Seven ways to get more energy in your day
WANT to stimulate your senses and stay alert during the day?
Try this commonsense advice from the managing director of Order-In, Jonathan Rowley:
1. Think outside the caffeine box
Matcha is a fine green powder, derived from tea leaves. Through its rich form of antioxidants, the tea is credited with preventing heart disease, cancer, reducing blood pressure and boosting metabolism. A healthier alternative to coffee, which contains 60mg of caffeine, one cup of matcha provides 34mg where the effects last longer due to the natural substance called I-theanine.
2. Breathe in, breathe out
Controlling your breath is something simple and easy to do at your office desk. A deep breath moves oxygen to your body which boosts energy levels, and decreases stress and anxiety.
3. Go to the dark side
Cocoa beans combat those chocolate cravings while also containing caffeine. The darker the chocolate, the more caffeine and antioxidants. This lowers the risk of stroke, heart attacks, fosters a healthy digestive system and promotes brain function and growth - but like anything, it should be consumed in moderation.
4. Sip it up
While 2.1 litres of water may sound unrealistic, our top tip is to keep a bottle of water at your desk and sip away. According to a study by Tufts University in the US, dehydration causes fatigue, confusion and leaves you drowsy.
5. Drink like a queen
While green tea only contains 24-40mg of caffeine, it's rich in antioxidants, giving you the energy effects of coffee without the jitters. Black tea provides the caffeine hit while carrying antioxidants, vitamins and other stimulants that keep you alert, active and stress-free. Another great alternative is mint tea, helping to activate your brain, prevent fatigue and memory loss.
6. Crunch away
It's true - an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Containing a natural form of sugar called fructose, an apple is a healthy snack that reduces fatigue without the crash in the afternoon. Additionally, apples contain good carbohydrates which allow your body to keep moving.
7. Get outdoors
A short walk may be all it takes to recharge your batteries. Studies have shown that exposure to the sun and vitamin D improves alertness and performance. Also, vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, fostering bone health, reducing heart disease and boosting your immune system
Where we're at: National health report
While Australians are expected to consume less alcohol and spend less on tobacco in the next five years, obesity levels are set to rise as people participate less in sporting activities.
An IBISWorld study has found the share of total household expenditure spent on tobacco should decrease by 0.09 percentage points in 2017-18. The popularity of smoking is anticipated to continue declining over the next five years.
Alcohol consumption is also expected to decrease by 0.1% during 2017-18, to total 9.72 litres per capita. However, alcohol consumption is changing. While consumption of beer, wine and spirits has declined over the past five years, consumption of cider has surged.
IBISWorld expects Australian obesity levels for people aged 18 and over to rise by 0.9 per cent in 2017-18, to reach 65.2%. At the same time, fruit and vegetable consumption is expected to fall by 1.4% in 2017-18, to total 98.8kg per capita.
Greater awareness of healthy diets generally leads to healthier eating among consumers, which involves increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
However, the availability of vegetables is expected to weaken in the current year, following two years of favourable weather conditions. Less favourable weather is anticipated to cause vegetable prices to rise, and fruit and vegetable consumption to fall.
As people of all age groups continue to spend their time on alternate activities, participation in organised sport and other forms of physical activity is anticipated to fall.
Hi-tech health: Time for a Digital Detox
Traditionally the new year is a time to kick-start healthy habits, with resolutions to quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.
However, in 2018 more Australians than ever are looking to form a healthier relationship with their smartphones, says clinical psychologist Jenny McGee at The Buttery Private.
"Like many addictions, problematic internet use is a coping behaviour people use just to get some time out from the stress and overwhelm they are feeling.
The fifth annual National Stress and Wellbeing in Australia Survey found 26 per cent of Australians reported above normal levels of anxiety symptoms - the highest level since the survey started.
The same survey found more than one in 10 Australians - 12 per cent - reported keeping up with social media networks contributed to their overall levels of stress.
"Through social media, people are driven to seek instantly gratifying solutions to their problems and to keep up with unrealistic images. The pictures are multiple now and they are just not realistic,” Ms McGee said.
"Eating the right diet, being environmentally correct, having the beautifully renovated house, maintaining the right body, having the right clothes, going to the right places for coffee, having children going to the right schools and doing the right extracurricular activities.
"You have to ask, does being successful in all these different roles and aspects of life make you happy? Is it really true success or is it a source of stress? Does it make us feel like we're never good enough?”
Self-care: Medicine watch
New research published in the Australian Health Review shows we are a nation of hoarders when it comes to medicine.
Most Australians - 75% - keep medicines in case they need them in the future. Other reasons include not wanting to waste money, not knowing how to dispose of them, intending to give them to family and friends, or forgetting the medicines were there.
Stockpiling medicines at home can be risky, not just for you but for your family and pets. Disposing of them in the garbage or down the toilet also carries severe environmental risks.
Keeping medicines to use for reoccurring conditions, like migraines, is appropriate. But keeping antibiotics to use for a different infection can lead to treatment failure if those antibiotics do not target the new infection. When we use antibiotics incorrectly, bacteria can also change to become more resistant to treatment.
Compiled by wellness editor, counsellor and coach Helen Hawkes. helenhawkes.org