Body

5 health and fitness facts you need to know

Get inspired with these health, fitness and nutrition facts

Healthy woman
Get inspired with these health, fitness and nutrition facts

If you could wave a magic wand over your life, what would you want to improve?

While family and home likely come to mind, health and exercise is probably a big one too. In fact, in a recent Woman's Day survey, 17 per cent of Kiwi women said that if money was no issue, the area they would most like to improve on would be health and fitness.

Of course, with the busy lives we lead that's often easier said than done! If you're struggling to stick to your health goals this year, here are a few surprising tips, tricks and facts to file under the 'fitspiration' folder:

1. How much sleep do we really need?

Recent studies show that getting 7 hours of sleep a night can help contribute to better health, energy and brainpower throughout the day - so if trying for 8 or more seems impossible, why not aim for a healthy 7 instead?

2. Hydrate - and boost your metabolism

Studies have shown that sipping on cold water before a meal can help kick-start your metabolism, because the body burns extra kilojoules heating the water.

3. The link between weight lifting and memory

If you haven't yet been converted to lifting weights, this fact might just do the trick. According to US research, just 20 minutes of lifting weights can improve long-term memory by 10 per cent! Even better, it takes just two sessions for the benefits to start kicking in.

4. Easy ways to burn 1,000kJ

Spending 20 minutes in a brisk walk, an hour vacuuming or 90 minutes baking can all help you burn 1,000kJ (the equivalent of a slice of cheesecake or two glasses of wine) without the need for a gym!

5. Shortcut to happiness

Every time you smile, you're triggering the release of the 'happy hormone' serotonin, which helps with positive thinking. So when the going gets tough, just remember to grin and bear it!

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