From superherbs and spice to smiling and sleeping – two local experts share five key health and fitness tips.

Megan May
Founder/ Owner
Little Bird Organics

Adaptogens and Superherbs. These super-herbs aren’t called adapt-ogens for no reason. They help improve the health of your adrenal system, the system in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress and enhance your ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue. Adaptogens have been used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Common adaptogens include Ginseng, Reishi, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Moringa and Cordyceps – try adding them to smoothies, hot chocolates, or your afternoon matcha latte.

Fermented foods. Adding fermented foods in to your diet is one of the best ways to improve your overall health: 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut, and thus a healthy gut means a healthy immune system. Fermented foods contain healthy gut friendly bacteria called probiotics that help kill off harmful bacteria and fungi.

Spice up your life. Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are nature’s anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal superheros. Try adding ground or fresh turmeric root and ginger root to smoothies, curries and soups, and ground cinnamon to smoothies, pancakes, porridge and basically anything sweet! Swap out your morning coffee for a little bird turmeric latte!

Ditch the processed sugar. Some of the not so obvious suspects include ketchup, mustard, salad dressings and other condiments. Making your own is a lot easier than you think; you can find recipes for our favourite wholefoods condiments on our website; littlebirdorganics.co.nz

Reset your body with a regular detox. Like the rest of your body, sometimes a little R&R is just what your kidney, liver and digestive system need after a hard week of stress, caffeine and alcohol. Try doing a juice cleanse with fresh organic cold-pressed juices, or a few days of a simple raw organic food diet, and supplement with herbal teas like the Artemis liver and kidney cleanse teas.

Stu Ross
Founder, Wellness Room
lululemon  athletica ambassador
wellnessroom.kiwi

Sleep. We all need it! Quality sleep helps our brain repair itself after a hard day at work and all the stimulation it receives from various screens. To get better quality sleep, turn your phone to airplane mode at least an hour before sleep. This stops those addictive little Instagram notifications coming through late at night.

Good nutrition. If we fuel our bodies on whole, fresh, non processed food with the right balance of energy- producing nutrients we get the most out of our brains and bodies! For me this is all whole fresh and mostly organic ingredients. I’m playing around with intermittent fasting at the moment, so not eating breakfast and having a Bulletproof coffee instead (high performance coffee drink that cains butter and coconut oil), then eating at 1pm and then at dinner time. The results: more consistent energy through the day.

Exercise. After a good night’s sleep and some nutritious food we are NOT supposed to then just sit at a desk all day. Get up and move! The consensus is 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise a day is all we need to maintain fitness and stay at a healthy level. The key is to move as much as you can throughout your day, even if it is having a stretch with your arms above your head every 30 mins to disrupt that nasty sitting position.

Meditation. Recently I’ve started meditating first thing in the morning, before I even get out of bed. This helps me clear my head from potential negative though processes, set my intention for the day and get on with the basics without being overloaded with yesterday’s internal to-do list! My days are generally more productive, calm and focussed. I use an app called Headspace.

Running. It’s good for your heart, your joints and your brain. It’s as easy as putting your running shoes on, heading out the door in your local area and doing 20-30 minutes of easy paced running with some short intervals of walking if you need to. For those starting out, try a free app I use with my clients called Couch to 5k (C25K). This is an 8 week programme to gradually build your running without getting injured!

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