Fighting fit - Fitness hacks

THE world of health and fitness is filled with unlimited information. But sometimes, too much of a good thing can be detrimental. It is easy to get confused and lost in this maze of information.

There are, however, simple fitness and lifestyle hacks that can be done by anyone, anywhere to live a healthy life and ensure a more sound mind and body.

Bend your body

Stretching is always seen as something done before or after working out, but there is more to simple body contortion.

Stretching prevents injuries and reduces the impact of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Doing it everyday – even if exercising is not part of your daily routine – can be beneficial.

The human body begins to lose a range of motion as it gets older. Avoid this by stretching regularly.

By spending 15 minutes a day to stretch, the body is able to keep all joints mobile and muscles more relaxed.

Stretching also helps ease back pain and stiff shoulders. By stretching everyday, it also aids in undoing bad posture.

Keep a record

A food diary is one of the most underutilised ways of living a healthy lifestyle. According to a 2008 Kaiser Permanente study, those who kept a food diary lost 50% more weight than those who did not.

A food diary can help identify and control calorie intake. This is important for weight loss or muscle gain depending on current fitness goals.

There is also a sense of accountability. By keeping a food diary, you see the daily intake which increases the perception of how much food is actually being consumed.

And with numerous food log apps currently available on all platforms, keeping a food diary is no longer a difficult process.

Magic water

Hydration is key, regardless of lifestyle. Of course, those who exercise drink more water than those who don’t, but staying well hydrated is one of the easiest way of staying healthy.

It is important to make sure the body is getting the right amount of water to regulate body temperature and lubricate joints.

Staying hydrated also helps with weight loss as it flushes toxins out and can even reduce the risk of binge eating.

Start each day with at least 500ml of water. This will help fire up the body’s metabolism, and let you rehydrate after a long night sleep.

Drink up to two to three litres of water daily depending on your body weight and workout schedule.

Take a phone break

Did you know that the majority of smartphone users check their devices up to 150 times a day?

We spend hours talking to people, texting and filling our ears with music, TV and radio news and podcasts on a daily basis. Some of us even have that voice at the back of our head that never seems to go away.

A healthy body would be meaningless if we do not have a healthy mind. Noise pollution, believe it or not, leads to high blood pressure and heart attacks, as well as impairing our hearing and overall health.

Sit in silence to help the mind focus and declutter itself. Sitting in silence for 10 minutes a day without any interference increases self awareness and help thicken grey matter (a major component of the central nervous system) in the brain.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not require an expensive gym membership or over-complicated rituals. Minor changes to daily routines can help the mind, body and soul stay fresh.

Nevash Nair is currently on his own fitness journey in Thailand. Email him at lifestyle.nevashnair@thesundaily.com.