once more as the summer approaches. Invest in things like hot wax and make sure you do the kind of things no one really enjoys doing. That way, you’ll be used to it by the time summer gets here and you want to be spending more time wearing fewer clothes.

Woman Summer Sea Holiday Ocean Young Woman

Decide How You’re Going to Protect Your Skin

There are lots of different ways of protecting your skin during summer and this is something you should start thinking about as soon as possible. Research the different products that block UV rays and decide which of them is best for you this summer. Lots of people don’t realise how many options are on the market now and what the difference between them is.

Dance to Receive a Full Body Workout and Get in Shape

If you’re worried about your beach body and how you’ll look when the bikini season begins, dancing is the best way to get in shape. For a start, it’s fun and enjoyable so there’ll be less temptation to give up. And you’ll also receive a full body workout if you take this route. There’s much more activity involved in a simple bit of dancing than many people realise.

As the Weather Improves, Moisturise More

Another thing you can do to improve the condition and health of your skin ahead of the summer is moisturise. This is one of those things that anyone can do when they get out of the shower and if you do, your skin will thank you for it later. Your skin needs moisture more than ever when the heat begins to rise, so get ready for that right away.

moisturize hands

Summer is coming at you faster than you think, so make sure that your body and your lifestyle is ready for it. If you don’t make sure that you’re prepared, you will be caught out and you’ll be unable to enjoy your summer to the fullest. So what are you waiting for? Start preparing yourself now.

6 Exercise Hacks You’ll Actually Love!

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Australians have a stigma which says we love to workout and stay healthy. Let’s face it – to roam the beaches of NSW or Queensland, you’ve got to look the part. Still, whether we enjoy exercising is another matter completely, and that’s the point. Even with a positive routine, it’s easy to fall back into our old ways when there is no enjoyment. Every time it feels like a chore, most of us can’t help but say “I think I’ll give it a miss for today”. With autumn and winter approaching, this is an unhealthy attitude which may cause trouble in the summer.

The key is to put the enjoyment back into your workout if there is any chance of sustaining a year-round lifestyle. As difficult as it sounds, there are simple and accessible hacks which revolutionise exercise routines. Here is a selection for anyone that wants to have fun on a treadmill, if that’s possible!


#1: Pump Up The Volume

It’s rare to see people jogging or at the gym without earbuds blasting out a variety of hits. Of course, the hacks that you pick should be a personal choice, but who doesn’t like music! Not only does it set the atmosphere, but it also encourages you to exercise longer and harder than before. All we have to do is select a section of songs which are high in intensity and get the body moving. A great trick is to choose tunes with a heavy beat, such as dubstep. Once those rhythmic bangers start coursing through your body, the muscles won’t feel tired whatsoever. In fact, they may get their second wind and go again! When the session is winding to a close, you should switch up the ethos and use melodic songs for the cool down. In general, shuffling tunes is an excellent way to keep a workout plan fresh and interesting.

#2: Throw Shapes

Okay, most of us wouldn’t be comfortable body-popping in the middle of the gym. As far as etiquette goes, this is a no-no even for the eccentric types! Thankfully, there’s no reason to act the fool with legitimate dance classes. Sign up to one of these and you can recreate the weekend’s moves in a room full of people while sober. What? You’re saying that isn’t appealing?! Okay, as strange as it sounds, people go mad for dance classes because it’s intense, it’s interesting, and it’s a new skill. Apart from the club scene, attendees also learn the tango, salsa, and a range of other methods. Plus, secretly, everyone wants to be able to dance with the stars as they do on TV. Being able to do it without fear of reprisal is pretty fun. Well, it is if you aren’t terrible. If you are, all bets are off!

#3: Reward Oneself

Don’t disagree because we all know that exercise is about the rewards. And, not just the ones we see in the mirror after a couple of weeks. No, it’s obvious that the last sentence was paying homage to food. Yes, as a sweeping generalisation, almost everyone that exercises do it to avoid a diet. Aussies love their food too much to eat salads – give me an actual rabbit any day of the week! Don’t go overboard as you will ruin the hard work, but don’t be afraid to sneak a piece of chocolate now and again. Another motivation tactic is a physical award. Trophy medals are extrinsically exciting because humans love to win prizes. Although it isn’t an Oscar, you’re not Frances McDormand and don’t have three billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri. Still, a trophy is a fantastic way to promote exercise and to challenge yourself to reach important goals. Plus, it’s a novelty.

#4: Socialise With Friends

Please don’t take working out too seriously. Sure, it’s imperative to get into a positive mental space and not cut corners. However, being too intense often takes the fun out of what can be a social highlight of the week. Chatting and laughing with friends are some things everyone should do because they lift spirits. Plus, and this is essential – it’s something the majority of us enjoy according to the experts. So, organising the week’s session with a BFF is a hack to consider. The generic example is yoga, and a spinning class is popular with mates too. But, you can just as easily hit the treadmill or the rowing machine and swap war stories. Or, you can work out hard and then relax in the sauna and chat the night away. Whatever tickles your fancy, people.

women in exercise clothes

#5: Change It Up

We have all been there when the thought of going to the gym feels horrendous. It’s nothing in particular – more a mind-numbingly boring activity on a Tuesday evening. And, boredom is a problem because it feels as if you are living Groundhog Day over and over again. Of course, no one likes the monotony which is why a change of scenery is a smart move. Okay, so the weather isn’t going to be great for the next couple of months as summer turns to autumn and winter. Still, most of the country isn’t freezing cold like the poor souls in Northern Europe. Anyway, the nip in the air should encourage you to get warm as quickly as possible, and that means exercising hard. If in doubt, wrap up and brace the body from the elements.

#6: Don’t Over-Train

In a bid to get fit, it’s easy to overload the body from the outset. Although overloading is positive, the muscles need to rest especially if they aren’t used to the activity. This is where you’re going to jump for joy – it means taking a day off from exercise. Yes, sitting on the sofa watching Netflix is just as essential for training as a 10k run. Why? It’s because absence makes the heart grow fonder, for starters. The next session after a rest day is always positive simply for that reason. And, resting helps the mind as well as the body.

Which of these hacks do you think you’ll use if any?

Staying Healthy While Visiting Australia

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Australian flag

If you have booked your dream holiday to Australia, you are no doubt feeling excited! However, while holidays are incredible, there is just one problem: they interfere with our fitness goals. If you made a pledge to be healthier in 2018, and you are worried your trip to Australia is going to set you back, don’t be. You can still have an amazing time while also being healthy, and here are the ways to do so…

Embrace exercise while in Australia – There is no reason why you should give up your exercise routine while on holiday. In fact, this gives you the perfect chance to take up a new sport or form of exercise. Yoga is now available at Forest Rise, as well as other popular spots in Australia, and this is a great way to get a healthy mind as well as a healthy body, which is just as important. You could also sign up for a boot camp, take a dance class, or go cycling. The options are endless. Or, why not go down the traditional route and book a cricket or rugby lesson?

Pick restaurants in advance – There are lots of great restaurants in Australia. Research them in advance so you can pick places with plenty of healthy options.

Find inspiration – There are many different platforms that can give you the inspiration you need to be fitter and healthier while on holiday. You can use Instagram and Pinterest, for example. You can also follow YouTube channels that have healthy recipes and inspirational stories. Not only will this give you the motivation you need to continue on your journey while in Australia, but it will cure boredom while travelling too.

Have a goal – Why do you want to be healthier? Why do you want to lose weight? Write down all of the reasons why you are on this mission for a New You. By doing this, you will keep your goals clear in your mind and you will be motivated to achieve them, even while on vacation. Every time you are feeling tempted to break your healthy eating cycle or to skip your exercise routine, refer to this piece of writing and it will ensure you don’t fall off the wagon.

Make sure the people you’re travelling with are on your side – Explain how important it is for you to stay on track with your health and fitness goals, and your true friends will stick by you.

If you follow the advice that has been mentioned above, you should be able to achieve your health and fitness goals without compromising your holiday. If you fall of the wagon again, simply get back up and keep going. There’s no harm in eating that piece of chocolate or giving into temptation so long as you don’t allow it to derail you completely.

Who’s Joining me this Steptember?


How many steps do you think you did today?

1000? 3000? One-million?

For most office workers it’s only around 3,000.
Why not aim higher and put those steps to good use?

Steptember is a fun way to become more active and raise much needed funds for people with cerebral palsy and their families.

Given how terrible the City2Surf was, I think that upping my steps and activity more generally will help my poor legs and body remember what it’s like to MOVE a lot more regularly! And if I’m accountable to my team of four people, then that’s even more encouragement!

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term that refers to a group of disorders affecting a person’s ability to move. It is a permanent life-long condition, but generally does not worsen over time. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

Cerebral palsy affects people in different ways and can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance.

Did you know, Cerebral Palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood?

For more information on cerebral palsy please visit www.cerebralpalsy.org.au

Want to join in? You do it in teams of four, with entry $25 for adults, and $10 for kids – this include a pedometer sent to your door. The aim is for around 10,000 steps a day (bonus points for extra activities like team sports and running) from Sept 3 to Sept 30. You can do it!

Register now or find out more at Steptember.org.au.

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