Summer holidays are an opportunity to bounce back from the poor health decisions we made throughout the year, and give our health a real kick-start! If you feel like a challenge and are looking to hit the health restart button, then this summer challenge is for you.
This challenge concentrates on three main elements to assist our bodies to work hard, recover, and reach optimal performance. Elements include: mindfulness, diet, and exercise. Below you’ll find out why each are so important, and how they can be combined to make you feel great, ready for another year of study!
Ready for the challenge?
There are many benefits to increasing mindfulness, you’ll improve your social relationships, and reduce the stress and anxiety in your life. Meditation is one way to become more mindful, and is simple to learn. By taking five minutes every morning to concentrate on your breathing, posture, and thoughts, you can change the course of your day.
- Start small – begin with a three-minute meditation session and build up slowly over time.
- Be comfortable – make sure you’re not too hot or cold, wear comfy clothes, and sit with good posture.
- Allow your mind to wander – and then refocus back to breathing.
- Seek guidance – if you need assistance to complete a session, there are meditation apps or videos that will guide your session.
- Minimise distractions – turn your phone off, and minimise distractions around you.
- Set a timer – it’s easier to relax when you’re not worried about time.
Healthy eating habits are fairly easy to establish, and there are no restrictions of what you can and cannot eat, as long as your portions are reasonable. Base the majority of your meals around fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean meats. There are obvious “bad foods” that you should avoid that contain large amounts of saturated fats, added salt, and added sugars.
The main goal is to create healthy eating habits. You can achieve this by increasing your awareness of what you are putting into your body, and making a conscious effort to make healthier decisions.
The Australian standard recommendation of physical activity for the average adult is 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate intensity exercise, or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of high intensity physical activity per week. Dancing, yoga, squash, or even indoor rock climbing are all fun activities that will get your heart rate up. By making time to get active, and being mindful to do the small things such as taking the stairs, you’ll improve your fitness levels.
The challenge runs for 21 consecutive days. If you can stick to it, it’s a huge accomplishment!
- Drink a glass of water
- Don’t use electronic devices until after breakfast
- Practice good hygiene
- Complete 30 minutes of high intensity physical activity
- If it’s a nice day try to spend some time outside
- Practice gratitude and positivity
- Have lighter meals, more often, based around the above food groups
- Drink 6 glasses of water
- Try not to eat after 9pm – give your body enough time to break everything down before bed
- Read a few pages of a book you’ve been meaning to read
- Minimise the use of electronic devices an hour before bed
- Drink a glass of water
- If you have time, meditate before bed – you’ll fall asleep faster