Treat your body well
Eating well + Exercise + Sleep + Relaxation = nailing it!
Treating our bodies well is important to both our physical and mental health. Eating a balanced diet and exercising are important, but so are the less energy consuming things like sleep and relaxing.
What we eat plays a big part in how well our bodies and minds can function. Eating well isn’t about following a strict diet, it’s about making healthy food choices that give our bodies the right amount and types of fuel they need to power us through the day. A balanced diet also means we can treat ourselves to our favourite foods. Here are some healthy tips for eating well:
- Keep up the H20 – staying hydrated will help you concentrate better, clear toxins from your body, and even help to clear your skin.
- Avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat – things like takeaways, sweets, soft drinks and energy drinks. It’s also important to be aware that sugar can hide in foods we might think are ‘healthy’ (like muesli bars).
- Low GI foods are foods that release their energy slowly, and are tops for getting through the day. Swap your white bread for wholegrain bread. Other good options include chicken, rice, and bananas.
- Eat regularly – if we leave it too long between eating, we can easily end up making bad food choices, including over-eating.
- Got the munchies? Snack on some high protein foods, such as nuts or yoghurt
Yup, we all know that we should exercise - but why? Believe it or not, exercise actually makes us feel more energetic. Exercise releases a chemical called serotonin, which can make us feel good, energised, and motivated. Making exercise a part of our everyday routine makes it easier to keep active even on the busiest of days. Here are our top tips, to help get a little extra Bounce into your day…
- If you already play a sport, keep it up. If not, why not try out a new sport? It’s a great way to meet new people and if you enjoy it, it might not even feel like hard work!
- Find ways to add activity to your day – get off the bus a few stops before your destination, dance around in your bedroom, bike, walk or skate to school, work or university, organise a social sport game with your mates, and/or take the stairs if that’s an option.
- Try out a new activity – how does rock climbing, orienteering, or mountain biking sound to you?
- Catch up with a mate over a walk – check out a new area.
- Know your body’s limits, and don’t overdo it – you could end up spending less time exercising if you hurt yourself.
- The key to exercise is ‘having fun’ while doing it. If it’s fun it is easier!
Get a good night’s sleep
We work our bodies hard during the day, but you may not realise just how hard. Getting a good night’s sleep is important to recharge and help us to be physically and mentally strong. Having trouble getting to sleep sucks, but there are ways to help you get a good night’s sleep without counting sheep. Try the following:
- In most people, the hormone melatonin kicks in as the sun goes down. It helps us sleep, but bright light inhibits melatonin from being produced. To sleep well, it’s ideal to have a dark environment – this means putting away the electronics (like your phone, laptop, or the tv) and pulling the curtains.
- Avoid caffeine and energy drinks in the afternoon and evening (it’s even better if you can avoid them altogether). You could also try and avoid heavy exercise or big meals late in the day.
- Teach your body the difference between night and day – sleep when it’s dark, and get up when it’s light. Try not to nap during the day and get some sunlight instead (even if it’s cloudy).
- Unwind at bedtime – dim the lights, read a book, listen to music – we all have different ways to unwind.
- Try to go to bed at the same time each night, and get up at the same time of day.
Relaxing is way easier said than done, so it can be frustrating when someone tells you to relax! There are good reasons to do it though, as relaxing helps us to take our mind off things, get creative, and, most of all, think about ourselves and what we need. What helps one person relax may not work for everyone, but we think the following ways are worth a crack:
- Do the things you love.
- Try going electronic free for an hour or two – read a book, do some drawing, or doodle your dreams.
- Dust the bike off and explore your neighbourhood, or a new one.
- Have a quick nap, but try not to oversleep otherwise you may find you get even lower in energy – 30 minutes should be about right.
- Watch reruns of your favourite movie or tv series. Have some healthy snacks to go with it.
- Take time to ‘take notice or tune in’. Notice the world around you, the trees, clouds, the sun, the rain, the wind on your face, all those great small things in life that we can easily take for granted.