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How many little things do you do during your day because they’re good for you? Of course, eating a balanced diet, moving your body regularly and getting enough sleep are the cornerstones of good health – but what about the rituals, the habits that you have in the name of health?

Lemon Water A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Seems pretty obvious right? Water, always good for you. Water, with the added benefit of lemon – even better! Yes, there are obvious benefits to starting you day with a warm glass of water and lemon, namely hydration and a hit of vitamin C. A warm glass of water and lemon can also stimulate your digestive system by encouraging the production of bile, an acid required for effective digestion. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in this case. The acidity of the lemon water can cause the erosion of tooth enamel – so it’s really not great for your pearly whites. If lemon water is a non-negotiable part of your day, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards. Some people also report experiencing indigestion when drinking lemon water, so if this is the case for you – steer clear.

Eight Glasses or Bust

I don’t know about you, but to be honest – to me, eight glasses of water every day seems like quite a lot. Who came up with the golden figure of eight – and why? There are multiple theories as to how the 8-glasses-per-day guidelines came about. But we don’t need to give credit here, there isn’t actually any credit due when it comes to this rule. Studies have shown that you don’t strictly need to drink eight glasses of water daily. As humans, we have a very handy instinct to guide our water intake – that being thirst. Logically, our water intake requirements will change each day depending on our activity levels, the environment and even the other food and beverages we’ve consumed. In this instance, throw the rule out the window and be guided by common sense.

Breakfast of Champions

Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? In a word – absolutely. If there’s one thing you can do for your health, it’s consistently kick-starting your day with a healthy breakfast. Breakfast provides us with the energy we need to power through the day. It also fires up the metabolism and replaces your body’s energy stores. Of course, not all breakfast is created equal. A healthy breakfast should include protein, wholegrain and fruit and vegetable sources. Think poached eggs on multigrain toast, or natural yoghurt topped with muesli and fruit. Smoothies are a great on-the-go option to pack to the brim with fruit and vegetables, plus protein powder for an extra nutritional punch. Wholegrain cereals are also a great option if you’re looking for something quick and easy. Do not skimp when it comes to breakfast!

Sitting is the New Smoking

You may have heard the ominous phrase being thrown around – ‘sitting is the new smoking’. But can this really be true? If so, why aren’t our desk chairs covered in warning labels in the same way cigarette packets are? A sedentary lifestyle has never served anyone, with a lack of activity being attributed to the development of everything from varicose veins to weight gain, hip, back and neck problems and even more serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Scarily, the Australian Health Survey of 2011-2012 found that almost 70% of Australians can be classed as sedentary or having low levels of physical activity. The Australian Guidelines for Physical Activity suggest that adults should accumulate between 2½ and 5 hours of moderate intensity exercise or 1¼ to 2½ hours vigorous exercise over the course of a week (or a combination of both). Do yourself a favour – get up and get moving. A walk around the block, a walking meeting, perhaps a swim at the local pool or beach; find what works for you and stick to it.

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Intended as general advice only. Consult your health care professional to discuss any specific concerns.

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