For many people, exercise is something we simply don’t get enough of. With more and more people moving into office-based employment, our incidental exercise is on the decline and many of us are living increasingly sedentary lives.
However, physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, you could even say it’s a walk in the park!
Walking is a simple exercise that offers many great benefits to both the body and mind, and for the most part, it’s completely free. Here are just a few of the ways in which walking can improve your overall health and wellness.
Maintain a healthy weight
Studies show that when paired with a balanced diet, a brisk 30-minute walk once a day can be enough to help you maintain an ideal weight. Weight gain is often caused by an excess of calories that remain unused and are then stored in the body as fat. In it’s most simple form, walking burns calories, meaning it can burn excess body fat and prevent additional weight gain.
Prevent or manage various conditions
A lack of physical activity can really affect our health, and has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes. By committing to regular walks and making them part of your everyday routine, you can really help manage your symptoms and even lower your risk of developing these conditions in the first place.
Strengthen your bones and muscles
When it comes to your body it’s true what they say, use it or lose it! A consistent lack of exercise will gradually cause your bones and muscles to weaken, particularly as you age. The good news is that a simple daily walk will combat against this. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise, and while you might not realise it at the time, walking actually engages a large range of muscles and bones, making it the perfect full body activity.
Improve your mood
There’s nothing like a walk in the fresh air to give you an all-natural mood boost! Studies show that walking can decrease feelings of stress, depression and anxiety, as well as releasing endorphins which promote feelings of happiness.
With all these benefits and more – what’s not to love?
Recent research has shown us that working in an office can be harmful to our overall health, however there are a number of things that we can do within our workspace to help combat the effects of this sedentary lifestyle.
Add a touch of greenery
Adding potted plants to your workspace can have a whole host of surprising health benefits. Not only do they look good and help to improve the atmosphere, but many also offer air-purifying properties.
Plants like peace lilies and succulents are incredibly easy to look after, and can help improve air quality and reduce sickness and absenteeism.
Open up the windows
One of the most common problems of modern day workplaces is the lack of fresh air present in the office. Instead, many companies rely on air conditioning, choosing to set it at an agreed upon temperature.
Too much use of air conditioning can seriously affect our sinuses and can even increase the likelihood of catching a cold or the flu – and it can also lead to extremely high energy bills!
Rather than relying on the air conditioning, make it a regular practice to open up the windows and start breathing in some fresh air.
This point is especially important if you have cut flowers in water anywhere in the room, as cut flowers that aren’t properly maintained can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
Install ergonomic furniture
Sitting at a desk all day long can take a large toll on our bodies – particularly when we are not able to access ergonomic furniture. Consider investing in quality furniture that can be adjusted to our ideal height and distance.
It’s a great idea to go for regular walks away from your desk, but if that’s not an option, perhaps look at purchasing a standing desk. This way you’ll have the opportunity to stretch your legs without having to be away from your desk.
Make time to switch off
The final tip to improve your workspace actually has nothing to do with the workspace at all! However, in order to function at your best, it’s crucial that you make time to properly switch off from work.
By committing to taking proper breaks you can give your mind the rest it needs to really cover. Your mental health will thank you for it!
With the New Year upon us, there is no better time than the present to refresh your health and wellness regime.
Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine principles, these four healthy habits help you on the way to achieving your optimal health and will have you feeling refreshed and revitalised.
Consider a detox diet
Have you overindulged in the festivities this holiday season? Too much food and drink can have us feeling sluggish and bloated, and ultimately our bodies will not be running at their best.
A simple detox can be a great way to cleanse the system and help get you back on track.
Spend some time outdoors
Fresh air is important, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine time spent outdoors is considered to help build up our Qi or energy.
Many people also find spending time outdoors to be highly relaxing, but be mindful not to spend too much time in periods of peak UV rays.
Gradually build your exercise routine
The benefits of keeping active are highly regarded throughout Traditional Chinese Medicine, however it’s important to start out slowly.
Jumping straight into a strenuous exercise program can increase your risk of injury, and can be difficult to maintain.
Get back into a sleep pattern
Our sleep affects many areas of our health, but as we take time out from our regular routines it’s easy to fall out of our normal sleeping patterns – as many of us take the opportunity to stay out later.
Work out what is the most practical sleep period for you and set an intention to stick to it. Before long you’ll find it easier to fall asleep as well as to rise in the morning.
With Christmas just around the corner, December can be one of the busiest times of the year. Finalising projects at work whilst simultaneously organising gifts and annual holiday plans can cause an accumulation of stress that sits heavy on the body and mind. Navigating this stress can be difficult, but Traditional Chinese Medicine can help you unwind, relax and find inner balance and harmony.
Acupuncture and cupping
Stress tightens your muscles and leaves you feeling wound up and stiff. Whilst a massage is a good way to relieve stress, acupuncture and cupping methods apply much more pressure to knots and overworked muscles.
Traditional Chinese Medicine targets and stimulates areas of tension, oxygenating body tissue and increasing blood circulation. This helps to release endorphins, keep cortisol (the stress hormone) at bay, and loosen taut muscles – all of which aids in relieving stress.
Chinese herbal medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine treats the body as a single organism which can occasionally fall out of balance. That’s why herbal therapy is used to support and supplement inner remedial processes and restore equilibrium by removing stress, or ‘calming the spirit’. They can also stabilise your mood and help with weight loss.
Custom herb blends are accessible as capsules, granules, liquid extracts, powders, and teas. Chinese herbal medicine offers a wide spectrum of herbal formulas that treat specific symptoms of stress, such as the ‘Relaxed Wanderer’, which treats irritability, agitation, and body tension. A qualified herbal medicine practitioner can help you take the right herbal formula that’s tailored to your specific lifestyle and needs.
Be mindful of your diet
A good diet is central to good health and a strong energy flow. In periods of festival celebration such as Christmas, it’s common to indulge in unhealthy foods, which increases physical stress. You can prevent this by following Traditional Chinese Medicine’s dietary principles, which encourages maintaining a healthy, balanced diet in conjunction with herbal formulas, exercise, and acupuncture therapy.
A balanced meal is inextricably tied to inner balance. It’s recommended to consume fruits and vegetables that are rich in colour, and low-oil meals that contain a small portion of meat. Vitamin rich foods can also help reduce stress.