Health & Fitness

Health news: Get healthy with minimal effort

ImaxTree.com Author: Elle Canada Credits: ImaxTree.com

Health & Fitness

Health news: Get healthy with minimal effort

Juggling act
We all feel more efficient, competent, productive and, frankly, like we are killing it on the job when we simultaneously manage emails, phone calls and interviews and check things off our to-do lists.

The catch with this seemingly flawless routine is that there is no such thing as multi-tasking-juggling too many things at once makes you less competent, not more.

Psychology Today reports that what people typically refer to as multi-tasking (which is only possible if two conditions are met: The tasks involve different types of brain processes, and at least one of the tasks is so well learned that it's automatic, like walking or eating) is more accurately described as "task changing."

The problem with task changing is that your brain never fully learns to master any one skill, so you are more likely to make mistakes, remember less information and accomplish fewer tasks in an allotted time period than people who focus on one thing at a time.

Take-away: Single-mindedness is the key to competency, so mute your cell and stay clear of theoutnet.com while you're finishing your report.

Bare minimum
Fitting your spin class into your timetable is as complicated as scheduling your post-Fashion Week social calendar. Streamline your workout routine by adopting the non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT ) method.

Described as the act of burning calories through everyday movements (think dashing to a meeting or teetering on high heels at cocktail hour), it allows you to account for anywhere from 15 percent to over 50 percent of your daily energy expenditure.

Studies done by the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology found that NEAT could mean a difference of up to 2,000 burned calories a day between two people of a similar size.

Consider that, depending on individual size and pace, a half-hour on the treadmill burns approximately 400 calories. Given the choice between the stairs or the Stairmaster, we'll pare down and go with the NEAT option.

SPRING FITNESS: Spring clean your body the Victoria's Secret way

3 NEAT ways to burn 100 calories
1. Chat with your girlfriends about The Bachelor outcome while pacing back and forth for 26 minutes.
2. Take your boyfriend's dog for a 23-minute walk around the block.
3. Scour the mall (while toting your 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli satchel) for the best spring sales (only 19 minutes!).

Snack time
Simplify snack time with these Canadian gluten-free, vegan-friendly protein bars. At only around 150 calories each, they come in an array of delicious flavours (like coconut with lemon or chocolate raspberry) and have a low glycemic index.

Simply Whey Protein Bars ($32.25 for a case of 15, wellnessfoods.ca)

Balanced position
Forget complex meal plans with unyielding rules that force you to become a hermit incapable of social interaction. The Honestly Healthy Alkaline Programme, the latest diet craze to sweep Hollywood - with A-listers like Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow already on board - is simple and easy to follow.

The program focuses on keeping the body's pH level between 7.35 and 7.45; having an alkalinity within this "optimal range" has been linked to reduced instances of many conditions (including inflammation, heart disease and diabetes) as well as boosting your metabolism and energy levels.

While stocking up on fruits and vegetables is a great way to maintain your alkalinity, the B.C.-based company Santevia converts tap water to alkaline water to jack up your body's pH levels without any restrictive dietary guidelines. Drink up!

Read more:
Orthorexia: How eating healthy can lead to an eating disorder

ELLE body: How to get sexy shoulders

ELLE's workout playlists!

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Health & Fitness

Health news: Get healthy with minimal effort