Small changes to your daily routine can bring impressive results

Small Changes Make A Big Difference

Making some minor changes to your daily routine can bring about impressive results. Here are 10 simple but effective tips that you can adopt right away to help you with your weight loss, health, and fitness goals.

1. Wake up with water
Drinking water as soon as you rise (before eating) is a great way to purify your internal system. Start the day with 2 or 3 glasses of water to help flush out toxins and fire up your metabolism. Your brain will thank you as you’ll feel sharp and focused throughout the day. Other benefits include clearer skin, healthy joints and organs, improved digestion, reduced fatigue and appetite suppression. A point to remember, if you are thirsty you are already dehydrated! Always have some water close at hand to ensure you keep topped up all day.

2. Stretch
Set aside 5-10 minutes in the morning for a short stretching routine. The body can become stiff overnight due to the previous days exercise, the body’s position while sleeping or simply spending prolonged hours sitting at a desk or on the sofa. A quick stretch in the morning is all it takes to shake it off and set you up for the day ahead. It will help your spine stay strong and supple and improve your posture. Stretching can also accelerate the release of mood-enhancing endorphins, the brains ‘feel good’ chemical, so you’ll start the day feeling positive.

3. Cold showers
Although this may not sound very appealing the benefits of taking a cold shower in the morning are many. As the cold water hits our skin it elevates our heart rate and blood flow giving us a natural energy hit and increased alertness. It can also help with muscle stiffness and improve muscle recovery times. Our body’s fat burning process is also triggered when exposed to cold temperatures so turn the temperature down and watch the calories burn up.

4. Breakfast
Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. Your metabolism slows during the night so this will help fire it up again, keep your blood sugar levels regulated, and improve your mood and concentration. If you skip breakfast you are much more likely to over eat later in the day so wake up and eat up.

5. Food diary/journal
People who keep a food diary are more likely to lose weight compared to those who don’t record their daily intake. By keeping a diary you making yourself accountable for everything that passes your lips. It can also your boost your self control as knowing you have to write down everything you eat can act as a deterrent in itself. Reviewing the diary at the end of the day will highlight any poor eating patterns you may not have noticed before. There are a number of free apps available to help you log your food intake such as My Fitness Pal or Chronometer.

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6. Add Spice
Adding spices can improve the flavour of your meals but there are also numerous health benefits attached. Here are a few of my favourite spices and their effects. Black pepper – boosts metabolism, helps digestion and aids nutrient absorption. Ginger – helps reduce appetite and cut cravings. Mustard seeds- can boost metabolism by 20-25% several hours after consumption. Cinnamon – boost metabolism, reduce blood sugar levels, helps process carbs. Cayenne Pepper – contains capsaicin which burns fat.

7. Keep on moving
The human body was designed to move so it’s important we stay as active as possible. Some easy ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine could be to : Walk part or all of your journey to and work. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Go for a walk during lunchtime. Get up from your desk at least once every hour and get your legs moving. Speak to your colleagues at their desk rather over the phone/email. Walk the dog. Clean the house. These small changes to your day all add up to extra calories burned and a fitter, healthier you.

8. Workout buddy
If you struggle to motivate yourself to get to the gym or exercise regularly then the best way to overcome this is by finding a partner in crime. Bailing on your own workout is one thing but it’s so much harder to skip a session when you know you’re going to be letting a friend down. And having a partner means you have to plan in advance so once it’s scheduled you are much more likely to see it through. And for any couples reading this, there is a saying ‘those who workout together, stay together’.

9. Switch off and sleep well
Exposure to electronic devices keep us from both falling asleep and sleeping well throughout the night. The glow from the screen increases activity in the brain and affects the area that controls sleep patterns by delaying the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. So turn off the TV, laptop, phone, tablet etc an hour before you go to bed and leave all electronic equipment outside of the bedroom. A bad nights sleep can increase hunger and affect the body’s metabolism, so aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night.

10. Make it a habit
Incorporate all, or as many as possible, of the above tips into your daily routine. Try it for 4 weeks and you’ll really feel a change. These tiny but powerful life tweaks will set you on the road to a happier and healthier you!

Please get in touch if you have any tips or tricks you use on a regular basis that you would like to share.

That’s all for now.

Take it easy.

John.

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