Hack Your Way to Good Health
In today’s fast paced world, it can be difficult to prioritise healthy eating and exercise, but they’re more important than ever amongst a climate of rising obesity and diabetes levels. As of 2016, diabetes now ac-counts for 10% of the NHS budget, and in the UK alone, the amount of people affected by the disease has risen from 1.4 million in 1996, to over 4 million today. Although it feels like we’re unhealthier than ev-er, the rise of interest and education in what we eat and how we move has made it easier than ever to remedy that. Here are four ways to hack your way to good health.
Swap the Gym for an App
You may technically have a gym membership, but how often do you actually go? With all of our daily commitments, by the time we’ve commuted to and from the gym, changed, worked out and showered, we’ve used up at least 2 hours of our day, and as a result, not many of us end up going as often as we should. But there’s an alternative. Fitness apps have come a long way in the past few years, and can of-ten be used in conjunction with heart monitors to give you an even better assessment of how you’re do-ing. From yoga in your living room to calorie counting using barcodes, apps are making it easier than ever to become your best weight and fitness level. Just head to the App Store for the latest and greatest up-dates.
Swap a Stationary Desk for a Walking One
A huge factor in our inflated risk for heart conditions and diabetes, amongst other things, is our sedentary lifestyles. Our culture of sitting in a desk for 8+ hours (not to mention the commute) is making our im-mune systems and metabolic rate sluggish, and increasing the likelihood that we’ll end up in hospital. And while the workload and pressures increase, getting out of the office more simply isn’t an option for most. However, there could be a solution in walking (or standing) desks, where you can adjust your workstation to maximize blood flow and incorporate a little exercise into your day. On a treadmill desks, you can even track your step count as you go. If your company won’t consider a furniture-upgrade, then why not sug-gest a walking meeting, giving everyone involved a chance to stretch their legs, and enjoy a little nature.
When we say health, we’re not of course referring solely to the body. Alongside more sedentary lives, we’re also living more isolated lives, and long hours sat at our desks combined with long commutes home mean that we’re talking less, and ruminating more. If circumstances or time constraints are preventing you from seeing someone face to face, then online therapy might be the way forward. There are several leading video therapy apps available through the App Store if you want to go down this road. Of course, if you’re seeking greater peace of mind but not sure if you’re ready for therapy, a mindfulness based app could give you the boost you need, and requires as little as 10 minutes a day of your time. Or, if you’d ra-ther be taught in person, there are one-day retreats and weekend courses held all across the country.
Get Acquainted with Food Science
Macros and micros are no longer the exclusive domain of PTs, and with a wealth of information online, there no longer needs to be any confusion surrounding breakfast, fasting, glucose or carbs. But now there are online meal plans that will give you an exact ratio of food types to eat, and websites that will calculate your resting metabolic rate, leaving you to crunch the numbers. If this sounds like too much work, then there are plenty of food delivery services that will calculate your ideal calorie intake, prepare your food and deliver it to your door for a fee. And if you’re using a Siemens wifi-enabled oven, the Home Connect app can send the settings for popular recipes straight to your appliance, making it easier than ever to cook homemade food.
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