It’s a new year, and with 2020 well underway, wouldn’t it be nice to train smarter, feel better and look good too? In life, we believe balance is everything and at Fluid, we’re devoted to the idea of keeping the body as healthy as possible. So without further ado, let’s unpack a few ways to achieve harmony, and improve mental clarity at the same time too.
Look after your posture
Most of us spend a large part of our day hunched over a computer screen. This is damaging to our necks and backs and a source of tension headaches and long-term physical issues. If you’re using a laptop, request a second screen positioned at head height to ensure you’re not constantly craning your neck to get your job done. Be mindful of keeping your shoulders level with your ears and your back straight against the chair.
Walking is fantastic exercise. So, instead of spending your lunch break seated at your desk, consider getting up and going for a walk outside. Not only will you burn calories, you’ll return to the office feeling invigorated. A top tip? Keep up a brisk pace and wear a weighted backpack to feel even better.
Cut out refined sugars…
Diet can impact our lives in ways we don’t expect. One of the biggest culprits? Refined sugars found in soft drinks, condiments and so-called “health foods”. Bad sugars give you an unsustainable spike of energy, only for your body to crash hours later. A plummeting mood often follows.
…But don’t begrudge yourself a cheat meal from time to time
Still, the best diets take discipline, and discipline doesn’t exist infinitely. If you’re punishing yourself, you’re going to cave eventually. Don’t begrudge yourself a cheat meal, a can of coke, or a slab of chocolate. Just remember – moderation is key.
Incorporate resistance training into your cardio routine
Adding resistance training (i.e., weights) will improve the composition of your body and help you to run and cycle faster. Squats, deadlifts and weighted lunges will strengthen the muscles in your legs, giving you more power and speed. Muscle mass does, of course, add extra weight… so if you’re after athletic fitness, stick to a ratio of 60-40 in favor of running/cycling.
Remember to stretch after you exercise, especially if you’ve been pushing the pace on the treadmill or the bike. Stretching guards against muscular injury and, with repetition, will improve your range of motion.
If we work out our bodies, why shouldn’t we similarly train our minds? Countless studies point to the benefits of meditation. News anchor Dan Harris has even written an entire book about it, entitled “10% Happier”. Whether you’re a meditation convert or not, it only takes a few sessions to reap the benefits. A sense of calmness? Check. A boost to mood? Check. A temporary reprieve from the swirling thoughts in your head? Check.
Try yoga or tai chi
Great for the mind and the body, these ancients artforms will teach you a thing or two about getting in the zone. Both yoga and tai chi work your core to a tremendous degree, giving you a workout that’s a little different from the usual gym routine. Plus, because they calm your mind, you’re effectively killing two birds with one stone.