Drink Up - Tips to help you start drinking more water

Drinking water can do wonders for your body: two glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs. One glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion. One glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure. One glass of water before going to bed - lowers the risk of strokes or heart attacks. Here are some tips to increase your water intake:

  1. Keep yourself from drinking any cold-drink before at least drinking two glasses of water first.
  2. Have a big glass of water at every transitional point of the day: when you first get up, just before leaving the house, when you sit down to work, etc.
  3. Make it convenient - keep a big, insulated water bottle, filled with water, on your desk and reach for it all day.
  4. Down a full glass of water several times a day. Go over to your kitchen right now and fill up a glass. No sipping over time. Just drink it down right after you fill it up.
  5. Track it. Make a chart and tick it off each time you drink a glass. Do a chart for 30 days and you will have made drinking water a part of your routine.
  6. Have one glass of water every hour on the hour while at work or school. When the work/school day is done, your water quota is met.
  7. After each trip to the restroom, guzzle a glass of water to replenish your system.

Eat Right - Eliminate the bad and choose the healthy

In week two of the #WellnessWeeklyChallenge we encouraged readers to make healthier food choices. The plan was to find one bad thing you want to eliminate from your diet and replace it with a healthier choice. Here are a few of the tips we discussed:

  1. Eat less added sugars, solid fats, refined grains and sodium.
  2. Make yourself a power breakfast. Include lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  3. Include a variety of seafood in your diet instead of red meat or poultry.
  4. Remember your plan to keep things healthy when dining out.
  5. Eat lean and green at night.
  6. Snack on fibre, protein, vegetables and fresh fruits (not dried fruits).
  7. Make one day a week meat free.
  8. Eat a real breakfast - oatmeal, eggs and yoghurt.
  9. Make your own meals and eat at least ten meals a week at home.
  10. If possible, do not eat alone. Eat as a couple, or as a family.
  11. Don't use salt at the table. Use lemons and lemon juice to enhance flavours.

Tip Source: Skinny Book

Get Moving - run, walk or crawl

In this week of the #WellnessWeeklyChallenge, the focus was getting readers to be more active. Run, walk and crawl - whatever kept them moving. We also encouraged them to keep us updated about how they were incorporating movement in their lives. We gave a few tips on how to keep moving.

1. Get the right running shoes.

Wearing the right running shoes is the key to comfort and injury prevention. Visit a running specialty store to get fitted for the right running shoes for your foot type and running style. Also, make sure you don't run in worn-out running shoes.

2. Make sure you warm up and cool down.

A good warm-up signals to your body that it will have to start working soon. By slowly raising your heart rate, the warm-up also helps minimise stress on your heart when you start your run. So you should start your runs with a brisk walk, followed by very easy jogging for a few minutes. The cool down allows your heart rate and blood pressure fall gradually, so it's important that you end your run with a slow 5-minute jog or walk.

3. Learn the proper upper body form.

Improper upper body form can lead to pain in your arms, shoulders, neck, and back. Try to keep your hands at waist level, right about where they might lightly brush your hip. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle, with your elbows at your sides. Keep your posture straight and erect. Your head should be up, your back straight, and shoulders level.

4. Don't worry about pace.

As a beginner, most of your runs should be at an easy or conversational pace. You should be able to breathe very easily and carry on a conversation. Don't worry about your pace per km - if you can pass the talk test, you're moving at the right speed. Starting out with this type of easy running will help prevent overtraining and injuries due to muscle oversuse.

5. Try a run/walk approach.

Most beginner runners start out using a run/walk technique because they don't have the endurance or fitness to run for extended periods of time. The run/walk method involves running for a short segment and then taking a walk break. As you continue with a run/walk programme, the goal is to extend the amount of time you're running and reduce your walking time.

6. Don't do too much too soon.

New runners sometimes get too enthusiastic and anxious to get started and end up increasing their mileage too quickly - which can lead to injury. Don't increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% each week. By building up slowly, you can save yourself pain and frustration, and still reach your goals. Use common sense and follow a beginner training schedule determine how much you should be running. If you'd like to do more, you could always supplement your running with cross-training exercises such as swimming or cycling.

7. Breathe in through your nose and mouth.

Some new runners assume they should breathe in only through their nose. You actually want to breathe in through your nose and mouth to make sure you're getting enough oxygen to your muscles while running. Taking deep belly breaths can help prevent side stiches, which are a common issue for new runners.

Source: Running.about.com

Spoil Yourself

Sometimes life gets so hectic we forget to nurture ourselves. On the fourth week of the #WellnessWeeklyChallenge, we wanted readers to treat themselves to something indulgent. Like getting a massage, going to bed early, reading that book, sneaking out for a movie or treating your loved ones to a nice dinner outing.

Tips on how to indulge:

  1. Book yourself into the spa for the whole day, guilt free.
  2. Pregnant mommies - go on a shopping spree for a cute but comfortable wardrobe.
  3. Buy yourself a scented candle and light it whenever you're feeling stressed. The happy smell and cheerful flicker will lift your mood instantly.
  4. Cook a special dinner just for you two. Eat by candle light and enjoy your favourite movie.
  5. Invite a friend for a sweet treat with Riviera's High Tea, every Saturday afternoon.
  6. Reconnect with nature and enjoy the beautiful outdoors today.
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