5 wellness tips to achieve a healthier 2020
A month or two may have flown by, but that does not mean you need to abandon your goals for the year - especially if you feel you have not been on track so far.
Whether your goal is to grow your savings, cultivate deeper kinship or get everyone in the family fit and healthy, you still have the majority of the year to take incremental steps to make it happen.
If one of your goals is to make wellness a priority, we have five tips to help you with just that. Wellness is not just about a bland diet and lots of exercise, but it’s also about getting in tune with what your body is telling you, managing stress, and cultivating wellness from the inside out.
Tip 1: You are what you eat
The age-old adage “you are what you eat” holds true. While you’re probably aware that choosing to have a balanced diet reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and some cancers, choosing to eat healthy also has an impact on your day.
Research has shown that eating certain foods will give you an energy boost - great for powering through a task or staying focused during an afternoon meeting. Grab some nuts or popcorn to satiate your cravings and increase energy production if you feel like snacking. Picking dark chocolates over sweets could be better for you too - the higher cocoa content helps the delivery of oxygen to the brain and muscles. Chocolate is known to be a mood booster as well1.
And for those looking to lose weight, research has also shown that exercise alone isn’t enough2. That’s because it’s easy to choose a larger bowl of noodles, or move a lot less, after an intense gym session.
If healthy eating is a challenge, recognise that depriving yourself of food may end up being counterproductive. Instead, consciously make better choices little by little. Want something sweet after lunch? Maybe pick a sliced watermelon instead of bubble tea. Can’t decide between deep fried or yong tau foo in soup? Pick what will make you feel better after your meal.
And if you ever find yourself thinking about what to eat, the answer could just be in your pocket - check out the many dining deals available on DBS Lifestyle app. Eat better and save money - now that’s a win-win.
Tip 2: Be present over perfect
Some days are just a blur. We wake up, get to work in the shortest amount of time possible, scroll through social media during your commute, pick up a snack almost unknowingly, attend to multiple emails and notifications … and an entire day has passed, yet you can barely recall what you did or why you did it.
While your initial burst of motivation may have had you creating a strict plan with only healthy meals devoid of simple carbohydrates and sugar as well as intense exercise, these things only scratch the surface of total health. To move a step closer to good health and wellness, a new concept you may want to play around with is mindfulness – staying in the present moment.
According to Mindful magazine, mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us3.
If the concept is a little confusing, mindfulness can be cultivated through proven techniques, so try them and feel it for yourself. For instance, simply sitting for a minute and focusing on your breathing can help centre your thoughts. If you need to clear your head while at work, you could find a spot to pace up and down, focusing on your movement4.
There are also free mobile apps - such as Calm - to guide you through simple meditation exercises. With mindfulness, you can be more aware of the stress you carry every day that may spill over to other areas of your life, and also be better able to handle the tasks that come your way.
Tip 3: Soak up the sun
In an urban jungle like Singapore, we often spend our time indoors. It’s also tempting to be in air-conditioned comfort all day as we can get sticky and uncomfortable, especially when it becomes extremely humid.
But did you know there are health benefits to getting a dose of sunshine? Time in the sun boosts Vitamin D production in our bodies, which is vital for calcium absorption and bone growth. The importance of this doesn’t wane with age either.
If you’ve been feeling a little down, sunshine could also lift your mood - exposure to the sun is associated with the production of seratonin in the brain which aids in regulating your moods, according to experts. And if you’re the type that can’t live without coffee, some sunshine could help that energy boost go further. When your eyes detect light, your brain wakes up and releases cortisol, which in turn increases metabolism5.
Have a few leave days coming up and want to explore the great outdoors overseas with your loved ones? Go ahead and book that trip - block out some time for meditation and bask in some sunshine. Don’t forget to slather a good amount of sunblock and take your DBS Visa Debit Card along with you. Linked to your My Account, you won’t have to fear running out of cash overseas. Plus, it is made fuss-free with Travel Mode beta on POSB/DBS digibank – all you have to do is to switch on Travel Mode and you’re all set to focus on recharging during your vacation.
Tip 4: Show up to work out
You may have signed up for a gym membership, or bought a few pieces of equipment ready to work out at home. Good job! While exercise may not always directly contribute to weight loss, it is nonetheless important for overall fitness.
The hardest battle, however, is getting yourself there. But once you’re at the gym, or once you’re changed and all set up at home, half the battle’s won. Remember too that good things take time - be patient with yourself if you don’t immediately see results. Encourage yourself with a little reward if you manage to exercise
If you’re looking to embark on an exercise regime but you’re not sure where to start, you could check out ActivPass. You could redeem a yoga or High Intensity Interval Training class with your DBS points, and even enjoy 20% cashback + additional 5% for all POSB/DBS card holders for any purchase of regular classes.
And if you are thinking of trying out yoga - or getting more serious with your practice - you can receive a S$50 Platinum Yoga voucher when you purchase a 12-month membership with them.
Tip 5: Remember it all works together for your own good
Choosing to start the year on a healthy note is a great first step. While consistency is key, remember to give yourself grace if you miss a workout or end up eating a few unhealthy meals in a row. A healthy diet, a strong body and a clear mind all work together, so you can be the very best version of yourself every day. It’s never too late to begin changing your habits - little by little - to hit your fitness goals. And by the end of the year, you can celebrate knowing you’ve put in your best!