Build positive habits and make self-care a priority
For most of us, modern life is a juggling act. Childcare, career, admin and social commitments jostle for space in our already bursting diaries. The result? We’re often left with little or no time for our best laid exercise goals. If fitness has slipped to the sleepy depths of your to-do list, it’s time to prioritise. The benefits of regular exercise are huge, including increased energy levels, improved mood and weight loss.
If you’re left with minimal time to work out, follow these practical tips to add more exercise into your day.
- Marginal gains. Brush your teeth standing in a squat position. Park or alight further away from work and power walk into the office. Take the stairs instead of lifts and escalators. Do ten burpees while waiting for the kettle to boil. Weave these kinds of movements into your everyday life and you should see a positive effect on your overall fitness.
- Plan, plan and plan some more. If you’re serious about getting in shape, don’t leave things to chance. It’s a fact that if you schedule time in for exercise, you are more likely to actually do it. Book a personal trainer session and stick it in your diary. Commit to a lunch time run with a colleague. Sign-up for an organised event so you have something to work towards. Make exercise a non-negotiable priority.
- Rope in your family and friends. Want to meet up with friends but desperate for some time to exercise? Suggest you get together for a hike or a climbing session. Visiting a relative but don’t fancy the idea of sitting down for hours? Head outside and meet them for a walk. It sounds obvious, but this way of thinking can really make a difference. Multi-tasking is an effective and fun way to maximise your precious time.
Balance Box specialises in healthy, delicious and perfectly portioned meals. Let us take care of your nutrition so you can take care of everything else.
What actually is an aphrodisiac?
Derived from the name Aphrodite – the Greek goddess of love – an aphrodisiac is a food, drink or substance that stimulates sexual desire.
But do aphrodisiacs really work or are they a fallacy?
As Valentine’s Day approaches, we thought we’d do a little research to see which foods have been scientifically proven to stimulate sexual desire and boost faded libidos.
You may be surprised to hear that many of the classic foods associated with inducing sexual appetite, such as champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, don’t contain any properties proven to stimulate libido. Still, don’t let this put you off serving them if you’re feeling in the mood to impress. Instead, why not supplement them with the foods linked to arousal and sexual performance listed below.
- Zinc is one of the best nutrients to help support a healthy reproductive system. It increases both testosterone levels and sperm count in males. This might be where the idea of oysters, steak and lobster came from as the ultimate Valentine’s Day meal – these foods are all high in zinc. Vegetarian foods bursting with this magical mineral include almonds, pumpkin seeds, lentils and chickpeas.
- Maca is a Peruvian plant that has become popular due to its hormonal balancing and libido enhancing properties. It’s easy to find in powder form and is a cinch to add to smoothies, soups, salad dressings and baking recipes.
- Ginseng is an herb that has been shown to increase energy levels. Assuming this heightened vigour is then used in the bedroom, it’s fair to say that ginseng is an indirect aphrodisiac. Used in Chinese medicine to promote blood flow and strength, ginseng has been claimed to improve erectile dysfunction. Take it as a tea or in powder form.
The key to an enhanced libido is to improve your energy levels holistically. As well as incorporating the above foods into your diet, make sure you eat a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables and carve out time for good quality sleep.
Superfoods are not magic bullets. The media love to label a constantly changing succession of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds as ‘super’, dazzling us with their powerful properties and nutritional jargon. We’re bombarded with messages like, ‘This one food will speed up weight loss!’ or ‘Eat more anthocyanins to prevent cancer!’ Claims like these can make nutrition a confusing game indeed.
But despite the impressive health benefits many plants provide, they won’t do anything for us in isolation. Eating processed foods everyday does not constitute a healthy diet if you sometimes snack on a handful of goji berries. Superfoods are not superheroes. They can’t rescue us if the rest of our intake is inadequate.
The unvarnished truth is that optimal nutrition is extremely complex and differs from person to person. If you eat a balanced diet containing a rich variety of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and limit your alcohol intake, you don’t need to obsess over the latest so-called superfood.
We prefer to think of ‘superplates’ rather than superfoods – so try and make sure every meal you have is bursting with nutrients.
At Balance Box, we pack up to 10 portions of fruit and vegetables into our client’s daily programme. And if we sneak in a few goji berries, it’s because we like the taste.