If watching amazing women like Simone Biles, Ellen Hoog, and Amna Al Haddad compete during the Olympic Games has you feeling some kind of way about your own health and fitness routine, Goodness is here to help. Keep reading for five easy health hacks to follow that will kick your routine into high gear and help you get in shape this week.
Caffeine before Cardio
While we would scarcely deny you your morning cup of coffee or caffeine-packed tea, we do recommend considering what time you drink it. If you’re a first-thing-in-the-morning kind of girl, then you’re already on the right track. Studies show that ingesting caffeine before a workout can boost its effectiveness. Research found that runners who drank coffee before a 1,500-meter run increased their speed by 4.2 seconds, while another study demonstrated that caffeine actually improved one’s enjoyment of the act of exercise. So there, now you have the perfect excuse to snag that double-shot espresso before you hit the gym in the morning.
Wisdom at Your Fingertips
When Google rolled out all manner of health-minded features, we at Savoir Flair rejoiced. Although there are dozens of options, like Google’s ability to immediately recommend 100 different yoga poses or tell you the best time of day to hit your local gym, our favorite feature indicates the nutritional content of nearly every type of food imaginable – simply by asking Google via voice mic. You can also compare the nutritional value of foods by saying, “pizza versus sweet potatoes” or any other combination. This absolutely takes the guesswork out of what to order when you’re out on the town, and helps you keep track of your calorie count throughout the day. Genius.
Abs for Lazy Girls
Everyone deserves the right to be lazy because leisure time is necessary for maintaining both mental and physical health. However, we prefer to use the term “self-care” instead of “lying about eating chips”. Too much laziness can contribute to weight gain, which is why this next tip is especially brilliant: if you’re not feeling like rising and shining just yet, you can perform the majority of your ab routine in bed. That’s right. Your bed is essentially a cozier version of a yoga or floor mat, and is a stable-enough surface to perform all manner of ab workouts, from crunches and leg lifts to flutter kicks and cycling crunches. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can even perform many basic yoga poses, but stay away from ones that require a lot of balance.
Health and wellness come down to one thing: how your brain behaves with regards to food and fitness. Do you have healthy habits? Are you working toward building some right now? Are you stuck in a rut? If you’re already happy with your health habits, that means your brain treats food and nutrition correctly. However, if you’re dissatisfied, you can take a few easy steps to train your brain. One major aspect is to repeat the same activities and actions at the same time every day – that means eating and sleeping on a schedule. Your brain loves routines. In fact, it thrives on them. By eating and sleeping at the same time every day, you make it much easier for your brain to build good habits and reject bad ones. Another great method for retraining your brain is to change the words you use to describe food. If you refer to food as “healthy”, you give yourself permission to eat more of it. Replace the term “healthy” with the word “fresh”, and you’ll find yourself satisfied more easily with less food.
All Day Long
It’s easy to make excuses for your fitness routine if you’ve already hit the gym. However, most of us work office jobs that require a lot of stagnation throughout the day. Those sedentary hours can still add up, negatively impacting your posture and your joints – even if you are steadfast about your time at the gym. Instead of sitting at your desk all day, take the time to stretch and walk around. It’s good for your body to experience bouts of movement every single hour, so take a mental health/stretch break and walk around your office, head down to the parking garage and do a few jumping jacks, or simply bend and stretch your body while standing at your desk.