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Health and Wellbeing

06 Oct 2016

Vegetables, mental health and 10 tips for sitting posture

Vital vegetables – are you eating enough?

Are you one of around half of all Australians who grapple with greens and struggle with salads?  Five serves of vegetables per day can sound like a challenge but if you make it a priority and plan ahead it becomes a lot easier.  Vegetables contain fibre, nutrients and are low in calories if you are trying to manage your weight.

Vegetable rainbow - Do you eat the same three or four different vegetables all the time?  Use this month to be adventurous.  Different colours represent different nutrients, so aim for a rainbow of colours each day, and at least six different vegetables per week.

Fresh vs frozen - You may be surprised to hear that frozen vegetables are often more nutritious than fresh.  Frozen vegetables don’t lose nutrients through light, temperature changes and long-term storage.  A mix of frozen and fresh works well, even better if you can grow fresh vegies at home!

Depression, brain chemistry and having “A” and “B” days

This is a topic that I have a rather heavy interest in and hope that I can help as many people to feel as positive and optimistic about health, fitness and life in general as I do myself.

Clearly there are many people affected by mental illness (commonly depression/anxiety) and/or have a brain chemistry level that is less than ideal or unbalanced.

Often as a society we are prescribed medication to alter our brain chemistry but this doesn’t actually serve to change our behaviour or behaviours but merely chemically and artificially alters the balance.

Exercise and diet are two ways in which we can change our behaviours to alter our very own brain chemistry and, in effect, help us move past pre-existing barriers to achieving health and fitness improvements.

One such way is to incorporate “A” and “B” days into your weekly exercise program. Here is a list of some different types of activities/exercises that can be classified:

A: Run, spin class, personal training, swimming, boot camp, F45 or crossfit.

B: Yoga, stretching, slow and peaceful stroll, relaxing paddle in pool/beach, read a book, mindfulness.

The commonly associated brain chemicals associated are: norepinephrine, serotonin, acetylcholine, dopamine and GABA (gamma amino butyric acid). How mentally healthy are you?

The top 10 tips for sitting posture

Maintaining good posture throughout life is important to reduce the risk of injury and to make sure you function at your best. When your body moves well you feel good. There are many different postural problems and different ways to correct them. The most common problems are as a result of time spent sitting and as a result of lack of movement.

The top 10 tips for sitting posture are:

1. Stand up and move around;

2. Use a lumbar support;

3. Sit tall;

4. Lift your shoulders up and back slightly;

5. Have your feet on the ground spaced at hip width;

6. Knees and hips at about a 90 degree angle;

7. Have your screen at eye height;

8. Have your mouse and keyboard close to you so you aren’t having to reach;

9. Stretch at regular intervals; and

10. Don’t sit if you don’t have to (try standing up every time you answer the telephone).

For more information, exercise guidance or if you have any questions feel free to contact me

Justin Moran

Just In Time PT

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