Has COVID isolation, the flu or whatever other virus that’s floating around at the moment got you all out of whack? Here’s the perfect routine to help you get your health back on track.
6am: Just get up!
When your alarm screams at you to get out of bed, take your hand away from the snooze button and roll straight out. Head to the bathroom, splash your face with water, drink a few glasses of water and get ready to start the day.
Move straight from the bathroom and onto your yoga mat or pillow or bolster and sit for a morning meditation. The Calm app has a great range of morning meditations you can do. Daily Jay is one of my favourites. The meditations are 7 minutes long, so its super easy to fit it into your schedule.
6.15am: Bend and stretch it
Move straight from your meditation into a 15-minute functional yoga session to help activate your body and mind for the day ahead.
6.30am: Sweat it out
From your morning flow session, head straight into a run, turn your legs over in a spin class or jump into a weights session. Sweating once a day will have your feeling great mentally and physically. Keep hydrated during and after the session.
7.30am: Munch away
Start the day the right way with a nutritious breakfast – it will boost concentration and alertness, and reduce the likelihood of accidents and binge eating later in the day. Muesli topped with Greek yoghurt and berries is a great choice as it will help contribute to meeting your daily fibre, calcium, protein and carbohydrate requirements. Poached eggs on wholegrain toast with avocado and smoked salmon is also a winner.
10am: Be the coffee runner
Sitting down for extended periods of time sees fat accumulating in your blood vessels, your muscles becoming less receptive to insulin and your life expectancy shortening with every minute you stay motionless. Break up your morning by doing the coffee run for your colleagues.
12.30pm: Lunch out
Once lunchtime hits, stop everything you’re doing and take your lunch break. Whether you bring a wholegrain chicken and salad wrap from home or buy a Thai beef salad from your local cafe, enjoy your food without a side of email. You can even read a book in a nearby cafe, call your mum back or take a short run or gym class – anything to clear your mind. You’ll be more productive after the break.
3pm: Find a snack
Caught 3pm-itis and need sugar now? Bypass the vending machine and communal lolly jar and dive into your desk drawer instead for some healthier alternatives: think trail mix, nut bars and bags of air-popped popcorn. Greek yoghurt and tzatziki with vegetable sticks are great to keep in the fridge. The key to avoiding the 3pm sugar attack is being prepared, so at the start of the week, stock up your drawers and office fridge with healthy snacks.
4-7pm: Home Life
If you have kids you’re probably racing from school pick-up to sport while also juggling finishing off work for the day with getting dinner ready and homework completed. If you have some time, a sweat session may work for some of you here – it’s a great way to release any stress and unwind for the day. Use this time to also get organised for the following day.
7pm: Have a dinner date
Eat your dinner by 8pm so that your body has enough time to digest the food before you go to bed, Whether you’re catching up with friends at your favourite restaurant or eating in with your family, your meal needs to be packed with vegetables and contain a lean source of protein. Fancy some carbs? Choose low-GI varieties and make sure you control your portion sizes. For the perfect evening plate, fill it with half vegetables, a quarter protein, a quarter low-GI carbohydrates and a dollop of healthy fats.
9pm: Switch off
Say good night to all you tech stuff. This means tablets, smartphones, TVs and computers. Why? Because the light from these glowing gadgets interferes with your circadian rhythm – your internal body cloc k that determines when you sleep and when you wake up. Normally, melatonin (the sleep hormone) stqarts to rise between 9-10pm, but if you’re hanging around bright light, this may not start to happen. In fact, two hours of exposure to light from self-luminous electronic display has been found to suppress melatonin by 22 per cent. To help you fall asleep, switch off tech an hour before bed.
10pm: Lights out
Over half of us don’t get enough sleep, and when we do finally doze off, buzzing smartphones can interrupt our slumber. Not getting your beauty sleep makes you hungrier the following day, reduces the levels of growth hormone and increases cortisol levels. These changes may contribute to insulin resistance, reduce muscle mass and increase fat mass, causing you to hold onto kilojoules instead of burning them. Aim for about 8 hourse of sleep each night.