OH! Magazine - Australian Version December 2018 - Page 15

DR JOANNA movement instead. Consider investing in a standing desk where you can alternate between sitting and standing, or walk at least part of the way to and from work; get a 30 or 45-minute exercise class in during lunchtime; meet a colleague for a walk instead of a coffee; spring clean the house; spend an afternoon gardening on the weekend; join a dance class or take up yoga. It all adds up to a healthier, happier you. 4. Ensure good quality, sufficient sleep and mental – will suffer. For optimum health, good sleep habits are fundamental. This includes turning off your smartphone and all screens at least an hour before bedtime, to allow your brain to wind down. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. Deal with a snoring partner! Avoid eating for at least two hours before bed, and get to bed at a time that will allow you roughly eight hours before the alarm goes off in the morning. Sleep is so often overlooked. One of the most common questions I am asked is ‘what can I eat to have more energy?’, yet when I ask how that person sleeps they haven’t considered that might be the problem! It sounds blindingly obvious yet it often slips under the radar, as we are all pushed to maximise how much we can get done in a day. 5. Keep stress levels under control Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. You can cope with a night or two that falls short, but if this happens chronically, your health – both physical Learn to recognise your warning signs. If you’re snapping at your partner and/or the kids over small things, that’s a pretty clear sign you are in stress overload. A certain level of stress is a good thing and that level varies between individuals. The right amount of stress keeps life interesting and exciting, but too much will tip you over into anxiety, poor sleep and ultimately, poorer performance at work and in your free time. Tossing and turning in the night, drinking too much alcohol, turning to bad food as a mood lifter (it doesn’t work long-term, by the way) or just feeling as if you can never reach the end of your to-do list should all be considered as alarm bells. You may not be able to alter the external stressors, but work out which ones you can. Then think about how you deal with your stress. You may feel you are too busy to get to an exercise class, but make the time and you just might find the other hours in the day become more productive. Similarly, you may think your mind is far too busy to meditate, but once you learn the skill, quietening your mind will soon become second nature. By trying these tips, you can help set up your 2019 to be your healthiest and happiest year yet. Good luck! YOU CAN FOLLOW DR JOANNA VIA: Web: drjoanna.com.au Facebook: drjoannamcmillan Twitter: @joannanutrition Instagram: @drjoannamcmillan OH! MAGAZINE ( DECEMBER 2018 ) 15