7 body hacks to make you feel amazing
From improving your sleep to removing your runner’s stitch, harnessing the power of a body hack can help you become happier and healthier.
Check out these tips for an easy energy boost.
Power pose to boost your confidence
Big interview? Take five minutes, stand tall, put your hands on your hips and hold a power pose. It may just increase your chance of success.
Power posing changes how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you. High power posing in particular is all about opening up – similar to how primates behave in the wild. Physically expanding your body will make you feel big, increasing your confidence and testosterone levels (the “dominance” hormone), while decreasing your cortisol levels (the “stress” hormone).
Turn down the temperature and heat up your metabolism
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, sleeping in a cool room may be the key to burning fat and increasing your metabolic rate. After sleeping in a temperature controlled room of 18 degrees Celsius for a period of four weeks, study participants had doubled their amounts of brown fat (which acts more like muscle, helping to burn fat) and were burning more calories throughout the day.
Although this is far from a weight loss solution, it can lead to improved glucose metabolism and an improved metabolic rate.
Improve your hearing
If you’re struggling to hear someone over overwhelmingly loud music, plug your left ear – it’s probably more focussed on the tunes.
As we’ve known for quite some time, the left and right hemispheres of your brain serve different purposes. While your left hemisphere is more focussed on getting the party started by tuning in on tones and music, your right ear is measurably better at processing speech.
Banish side pain when running
It’s happened to the best of us. Being a little too ambitious on your first run in weeks has now landed you in a world of pain and you’re cursing the dreaded side stitch. Get rid of it – fast.
If you’ve got side pain on your left hand side, slow down the pace and exhale as you strike the ground with your right foot (or vice-versa). By using the muscles of your diaphragm in sync with your opposite foot striking the ground, you exacerbate the muscles in spasm (the ones causing the stitch), releasing tension in your body. This is caused by the impact of your foot, travelling up the body and through your core.
Use cinnamon to improve your memory
Have an important work presentation coming up? You might want to keep a cinnamon stick in your pocket.
Simply smelling cinnamon enhances cognitive processing, and has been proven to improve humans attention, memory and visual-motor speed. Along with improving your memory, cinnamon also offers a number of additional health benefits, including lowering your cholesterol, reducing blood sugar levels and improving your blood circulation.
Keep yourself awake without caffeine
Ever wondered why a half hour of smartphone use before bed is proceeded by a long, sleepless night? You can thank blue light.
By exposing your eyes to more blue light (as opposed to green light), you supress your body’s production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. Exposure to blue light immediately improves your alertness and performance, acting as a powerful countermeasure against fatigue.
Reset your sleep cycle
Whether it’s a result of jet lag or a few nocturnal nights of shift work, being able to reset your sleep cycle can be tricky. Get back on track by adjusting your food intake.
By fasting for 16 hours before your breakfast, you can override your body’s sleep-wake cycle. For example, if you want to wake up at 7.00am for breakfast, stop eating at around 3.00pm the previous afternoon.
If you can’t hold off for 16 hours, we totally understand – although 16 is the magic number, 12 hours will also do.