I have just returned to my regular workout routine after a six-week hiatus and surprisingly I added just a little over one kilo after all the eating, drinking and the usual overindulgence that come with festive seasons. I looked back and said well done to myself because 1KG is something I can lose with my eyes closed. But the ultimate key is some of the habits I‘ve inculcated these past few years. Here are just six of them for not just your reading but also doing pleasure.
Dancing: Dance when you can. At social functions, clubs or parties, during breaks in the gym and when you are happy just dance away. It is fun and healthy. Studies show that dancing can burn up to 300 calories in half an hour and wait. there are other benefits too. For instance, it has been linked to an increase in white matter, especially in the brains of ageing adults and we are not getting any younger.
Mobility: Make sure you move a lot. It doesn’t matter where. In or outdoors just move your body. Try and do the chores that you would normally call on helps to do like cleaning, washing your briefs or the bathroom. These chores usually don’t take up much time but you will surely sweat especially back home in Nigeria.
Park far-off: When you go to those grocery shops like Shoprite, Spar or Roban park at a distance from the entrance. Most times we want to park very close to that entrance to avoid carrying heavy shopping bags or trolleys the little distance but we are actually avoiding burning some calories.
Drive less: Yes ditch your car for short distances. I know some people who will drive to the bathroom if they could but that is not healthy living. I usually walk to the local mall here and if I’m in Amawbia I walk a lot too. Everywhere in Amawbia is within a walking distance so I walk most of the time to see a cousin or buy groceries from a nearby shop. These are mostly 5–10 minute walks but they all add up.
Sleep more: There is a common but erroneous belief that sleeping makes you gain weight. But that is pure hogwash. Sleep deprivation will reduce leptin, the hormone that regulates energy balance by suppressing appetite. So lack of sleep will likely make you eat more and add weight. I used to stay out late but now I try to limit that to weekends. I stay back at home during the weekdays and rest, watch a movie or read until I fall asleep. Get 7–8 hours of sleep daily.
Tea: For ages, teas have been the universal beverage choice for relaxation. Lately, there’s been increased popularity of herbal teas around the world as natural sleep remedies, making most pricey. Well, I say tea is tea. If you can afford the herbal ones go for it but Lipton yellow label will still do the job. Drink tea before bedtime for a relaxed and calm night’s rest and have another when you wake up to open up your bowels.