Here are 4 Easy-Peasy Health Hacks:

Swap your hot shower, to a COLD one.

It’s true! Cold showers are good for you!

Leaving the comfort of your warm bed to let cold water pour over you first thing in the morning can sound horrifying, but embracing the chill can have numerous benefits to your physical and emotional health.

Cold showers have been shown to relieve depressive symptoms due to the intense impact of cold receptors in the skin. This sends an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain, producing an anti-depressive effect that boosts moods and alertness.

Cold water can also tighten pores, as well as flattening hair follicles, making your hair appear stronger and shinier, whilst a 2008 study found that cold hydrotherapy can also relieve pain!

Try it: At the end of your usual hot shower, gradually turn the temperature to its lowest setting and stand under for at least 30 seconds. If you’re feeling brave, step out of the water whilst it’s hot, switch it to cold, then step back under. You’ll flinch, but the rush is worth it!

Pro: Skip the hot temperature altogether and take a cold shower every day! After a while, you will get used to it, the water may even ‘feel warmer’, and you will continue to reap the rewards of the amazing health benefits.

Prioritise water over any other drink.

Do you drink enough water?

Probably not. Studies show that 2/3 of us aren’t drinking enough of the good stuff.

But it’s so important! Water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption and even excretion. Studies have shown it can also boost metabolism and brain power, as well as energy levels in the body.

Whilst we have the ability to cope with mild dehydration, a small drop in your body’s water content will see your vital organs pulling water from your body to ensure they maintain essential functionality.

Other than thirst, this explains less obvious signs of dehydration, such as:

  • Dry, tight, flaky skin.
  • Dry mouth/eyes.
  • Hunger (even after eating)
  • Back or joint aches.
  • Mood swings.

Try it: Start and end every day with a tall glass of water, as well as having one with every meal. Carrying a water bottle around with you can help. If you want to add some flavour, try adding lemon/lime juice, chopped mint, or cucumber slices.

Pro: The amount of water we need varies, however recommendations state you should be drinking 0.033 litres for every kg of bodyweight, at least! Coffee/fizzy drinks don’t count (and don’t even think of counting alcohol!) If you’re active, make sure to get even more H20.

Don’t underestimate the power of walking.

Putting one foot in front of the other, getting mildly breathless and rosy cheeked in the great outdoors, just might be the healthiest (and easiest) of all health pursuits.

If you have no barriers to walking, doing more can aid circulation, lymphatic flow and cardiovascular health. It can also reduce stress, as well as reducing your risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Walking is free, easy, and can even improve the environment. Walking instead of driving means less air pollution, and therefore, better air quality.

Try it: Try getting off the bus/train a stop early or take a quick stroll during your lunch break. You may even implement a rule, for example, walking anywhere that takes less than 30 minutes.

Pro: Aim to reach a daily step count of 10,000 steps. You can do this outside, or by using one of our treadmills! It can be great practice to keep on top of your current activity level, by using a pedometer on your smartphone or a wearable activity tracker.

Practice deep breathing.

Breathing is something we do without thinking, but breathing properly requires focus.

Taking time out of your day to practice drawing in full, deep breaths will both calm and energise you. If stressful situations bring on a pounding heartbeat and rapid breathing, your body may be in ‘fight or flight’ mode. Consciously regulating your breathing, can reduce the likelihood of a panic attack and can also reduce blood pressure, slow your heartbeat and reduce stress.

The lungs have a big job, tasked with sending oxygen into the bloodstream, to be taken to every cell in the body. Deep breaths can increase their capacity to function optimally, and with regular practise, they can deliver oxygen to the blood at a greater rate, giving the body the oxygen it needs for exercise and proper cell function.

Try it: Find a comfortable quiet place, and lie flat on the ground, or sit with a straight back. Slowly breathe in through your nose, trying to let your belly expand more than your chest (it may help to place a hand on your belly, and the other on your chest.) Then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat for at least 10 cycles, or as long as desired, aiming to elongate every breath you take.

Pro: Dedicate yourself to a daily deep breathing practise. Starting with five minutes a day, working up to 20 or 30 minutes for optimal results.

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