Want to get fitter without a complete overhaul? Here's how
A new year means resolutions, most of which will be extremely ambitious and ultimately too great a challenge to pull off in the long term (there’s no healthy way to lose 6kg in two weeks). But don’t give up on self improvement this year – just pace yourself, and set yourself small, achievable goals. With long-term benefits in mind, we spoke to experts around Dubai to bring you five of the best small, simple adjustments to make to your routine in 2012 to improve the health of your mind, body and soul.
Think positive thoughts ‘Positive affirmations are a very powerful tool used to change how each individual thinks and feels about themselves, which translates into his or her attitude and actions when facing others. With constant use of positive affirmations, you will be able to reprogramme your internal subconscious mind, changing the negatives into the positives. Positive affirmations such as “I love myself”, “My body is in a state of perfect health” and “I am abundant in every way” create thought patterns in the subconscious mind that support these statements, leading to increased self-esteem, self-confidence, and even physical health, resulting in positive outcomes in every area of life.’ Milan Keswani-Gurnamal, founder and owner of The Third Eye (055 809 8595)
Get enough sleep ‘Lack of sleep can cause an acceleration of the ageing process, hormonal and metabolism problems and a breakdown of mental processes. Most people need seven to eight hours sleep a night. Eating late into the night can also disrupt sleep and cause digestive issues such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that manifests into hunger and sleep disturbances through the night.’ Hala Barghout, nutritionist, Platform 3 Fitness (04 435 8083)
Go to the beach ‘This small outing can make a substantial difference to your life and outlook on life. The ocean is relaxing because of its comforting sounds, and its water is rich in trace elements. These are important to remineralise our bodies, keeping us performing at optimum levels, and are beneficial to maintaining health. So not only will your outing to the beach reduce strett, but it can help the healing process.’ Danette Rabe and Samantha Leigh Taylor, product educators at Beauty Leaders, distrobutors of Phytomer cosmetics (02 676 4600)
Include functional movements in your workout ‘Assuming you are already committed to getting fit (it’s the new year, after all!), we suggest you make a fixed appointment schedule in your timetable to fit in some physical exercise. This leaves you no room for excuses of being too busy, especially when the motivation may have died a few weeks into January. Your programme should include functional movements working in multi-directional planes – we don’t just move backwards and forwards in real life, as most people tend to with exercise in the gym. Start including movements such as matrix lunges (forward lunge, into diagonal lunge, into side lunge, into a turning lunge). To make these progressively harder you can add kettlebells or medicine balls, with rotation on the lunges – a great core workout.’ Nick Watson, founder of U Concept (04 422 8721)
Look after your body with a spoonful of honey ‘In our very stressful world, we need to take steps to preserve our bodies internally as well as externally. I’ve always been a strong advocate of menuka honey, with its anti-cancer properties and amazing health benefits, and believe it should form part of everyone’s daily routine. Start the day with a tall glass of warm water containing quarter of a teaspoon of menuka and a squeeze of lemon, which will help metabolism, detox the gut and heal the insides by working as an anti-inflammatory agent. Honey has been used for centuries as a medicine, and today it’s used on the skin thanks to its anti-ageing properties. It’s a beauty secret that’s too good to be ignored!’ Mona Mirza, clinic director, Biolite Aesthetic Clinic (04 375 2122)