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6 easy health and fitness short-cuts you can take right now

27 April 2016

WORDS BY Fashion Quarterly New Zealand

Life can get pretty hectic sometimes and it’s all too easy to skip the gym or reach for the nearest (and unhealthiest) snack option to keep you going. We get it, we’ve been there.

But it’s also 2016. So there are a million and one #lifehacks out there to help you cut corners and lead a more balanced, and hopefully healthier, life.

We’ve listed 6 little things you can do RIGHT NOW which will make a huge difference to your overall health and wellbeing:

1. AN INCH NOT A MILE
If a busy work life means you don’t have time to spend hours at the gym, swap out sweating on the treadmill or that hour-long Pump class for HIIT (high-intensity interval training). 20 or 30 minutes is all you need for this workout to get maximum results. The best part? It can be done in the privacy of your own home thanks to the countless YouTube videos uploaded by personal trainers. We like this HIIT workout by Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach. And hey, it doesn’t hurt that he’s not hard on the eye either!

Photo: instagram.com/TheBodyCoach
Photo: instagram.com/TheBodyCoach

 

2. SWAP COFFEE FOR TEA
If you can’t start your day without a trim flat white, try switching out your morning coffee for a detox tea – even just a few times a week can make a difference. Coffee is a diuretic and the lost hydration can cause skin inflammation and premature aging. On the other hand, a detox tea is high in antioxidants plus it will boost your daily H2O intake, keeping you looking and feeling fresh.

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Photo: instagram.com/stormandindia
Photo: instagram.com/stormandindia

 

3. GET YOUR 7 HOURS
Recent studies have linked lack of sleep with a weakened immune system and weight gain so making sure you get at least seven hours of shut-eye per night is imperative. The biggest culprit in disrupting your bedtime ritual? Late nights and lack of sleep is increasingly linked to device usage and screen time. Not only is your phone or telly distracting you well into the wee hours (hello Mad Men marathon), but laptops and cell phones emit a particular type of light that activates the brain, meaning it’s harder for your body and mind to know when to switch off.  Sacrificing that extra episode of your newest Netflix obsession might be just the trick! Instead, try reading a book or listen to a meditation podcast to wind down.

Photo: Instagram/mirandakerr
Photo: instagram.com/mirandakerr

 

4. CHOOSE SMART SNACKS WHEN YOUR SWEET TOOTH KICKS IN
When that 3pm sugar craving hits (as it so inevitably does), it’s ALWAYS better to be prepared with some healthy snacks up your sleeve. Keep a well-stocked bowl of fruit by your desk and you’ll be less inclined to pay a visit to the office vending machine for a high-calorie chocolate bar or bag of potato chips. If you want something that feels like the real deal but is totally guilt-free, then a  yummy health cookie is a good alternative. Justine’s Complete Protein Cookies come in a variety of flavours (shout out to the caramel white chocolate, our fave) and they have no added sugar, are trans fat free, ultra low in carbs, high in protein and gluten-free and wheat-free (perfect for those with food intolerances). Try it heated with a dollop of natural yoghurt and some berries – it’ll feel decadent but as they’re nutritious, you know you’re not doing any damage. Hallelujah.

Justine's Protein cookies

 

5. OPT FOR A LOW CALORIE WINE
A glass of wine can be the perfect way to decompress at the end of a long day. But one glass can contain up to 280 calories, so swap your regular rosé for a low calorie choice that’s guilt-free. First Pick by Kim Crawford boasts a tiny 87 calories per 150ml and luckily for us, doesn’t sacrifice on flavour. We’d call that a win win.

Photo: instagram.com/kimcrawford
Photo: instagram.com/kimcrawford

 

6. ENSURE YOU INCLUDE 5+ A DAY
Getting more fruit and vegetables into your diet is a healthy no-brainer… but it’s easier said than done. Sneak them into your day-to-day wherever you can: Try adding frozen berries to your morning smoothie, snacking on dried fruit during the day, and cut out prep time by eating vegetables raw with dinner.

Photo: instagram.com/rawveganblonde
Photo: instagram.com/rawveganblonde

 

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