Suck vitamin ice cubes, sniff an orange and listen to meditation apps: 15 life hacks to get summer healthy (and happy) WITHOUT leaving the house
With summer just around the corner, many will be embarking on the laborious task of getting into tip-top shape.
It turns out, there are several ways to kick-start the process, and good news: none of them involve leaving the house.
Here is our manageable list of simple life hacks to getting healthy and happy this summer.
1. MEDITATION APPS
Mobile meditation apps are growing in popularity due to their accessibility and convenience.
From playing relaxing noises (such as a fire crackling, birds singing or heavy rainfall), to instructing the user on the best deep breathing exercises, meditation apps can be a quick and easy way to lower stress levels and anxiety.
2. YOUTUBE EXERCISE
No gym membership? No problem.
The internet is full of tutorial videos of various stretches, squeezes and workouts, at all levels of expertise, and can all be done in your living room with just the aid of a yoga mat.
3. TRANSFORM YOUR ICE-CUBES
Rather than just chucking plain old ice-cubes in your summer drink, freeze the cubes with bits of fruit.
Tasty additions include raspberries, blueberries, orange and even cucumber and mint.
This is not only a delicious and easy way to amp up vitamin consumption, but also visually appealing at a barbecue.
4. CHEW GUM
According to the British Psychological Society (BPS), chewing gum can actually help you concentrate for longer.
A study involved splitting participants into groups: one that chewed gum while performing visual memory tasks, and another that didn’t.
The results revealed, that those who chewed gum had quicker reaction times and more accurate results.
5. KEEP BACKGROUND MOTIVATED
Constantly on your phone or laptop? Make sure it’s keeping you motivated.
Set your background as a motivational quote. That way, whether your goal is to be healthier or happier (or both), your spirits are kept sky-high.
6. BLOWDRY WEIGHTS
Multi task the next time you blow-dry your hair and add wrist weights.
There are a number of increased fitness benefits when adding something as subtle as wrist weights, especially when performing mundane tasks such as blow-drying.
As well as burning calories, it will target specific muscle groups and help tone arms.
7. HOT WATER AND LEMON CLEANSE
An easy way to flush toxins out of your body is to drink a glass of hot water and lemon every morning, before breakfast.
Squeeze the juices from a slice of lemon into a mug of freshly-boiled water and then drop the used lemon, peel and all, into the mug.
As well as a great source of vitamin C, the drink aids digestion and can also stave away cold and flu.
8. SNIFF AN ORANGE
A Brazilian study has proven that the smell of citrus can significantly lower your levels of stress.
Scientists performed a study where they asked participants to smell orange essential oil, tea tree oil and water.
The participants underwent a stressful test, and those who had smelled the orange were less anxious throughout the test, with the calming results lasting for a significant period of time after.
9. DOWNSIZE YOUR PLATE
Worried you’re overdoing it when it comes to dishing out food?
Realistically, the more food on your plate, the more you’re likely to eat.
Try portion-control by swapping out dinner plates for smaller side dishes. This will encourage you, by way of inconvenience, to consume smaller portions.
10. LAUGH (A LOT)
Several studies have championed the belief that laughter can lower blood pressure.
Laughter not only reduces stress hormones, but also releases endorphins (the brain chemical that makes you feel good).
‘Heartier’ laughs are better, as more oxygen enters the circulation through deep breathing.
11. WORKOUT PLAYLISTS
When the motivational music stops while exercising, it can feel tempting to take a break or ‘pause’, in order to pick another song.
Take time to create playlists that run for the same length of time as your workouts.
That way, there are no distractions getting in the way of your daily exercise.
12. GRAFFITI WATER BOTTLE
It’s hard to keep track of how much water you’re consuming when you’re out and about, or at work.
An easy way to ensure that you’re keeping hydrated is to mark your water bottle with times of the day and remember to drink up to that mark on schedule.
When the water runs out, fill up again, and repeat.
13. FOLLOW THE 2/30 RULE
If you’re not sure if you’re living a balanced life, observe the 2/30 rule.
Limit yourself to 2 hours of television a night and get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day at the very least.
This will add structure to daily routines with minimal planning, and allow you to make the most out of your day.
14. EXERCISE PAYDAY
Every time you exercise, add a pound to a jar.
The visual aid of the coins building up in the jar will motivate, and when you’ve met your target, crack it open and buy yourself a treat.
This works even better when you get friends involved and introduce a little competitive spirit.
15. FORWARD-PLAN CRAVINGS
If you know there’s a certain time of the day when your energy levels dip and you crave something sweet, prepare for it beforehand.
Buy bags of nuts and fruit to store at your desk at work. This will curb the cravings and help you resist the temptation of picking up something sweeter.