Get in shape while drying your hair, let cherries or ginger ease your aching muscles and turn your favorite TV show into your new workout partner. It’s time for more life hacks – those surprising tips and tricks that make life easier and healthier.
This list of ten genius healthy hacks is all about ways to help you feel good. Start with the one that appeals the most and make it a habit. Small changes add up to a big difference!
Remember, the link between physical activity and living a longer, happier life has been proven, and the more we take care of our bodies through diet and exercise, the better we will feel. Even Dr. Oz said that if there is one anti-age tip we can do today, it would be exercise.
1. Cherry Juice Can Ease Your Muscle Pain
I’ve explained in a previous post why the exercise motto No Pain, No Gain is a myth, but there’s no avoiding sore muscles after an invigorating workout. Whether it’s a weights session at the gym, spin class or even strenuous laps in the pool, you can feel stiff as a board the next day. This phenomenon is perfectly normal, especially if you’re starting a new training program, or you’re new to exercise. Studies have shown tart cherry juice can help reduce the swelling of damaged muscles, allowing our bodies to recover faster and with less pain.
2. Keeping Fit Away From the Gym
When you’re busy, it’s sometimes too easy to skip a workout session. Travelling a lot, especially for business, leads to excuses like, “I can’t find a gym on the road” and “I’m too busy travelling.” Don’t let a lack of willpower ruin your dedication to feeling good. The debate about the benefits of working out away from the gym is a popular one, and a hotel room can be the perfect place to keep up with your exercise. If you need the motivation that comes from coaching, popular apps like Nike Training Club, Kayla Itsines and FitStar will help you. For quick and easy bodyweight routines that can be done anywhere, with no gym required, try an app like Sworkit (there’s even a kids version!). If you’re willing to do a bit of searching, you can also find free fitness tutorials on YouTube.
3. Use Pumpkin Seeds to Fight Your Pounding Head
Pumpkin seeds taste yummy and are packed with a ton of health benefits, so it’s no wonder they’re considered one of the healthiest foods in the world. You can eat them raw, toasted or add them to a variety of dishes. There may also be a direct link to pain relief – one cup of pumpkin seeds contains 168 mg of magnesium, which is approximately 42% of your daily requirement. Studies have suggested low magnesium levels could be a major factor in debilitating migraine headaches.
Pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of zinc, which helps improve acne, increase cognitive function (yay! more alert), lose weight and help you get over a cold more quickly by boosting the immune system.
4. Sneaky Ways to Get More Exercise
If your daily work commute involves catching a bus or train, get off a stop early and walk. It may seem like common sense, but it’s a quick way to get some fresh air and incorporate extra exercise into your daily routine. Every little bit helps to build a fitter, healthier you. Take the stairs whenever you can, find a parking space far away from your building and add an extra 15 minutes jog to your dog walking – enthusiastic furry friends can be amazing motivators! Just petting a dog will actually lowers blood pressure and heart rate in the body promoting a healthier lifespan.
5. Tone Your Arms While Drying Your Hair
For another easy way to turn a regular activity into something which helps keep you fit, try adding wrist weights to your arms before blow drying your hair. For girls with longer, thicker hair, it could take over 20 minutes to completely dry. The weight of your dryer, plus the additional weights on your wrists, will help tone your arm muscles. I promise, you will feel really good once you see those toned biceps!
6. Watch and Workout
Some people claim there’s not enough time in the day to make a gym session part of their routine, but they still manage to watch three-plus hours of television every night. I’m not judging, but there’s an excellent way to put that TV time to good use. Whatever your favorite show, it’s time to create a Watch and Workout routine.
Take the regular moments, catchphrases and characters from your show of choice, and associate them with a particular exercise. For this example, I’m using Game of Thrones.
- Opening Credits: Jog in place
- When Someone says “The North”: 10 Pushups
- When the Stark’s Wolves Appear: 30 Crunches
- When Someone gets Naked: 15 Lunges on each side
- When Daenerys says “Khaleesi”: 10 Squats
- When a Dragon Appears: 10 Knee Highs
If Game of Thrones isn’t your cup of Dornish wine, just pick whichever TV show you’re obsessing over at the moment. You can make the workout as complicated as you want to, but don’t make it too easy!
7. Timing is Everything
This is an ultra-simple hack to stop you getting distracted and glancing at the time the whole way through your workout. When you’re creating a motivational music playlist to put you in the zone and keep your energy levels up, make sure your playlist lasts as long as your workout. No more glancing at the clock – you stop when the music does.
8. Are You Sitting Comfortably?
How long do you spend sitting at a desk? Research shows prolonged periods of sitting increase obesity and poor posture. There are several ways to make sure your desk isn’t damaging your health, and you may decide to get rid of your chair altogether. Ultimately, it’s time to re-think how we work and include more movement in our daily lives. If you’ve got a meeting, why not conduct it while walking? It’ll reduce your blood pressure, distract you from stresses in the office and increase creativity. Additionally, you can adopt a way of living that uses full body movements by eliminating furniture in your home to encourage you to squat, bend and stretch in a natural way as prescribed by Katy Bowman M.S.
9. Eat Ginger After You Workout
Number one in this list of hacks focused on the power of cherry juice to reduce post-workout muscle pain. If you’d prefer a different way to combat Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), you could try a staple of Asian cuisine, and one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatories, ginger. Gingerol is the main compound responsible for ginger’s health benefits and according to researchers at the University of Georgia, two grams of raw or heat-treated ginger per day can reduce DOMS by 25 percent. I use an inch sized piece of ginger in my green smoothie every morning!
10. Pay a Fine
If you’re struggling to break free of bad habits, or you find your willpower waning, enlist help from your friends and family to hold you accountable. Tell your loved ones to politely confront you when you’re caught indulging in bad habits and pay them a small fine. Whether you’re trying to cut back on alcohol, not skip the gym, or any other life-changing behavior, it’s amazing how determined you become when it’s your wallet that’s getting hit!
As useful as these little life-enhancing tips and tricks can be, it’s important to remember that hacks are not here to replace the advice of a trained medical professional. If you are worried about anything related to your body or mental health, seek professional advice immediately.
If you try any of my life hacks, let me know how successful they were, and of course, please get in contact if you want to share a useful hack of your own!