Health & Wellness
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7 THINGS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING DURING LOCK-DOWN


By Emma McGrady – Crown Spa Director
 
The announcement of another lockdown in Melbourne brings with it a lot of emotions for many, and many of those are understandably negative.
 
While it’s hard to sometimes see the positives in these situations, with a bit of focus and goal setting you can view this period as opportunity to get some important ‘me time’ in – and focus on your health and wellbeing.
 
Here are seven easy tips to hopefully ease the restlessness of lockdown – and put a positive spin on it!
GET VIRTUAL!
Social support is critical to our overall health and wellbeing and becomes particularly important during times of social isolation that occur during lock-down. While you can’t meet up for a drink with a friend – try and schedule virtual gatherings or even just regular check-ins on the phone. This applies to your colleagues as much as to your friends outside of work – so if you’re working remotely try and schedule more video meetings during this time to keep up the connection.

READ!
Reading is one of the best things to do to calm your mind, and it’s also one of the first hobbies we ‘lose’ and deprioritise when life gets in the way. Find a book or classic that you have always ‘wanted’ to get through – and challenge yourself to finish it during the next 7 days. Even better, challenge a few friends, set up a virtual book club and use it as a social connection opportunity as well! If you find it hard to read, another great option is downloading some audio books from Audible or other audio book providers. To really focus on the self-improvement opportunity of lockdown perhaps choose something by Deepak Chopra or Michael A Singer for starters.

MEDITATE
During times of stress and anxiety, medical experts agree that regular mediation can be beneficial and help calm the mind, and redirect negative thinking. Not to mention its impact on overall anxiety, sleep habits and health! There are plenty of free online resources on how to get started or check out https://www.wikihow.com/Meditate-for-Beginners

GET OUTDOORS AND RUN… OR WALK
One of the best things you can do during the lockdown is move! Exercising is key for our physical AND mental health, and with the current restrictions in place we hopefully all have a bit more time to devote to it. Dust off those runners and head out for a run – or even just a gentle walk. All movement is good! Just get outdoors and move.

DECLUTTER
While it seems like nearly everyone on Instagram did a Marie Kondo overhaul during Lockdowns 1, 2 and 3, if you haven’t then it might be time to put the next seven days to good use. Studies show if you’re living with a lot of clutter in your home, you’re generally more stressed with higher levels of stress hormones in your body. Pick one room to focus on for each day – and declutter!

MOVIE MARATHON
You might have think you had your fill of TV binge watching during lockdowns 1, 2 and 3 – but that’s what streaming services are for! There are lots of great lists online for the best new movies online to watch, and series to binge watch. Take out the time, make some popcorn and have a movie night or two.

PAMPER YOURSELF
One of the healthiest ways to ‘indulge’ during lockdown is by scheduling for yourself a pamper session. And you can get all the ingredients to do it from your chemist or supermarket! Lock yourself away for an hour or two – buy a good quality hydration mask from your chemist, have a warm bath and use body oil for a full body hydration treatment, and self-massage.

Remember, better health and wellbeing is about building better habits – so use lockdown to your benefit! 
 

7 Day at Home Workout


7 Day at Home Workout

7 Exercises, 7 Sets – Circuit Style  

Thanks to Haydn Moyes, Assistant Manager and Personal Trainer at The Sanctuary Health Club.

All of these exercises are easy, effective and require zero equipment! They can be tailored to suit your current fitness levels and the number of repetitions can be adjusted accordingly.

Perform each exercise in a circuit, one after the other:
  1. Squats – 10 x repetitions     
  2. Lunges (alternate between leading with left foot and right foot) – 10 x repetitions
  3. Push Ups (from toes or knees) – 10 x repetitions
  4. Sit Ups – 10 x repetitions
  5. Crunches – 10 x repetitions
  6. Leg Raises – 10 x repetitions
  7. Plank (30 second hold)
Exercise Benefits of exercise Muscles engaged
Squats Strengthens the core
Reduce risk of injury
Burns kilojoules
Strengthens the lower body muscles
Boosts athletic ability and strength
Gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius (buttocks)
Quadriceps (front of the thigh)
Hamstrings (back of the thigh)
Adductor (groin)
Hip flexors
Calves
Lunges Strengthens the lower body to build muscle and reduce fat
Balance and Stability
Alignment and symmetry
Stand taller
Abdominals
Back muscles
Gluteal muscles
Quadriceps
Hamstrings
Calves
Push Ups Build upper body strength Triceps
Pectorals
Shoulders
Sit Ups Core strengthening
Improved muscle mass
Athletic performance
Better balance and stability
Increased flexibility
Improved posture
Reduced risk of back pain and injury
Diaphragm strengthening
Upper and lower abdominals
Internal and external obliques
Iliopsoas (support the front of the hip join; part of the hip flexor)
Quadriceps (one of the four heads of the quadriceps, the large muscles of the front of the thigh)
Crunches Builds abs
Strengthens core
Improve lower back health
Prevent lower back injury
Upper abdominals
Leg raises Improves flexibility
Enhance balance and stability
Build your core
Abdominals
Obliques
Plank Helps metabolic rate
Helps with back pain
Core muscle stability
Strengthen the core
Improve muscle definition
Upper and lower abdominals
Back muscles
Shoulder muscles

MOVING MORE WITH RUNNING


MOVING MORE WITH RUNNING
 
Whether you’re looking for a way to get moving as the weather begins to improve or you’re seeking health benefits, running can be a great way to get you moving more. We’ve done the research for you and compiled some quick tips to help get you started.
 
Getting Started
 
It can be daunting to start running for the first time, but it’s best to bite the bullet and get moving. Don’t stress about pace or distance and start out setting a time goal, getting used to moving on your feet is the first step.
20 minutes, three times a week is a good start and you can gradually increase your days and time as your fitness improves.
 
The Run Walk Method
 
With a 20-minute target, focus on a few minutes of running and a period of walking, a good ratio to start with is three minutes on, one minute off. Feel free to adjust the ratios as you go and stick to whatever you are most comfortable with.
 
Warm Up and Cool Down
 
This is the best way to ease yourself in and out of your run.
 
A few reverse lunges, squats and high kicks and a few minutes of walking before taking off and then again once you finish up your run. If you have a foam roller, some rolling on your legs, quads and hamstrings after your run will do wonders for your recovery.
 
A good warm up not only gets the blood flowing to your muscles but brings your neuromuscular system up to speed and gets your brain telling your muscles how to contract.
 
Explore
 
For Victorians, the new 25km radius is exciting news! To keep it interesting and that motivation up, consider getting out and around places you may not have been before and keep those runs new and exciting. By running in different areas will also give you different terrain such as hills if you’re looking for a more intensive run.
 
Take Your Time
 
We all move at our own pace, so take your time to enjoy it! Once you’re comfortable to extend yourself by either the time you spend running or the amount of days running each week take the step, but only choose one. A general rule of thumb is only increasing your weekly time or distance by 10% from week to week, for example if this week you ran for 100 minutes total, only increase to 110 minutes the following week.
 
Find out what areas are within your 25km radius.
 
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE THROUGH MEDICARE

A BETTER WAY TO SLEEP


Sourced from Benestar - https://benestar.com/articles/forget-sheep-theres-better-way-sleep

The list of benefits for a great night’s sleep is so long, listening to them all would probably have the actual affect of making someone fall into a deep, satisfying sleep!
 
The frustrating thing is, knowing we need a good night’s sleep is one thing, but actually getting a good night’s sleep is quite another. And for many of us who struggle with getting a healthy, peaceful nightly sleep, the idea of counting sheep seems like a ridiculous suggestion that many of us have tried at least once at some point in our lives! The good news is, in this blog we focus solely on strategies aimed at helping you enjoy a really good sleep, and not one of them involves sheep.

Consistency of Tips and Practices is important
According to the National Sleep Foundation one of the most important things to remember about good sleep is consistency. Whatever the tips or strategies we choose to follow, the idea is that it should become routine or habit – and that requires patience and the understanding that the fix might not be a one-size fits all scenario.

Decide on a sleep schedule
If there’s one thing our body clock enjoys, it’s routine. By going to bed at the same time each evening and waking up at the same time every morning, we provide our body with a reliable schedule. And while the idea of sleeping on the weekend seems like a tantalizing idea, it’s probably not, because once our body adjusts to a consistent schedule it repays us through a reliable sleep, night after night.

Create a bedroom ritual 
A simple ritual to transition us from activity time towards sleep time can be as simple as reading a few pages of a book (one with printed words on a page, not a screen!) or the conscious decision to power down digital devices. According to Lisa Medalie, PsyD, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist at the University of Chicago, if there was one ritual to be singled out as an idea better than most, it would be putting away all screens for the night. “The light from the screen of your computer, tablet or phone is blue spectrum light, and it’s particularly dangerous because it tells the brain to stop secreting melatonin. Even a few minutes of exposure to it signals your brain to stay awake.”

The Exercise Effect
If we needed another positive reason to embark on a daily exercise routine, here it is! As little as ten minutes of aerobic activity such as brisk walking, jogging or cycling can have a fantastic impact on our sleep, especially when it comes to quality and duration. Exercise also packs a double bonus and reduces the risk of sleep disorders including sleep apnoea and busy leg syndrome. However, everyone is different, and while it used to be considered as over stimulation of the body to exercise later in the evening, experts at Sleep.org believe that assumption no longer applies to everybody. Whether it’s morning, afternoon, after work in the evening, what matters most is exercising - and doing it daily. 

No alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening
These stimulants are sleep disrupters. Ideally large meals should be consumed at least two hours before sleep time. In fact, a light snack around 45 minutes before sleep may take care of the ‘feeling hungry’ sleep inhibitor. Although the idea of a warm glass of milk before bed is considered something of an old wives tale, according to sleep and fatigue expert and director at Appleton Institute at Central Queensland University, Drew Dawson, there may be an element of truth to it.  He told Huffington Post, ‘The common thought is milk can help people fall asleep because it contains two substances which are known to be related to sleep and relaxation: the hormone melatonin and the amino acid tryptophan'. However it’s interesting to note Dawson also theorises that “It could be that it just takes you 10 minutes to make a cup of milk and by that time you're relaxed enough to fall asleep.”

Audit the Bedroom
We can almost hear you say ‘What?’

Believe it or not, there are plenty of things we can do to improve the physical environment we sleep in. Colours known as ‘cool colours’ are recommended for restful rooms in the home, such as the bedroom, and include greys and blues. Also if possible, avoid carpet in the bedroom and instead of an air refreshner, the experts on sleep.org suggest trying essential oils instead. One of the most interesting things to consider in the bedroom audit is the position of the bed, with the general consensus being that the bed should be positioned as far away from the door as possible. On the bed try and use natural fibre cotton sheets that promote air flow and breathability and importantly, comfortable pillows. It’s also worth noting that the life expectancy of a mattress is about 8 or 9 years – beyond that the mattress will begin to lose support and potentially become less comfortable. 

Remember, as a Crown employee you have access to Benestar services, including their BeneHub online resource for free!

To access, visit https://benestar.com/user/login if it’s your first time logging in use CRO as username and CRO01 as password.