Six Life Hacks for Wellness

earbudmomLife hacks are a strategies or techniques adopted in order to manage your time and daily activities in a more efficient or more ingenious way. Here are six of our favorites, mostly because they’re so practical, so easy to do, and have such a great impact.

1. Eat an orange before your next workout or hike

Oranges are a quick energy source and are a a solid source of simple carbohydrates. They’re also packed with vitamin C, fiber, potassium and electrolytes. Research studies also suggest oranges are good for immune support and everything from protection against arthritis to preventing ulcers.

2. When you feel depressed, try housecleaning

There’s a link between depression and the amount of clutter in your home.  Researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) suggest a real-time relationship between clutter and self-esteem and mood, especially in females.  Apparently, the higher stress hormone levels (cortisol) produced by clutter and untidiness can build to unhealthy levels over time. Depression and bad energy all have something in common, they love clutter and thrive in it.

Clean surroundings help the mind get clean and focus.  It may seem hard, but even tackling a small closet will make you feel better. The physical exercise can release endorphins, which help your mood, and help you blow off steam. Want to accelerate the feeling you get after cleaning? Go for a massage. Massage therapy will help you continue the feeling of calmness and help work out any kinks you may have developed while cleaning.

3. Listening to music can increase the effectiveness of your exercise

Your heart rate may moderately follow the tempo of the music.  Active, up-tempo music increases muscle tension, which leads to increased strength and endurance. There are many studies backing this one up. Pop in those earbuds and get going!

4. Eat more healthy and look your age (or younger)

A recent study found that four behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and vegetables—can age you as much as 12 years! Bottom line, lose the microwave dinners completely and shop the perimeter of your supermarket–that’s where most of the healthy stuff is–then actively MOVE at least 30 minutes a day.

5. No screen time before bed

Don’t look now, but that smart phone, laptop or TV is actually driving a significant level of sleep deprivation. Research demonstrates that nighttime light exposure from screens can suppress melatonin production.  Melatonin is the hormone responsible for sleep and wake cycles.  A reduction in melatonin at night is associated with poor sleep, difficulty getting to sleep, and more.  Experts suggest giving up screen time for an hour before bed promotes better rest.

6. Sniff something, then play better

Aromatherapy before study or exercise can help you concentrate better. Pleasant aromas, like lavender, can help lower your blood pressure and calm you down.  Some aromas, like orange, clary sage and peppermint, have the opposite effect and make your senses keener. Researchers discovered in a study of MLB players that athletes had a higher batting average very time they sniffed a scented wrist band.  Their eye-hand coordination improved too.

So there you have it. Easy life hacks. Try 2 or more within the next two days, then book a massage to extend the goodness and you’ll be surprised at the change!