Three Simple New Year’s Resolutions to Boost Your Wellbeing
January is traditionally the time when we look to make improvements to our lifestyle. Whether it’s a knee-jerk reaction to the excesses of Christmas, or the desire for change that the New Year naturally brings, there’s no better time to reassess your health and fitness goals – especially if you’re living with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Treat the New Year as your opportunity to check in with your health. Ask yourself what’s working well, where you need extra support and attention and set your health resolutions for the year ahead. If that all sounds a little daunting, try incorporating a few of these simple suggestions into your routine – you’ll soon notice the difference.
Health resolutions to kick-start your year
Nourish from within
Take advantage of the warm weather and your body’s natural craving for lighter meals packed with fresh, seasonal produce. Look for fuss-free recipes which incorporate the following key nutrients to detoxify and improve the health of your vital organs and boost energy levels.
Omega-3 fatty acids have great overall health benefits, particularly for the heart and brain. Found in certain fish, nuts and oils, these essential fatty acids are a vital part of our diet because the proteins and amino acids they contain help to build and repair cells. More importantly, they cannot be produced by the body so we have to top up our store of these crucial nutrients by incorporating them into our diet. Just remember to eat them in moderation!
- Shopping list essentials: Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna, chickpeas, sesame seeds, walnuts and pistachios
Dietary fibre is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive tract. It’s also an essential part of the diabetic diet as it slows the absorption of sugar, thus improving blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
- Shopping list essentials: Quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat and oat bran.
Antioxidants are powerful substances that inhibit cell damage by free radicals, helping to prevent a range of serious and chronic diseases. Most fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants, but some contain them in far greater amounts than others.
- Shopping list essentials: Fruits – blackberries, goji berries, blueberries, elderberries and cranberries. Vegetables – artichoke, broccolini, red capsicum, spinach, kale and beetroot.
For a top-to-toe nutrient rich lunch or dinner that can be whipped up in 20 minutes, try this Asian salmon, broccolini and quinoa salad.
Get the most out of your workout
Revive your workout regime by incorporating high intensity interval training (HIIT) into your schedule. Growing in popularity, this form of exercise includes intense periods of exercise with a short recovery in between sets – all of which are designed to burn the maximum amount of calories in the minimum amount of time.
Participating in HIIT three times per week for 30 minutes can achieve faster results than longer, gentler endurance sessions five times per week. And when combined with resistance training, this style of workout can boost metabolism for up to 48 hours post workout which is especially beneficial for those recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (or even prediabetes) and who may need to shed a few quick kilos in order to put them on the path to better health.
For maximum results in a shorter amount of time, try this You’ll start to see results in no time and will be left feeling energized and rejuvenated, which will help keep you motivated into the long term.
Focus your mind
Diet, medications, exercise, specialist appointments…managing the many aspects of life with diabetes can be time-consuming and mentally exhausting. While it may seem difficult to make time for regular breaks throughout the day, it’s essential to take time out to relax, regroup and achieve a calm, positive and focussed mind.
Try these simple relaxation techniques during the day:
Keep calm and meditate:
Turn your travel time into me time and download a meditation track or app to listen to on your morning commute. Close your eyes, practice slow breathing from the diaphragm and focus on the physical sensations in the body. Breathing in this way will increase oxygen in the blood stream and slow your heart rate, triggering a relaxation response. For more inspiration, take a look at our 5 minute guide to meditation and mindfulness.
Have a tea-break:
Stepping away from your desk for a cup of tea can provide a brief escape from everyday stresses – but if you really want to reap the health benefits, switch out that coffee hit for a herbal tea. Chamomile, lavender and lemongrass varieties are most effective for relaxation, while pomegranate, green tea, ginger and rooibos teas are rich in antioxidants and may help enhance mood. Dandelion tea can help you reduce your caffeine consumption as it has a similar taste but without the addictive qualities. It also has added detoxing benefits and bolsters kidney and liver function.
Stretch it out:
A short stretching session at the desk several times a day can improve circulation, relieve muscle tension and re-energise the mind. The most effective way is to stand up out of your chair as the added circulation is beneficial. Try simple stretches such as slow neck rotations to the left and right, clasping hands behind the back and pushing the chest outward – and if you don’t have any lower back problems, try reaching towards the toes whilst remaining seated.
We all know that the New Year is the perfect time to get your health and wellness on the right track, so we hope these tips can help to kick-start your journey!