1 Stand up: Whenever you talk on the phone, get up off your backside. By standing just one extra hour over the course of the day, an average 80kg man will burn 90 more calories, according to calculations in the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.
2 Skip like Rocky: Skipping for 10 minutes is the equivalent of going jogging for 30, so if you’re short on time get the rope out. Even with all the high-tech equipment available to them, boxers still training with a jump rope in addition to the aerobic exercise.
3 Games are better than television: Researchers at Beth Israel Medical Centre in New York discovered that playing video games improves performance in situations requiring precise hand-eye coordination. Gaming also releases dopamine, which was found to develop neural pathways from the brain to the hands. It’s also a great stress buster to mow down hoards of Nazis in Call Of Duty: World At War.
4 Use mouthwash: Rinse your mouth with something like the alcohol-free Dentyl. It will reduce oral bacteria, which in turn significantly decreases your risk of a heart attack, according to researchers at the University of Buffalo. It will also stop your mouth smelling like a blocked drain.
5 Wear flip flops: Damp gym changing room floors are not the healthiest of places and spread athlete’s foot over 10 times faster than dry surfaces. Wearing flip flops into the shower protects you from picking up one of the most irritating of afflictions.
6 Have a shot of wheatgrass: Just 1oz of wheatgrass juice is said to contain the same amount of nutrients as 2.5lb of green vegetables. It tastes rank, but you get your green goodness in one blast and then it’s over.
7 Vitamin A: Vitamin A is essential to combat sun damage to you skin, which is prevalent all year round in Bahrain, so give your skin a top up. Raw carrots, peas, mango, turnips, spinach, raw peppers and liver are a great source of vitamin A. But don’t overdo it, too much can be dangerous. In fact, the liver of the polar bear contains enough vitamin A to kill a human, although we’re guessing it’s unlikely you’d order one in a restaurant.
8 Get steaming: Boiled vegetables lose a lot of their water-soluble vitamins to the cooking water. Steaming vegetables helps keep the vitamins intact. These include the eight B vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folate, biotin and antothenic acid, as well as vitamin C. Water-soluble vitamins are more common in fruits, vegetables and grains.
9 Clean your desk: A study at the University of Arizona found that the average desk at work is contaminated with bacteria. Telephones contain over 25,000 microbes per square inch, while keyboards have just over 3,000 and your computer mouse has around 1,600. They greatly increase you risk of illness, especially if you eat your lunch al desko. Get some disinfecting wipes and kill the germs.
10 Use stall one: After testing over 50 public toilets, researchers found that the stall nearest to the door consistently had the lowest bacteria levels. The reason is people tend to go as far from the door as possible for privacy, but the increased numbers mean that the stall furthest from the door is more frequently used and therefore less clean.
11 Eat blueberries: Blueberries are nature’s finest antioxidant and help with everything from protecting the brain from oxidative stress to blocking metabolic pathways that lead to cancer. They also contain pterostilbene, which also triggers cells that then break down fat and cholesterol.
12 Drink cranberry juice: University of Scranton scientists found that volunteers who drank three glasses a day for a month increased their HDL-cholesterol levels by 10 per cent. Buy quality juice that’s at least one quarter cranberry.
13 Ditch diet drinks: Diet Coke contains aspartame. A survey of 166 aspartame studies found that 74 of them had NutraSweet industry-related funding and 92 were independently funded. 100 per cent of the funded research attested to aspartame’s safety, whereas 92 per cent of the independently-funded research identified a problem. Funny that.
14 Watch a scary film: Anything that causes your heart to race is good for you, according to researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre. They say that upsetting the rhythm once in a while is like hitting your heart’s reset button, and helps it keep on ticking.
15 Measure your steps: Get a pedometer, put it on and see how many steps you’re taking in a day. You should be aiming for 10,000, so try again the next week and see if you can add steps by taking stairs instead of lifts, then find more ways to add steps.
16 Exercise in the morning: If you are going to exercise, do it in the morning, as research shows that fat is burned 300 times faster. Your body’s carbohydrate levels drop when you sleep, so exercising in this state forces your body to dip into fat reserves for energy.
17 Cold water starter: Drink a glass of cold water first thing in the morning as soon as you get up. This kick starts your metabolism that has been working a lot slower while you were sleeping. Your body will instantly start working to warm you up after injesting ice cold liquid.
18 Go cold: This one may sound a little painful, but it’s worth it. At the end of your post-gym shower, turn the temperature to cold for an icy blast that helps to flush lactic acid out of your muscles and make you recover faster.
19 Get popping: Having popcorn as a snack instead of crisps or chocolate is a far better alternative. Get a popcorn maker and make your own as it’s quick, cheap, fat-free, sugar free, low in calories and contains no artificial additives.
20 Stay up late: Too much sleep can reduce life expectancy, according to a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry, which claims that people who sleep more than eight hours per night have a significantly higher death rate than people who sleep between six and seven hours per night.