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Health

Your Ultimate Weekend Recharge

EXERCISE

Put the cares of the world behind you in just two days

We took one for the team with a stay at the Golden Door health retreat in NSW’s Hunter Valley (goldendoor. com.au), so we could give you the inside word on creating your own R&R weekend at home. Time to listen up, then power down.

SHUT-EYE

What we did Kept farmers’ hours: tucked in by 10pm, then up with the chooks. What you can do On Saturdays and Sundays, climb out of bed within an hour or two of sunrise. Sleeping an extra three hours on weekend mornings compared with your weekday routine messes with your circadian rhythm, making you feel more whacked the following week, found Flinders University research. Got a sleep debt? Repay it by going to bed a little earlier and rising just a little later over the weekend, advises Professor David Hillman, from the Sydney-based Sleep Health Foundation. Nothing wrong with an afternoon nap, either.

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FOOD

What we ate & Drank No red meat, no sugar, no salt, no caffeine. What you can eat Load up on fish, grilled chicken, nuts, veg and herbal tea, says GD’s executive chef David Hunter. “We get dependent on certain foods, but cutting them out for even a few days gets you thinking about what you’re eating.” It can also clear your system of chemicals that are clogging it up. Make dinner your lightest meal with minimum carbs and eat it early – before 7pm – so it’s digested before bed. “Kilojoules you consume at night aren’t processed as well as the ones you ingest during the day,” says Hunter.

MOOD

HOW We found our happy place Took yoga and breathing classes from an enlightened soul. How you can find yours Breathe better. You take about 23,000 breaths a day, but they’re mostly too shallow. Meanwhile, constantly sucking

in your gut in a misguided quest for good posture inhibits the diaphragm and tells your nervous system you’re on edge. “Twelve long, deep breaths is the minimum number it takes to shift stress,” says Coren. Try this: let your belly hang loose, breathe in naturally, pause, then exhale as slowly and smoothly as you can. Repeat 12 times. You can do this anywhere, anytime, to relax when your mind is racing.

ENERGY

How we rejuvenated Massage. How you can DIY rubdowns can have the same revitalising benefits as a Swedish massage from a professional, says Jade Williams, from Alkaline Spa & Clinic. “Give yourself a neck massage for a few minutes every hour,” she says. Placing your hands on either side of the base of your skull, use the tips of your fingers to massage the area. Then lightly rub around your brow bone. For body aches, “hammer out the kinks by gently thumping your legs and arms, then around your torso”, she adds. You’ll feel as good as new.

Words: Cassie White; photography: masterfile.com

How we moved Went bushwalking before breakfast, come sleet or snow. How you can move There’s no need to channel Bear Grylls – just break from your gym routine occasionally and get moving outside before breakfast. You can blast 20 per cent more kilojoules exercising outdoors because your body uses extra energy keeping warm, reports the University of Essex. “We didn’t evolve to run on treadmills,” says Geraldine Coren, Golden Door’s yoga instructor and weekend program manager. “We’re supposed to move in natural ways and being outside promotes functional movement.”


PB Health: Your Ultimate Weekend Recharge