Stop worrying about a New Year Resolution to be more organized or go to the gym more often … if you haven’t been used to doing these things – the chances are you won’t keep them up for long just because it is a New Year.
Just KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Resolve to change just two things in your life and you can change your life dramatically.
FOR YOUR BRAIN
- Eating every two or three hours keeps you thinking straight and reduces that ‘brain fug’ that can develop when you have been concentrating for too long on one thing …. Your brain is like a muscle – it needs regular work outs but also needs good nutrition and regular rest breaks.
- Pay attention to what, not just how often, you eat. Sugary foods give you an instant ‘high’ but only for minutes before crashing. Refined flour is like sugar…. The energy effects just don’t last long. Caffeine improves brain function quickly and safely, but not if you consume it every day. Junk food is designed to be addictive. You need to think for a second about why you are eating what you are eating – same as thinking for a second about how you are about to move.
- The best brain foods are combinations of darkly coloured vegetables, low glycemic fruits (most fruits except bananas grapes and raisins), protein, and good fats (olive oil, avocado). Be prepared for hunger pangs by making small but satisfying snacks such as celery or carrots with hummus, chopped fruit chunks or peanuts which are all low glycemic foods.
FOR YOUR BODY
- Bracing your abdomen when you lift is essential. This means stiffening the abdominal wall as if you are about to be “hit in the abdomen” while not pushing out or sucking in. Sufficient spinal stability requires adequate activation of numerous trunk muscles. It has been well established that when these muscles contract, they create both stiffness and force. Muscle force may not be stabilizing, but muscle stiffness is ALWAYS stabilizing.
- Perform just three exercises every day – The ‘Big 3’ have been well researched. They are Dead Bug (see above), Bird Dog (bottom of page) and Side Bridges (see below). When you exercise the same applies as does to food – you need quality not quantity. However, you need to come into see us so that we can show you how to do them properly but most importantly, watch how you do them. Remember exercise, like food should be about quality not quantity.
- These exercises are aimed at improving motor control, endurance and coordination of key trunk muscles that contribute to spine stiffness, stability, and coordinated motion. Recent research has indicated that results of these exercises are improved when “neutral spine position” is maintained, so you need to keep this in mind whenever you are exercising.