This is the time of year when we all promise ourselves that, THIS time, we will become slimmer, fitter, healthier and less stressed than last year. So, here are some tips that might help you go some way to achieve it THIS time!
Don't try to change everything at once. Don't expect to meditate for 20 minutes twice a day, stop all junk food, eat 7 portions of fruit and veg daily, and go to the gym 5 times a week - you know that you just won't keep it up. Pick one small thing and concentrate on that for the month.
Take vitamin D supplements through the winter (you can't get enough vitamin D from your diet alone) 1,000 - 2,000 IUs a day. (Available at the practice)
If you take sugar in your tea and coffee, try reducing it by just half a teaspoon for a month, then reduce it by another half the following month.
Use a smaller plate, mug and glass. The bigger the plate, the more you will pile on it, the bigger the glass, the more you will drink. If you look at Georgian or Victorian tableware, they were so much smaller than those we use today. Remember, one 250ml glass of wine is one third of a bottle; two glasses is TWO THIRDS of a bottle of wine!
Don't buy biscuits or chocolates for the rest of the family, then have the daily challenge of not eating them yourself. Just don't buy them - you'll be helping the rest of the family get healthy too.
Need a quick snack in the car? Get some nuts and raisins, rather than a bag of sweets. They will keep in a zip lock bag or small Tupperware box.
Don't drink cola drinks - even the sugar free ones, they are linked to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Drink water or have a little fruit juice diluted with water instead.
Don't look for the nearest car parking space to your work or supermarket entrance, park a little further away and walk.
Place your waste paper bin on the other side of the room and get up to throw things away.
Go for a 15-20 minute walk at lunch - even 10 minutes of brisk walking would help. The latest advice is to walk for one minute every hour.
Get a Balance Cushion to sit on at work. It is a wobbly air cushion, that makes you use your core muscles to balance while you sit. Start with an hour or so, then build up to all day. It's great for chronic back pain. (Available for £19.00 at the practice).
Try a few simple exercises at home, they don't have to take long. A simple routine of hamstring and spinal stretches, Theraband resistance exercises for your upper body, and some step ups on the bottom stair, or try The Plank Challenge for core strength (check with your Osteopath first). Even 10 minutes could make a difference. For more information about a simple exercise routine, ask your Osteopath.
Proven to have benefits on reducing pain, calming stress and combating anxiety and high blood pressure.
A simple technique is called the Mindfulness of Breathing. There are many versions of this, but one way is to concentrate on your breathing, focusing on where you feel the air come in to your nose, or feeling it as it fills your diaphragm. Breathe in slowly, breathe out slowly, count one. Breathe in slowly, breathe out slowly, count two. Do this until to get to five then go back to one again. As thoughts appear, let them pass and just gently return to counting your breathing again. This can be done for 5 -10 minutes, if that is all the time you have. I've even grabbed a few minutes of this standing in the checkout queue at the supermarket. You don't even have to close your eyes. But don't do it when driving!
Not enough time at work?
Turn your email notifications off. Check them at the beginning of the day, then concentrate on working. Check again at lunchtime and again towards the end of the day. The flashing up of an email causes you to lose concentration and will slow down your work. Most of these emails will not be essential, but will drag your concentration away from the job at hand. Research has proven that multitasking is NOT an efficient way to work, it is slower, and you will make more mistakes. And stop checking your Facebook page!
The Principal of One Minute
A Japanese method called Kaizen, Perform a specific task for exactly one minute at the same time of day. If you feel you really don't have time to do anything, then pick a time and do your task for just one minute every day.
If it's exercise you need, then march on the spot for a minute, or hop on your right leg for 30 seconds then your left leg for 30 seconds (recommended for improving the bone density of the hips), or step ups on the bottom step of a stair. If you're fit enough, try jumping jacks - but spend 20 seconds of that warming up first.
If it's meditation, then meditate for just one minute.
Balance not brilliant? Stand on one leg for 30 seconds then change legs. Make sure you stand near something stable that you can get hold of if you start to topple. If that's too easy, try doing it with your eyes shut, but you definitely need something nearby to hold on to for that one.
Kaizen will enable you to start doing want you want, you can build on it as you take more control of your time. But everyone can find just one minute!
Taking control of your back pain.
Everybody underestimates how quickly time passes. Many of our patients telephone to say that their last appointment was about 3 months ago, only to find that it was nearly a year ago, and their healthy intention of regular, treatments has fallen apart - as has their back!
If you have arranged with your Osteopath to have a maintenance treatment every one to two months, it is better to make the appointment in advance, even if you are not sure what you will be doing; you can always change it nearer the date if you find it inconvenient. We will always send you a text reminder the day before, so if you have completely forgotten and find you can't come the next day, we can easily change the appointment for you - but at least you will be reminded that your maintenance treatment is due.
Our six treatment discount cards are ideal for those who would like a regular treatment every two months - they can also save you £25. A year's treatment for just £269. Please ask at reception for more information.