These suggestions result in improved nutrition, basic exercises and guidelines to enhance the remedial effects of resting.

Michal Novotny, physiotherapist in the Spa Bahía del Duque, considered one of the best and most sought after physiotherapy and nutrition experts in the world,  has prepared a series of tips to help get the body and mind ready to go back to work after the summer holidays.

Exercise: In my opinion, it is important to dedicate one hour a day to exercise. For those who find it difficult to find an hour, they can split it in two 30 minute sessions throughout the day: a 20-30 minute run before breakfast is the ideal. I recommend having a cup of coffee before the run. Coffee is very beneficial provided it is taken correctly, and helps burn more fat. The second workout should be devoted to the abdominal muscles and the back area to prevent the spinal pain that we all tend to suffer, especially for those over 40.

Hydration: “We should start the day by drinking two cups of water in order to activate the kidneys. Water intake should change according to different factors, such as outside temperature, altitude, exercise, etc. To give it a slight taste and thus favour water intake we can add a lemon, cucumber or mint. The control of our hydration is by the colour of our urine, which should be a light yellow. If it is clear we are drinking too much water, and if it dark yellow we are not drinking enough. If we want to reduce the amount of food intake, I recommend drinking a glass of cold water before a meal. Furthermore, cold water increases the metabolism.

Sleep: Eight hours sleep a night is the ideal and it is best to go to bed at least an hour before midnight. A cherry juice or a banana before bed helps us sleep better. During the day, a nap is energizing as long as it’s no longer than 30 minutes (before entering the stage of deep sleep). Having a coffee before a nap is a good idea, as the effects of the caffeine begin about 30 minutes after drinking it.

Fruit: We should have at least three pieces of fruit a day. The Spanish custom of having fruit as a dessert is not a good idea. We should be eating a piece of fruit before every meal. Fruit helps prevent vitamin D deficiency, which is essential for the immune system to work correctly.

Work: If we spend too much time sitting down during our work day, we should get up and walk around or do some stretching every 30 minutes. This will reduce the risk of lumbar or cervical pain. If we are sitting, we should never cross our legs.

Rest: There are many kinds of meditation which help rest our mind. There are simple ways to meditate, such as listening intently to music, taking a warm bath, reading a relaxing book, etc.; the key aspects are, being alone and trying to not think about anything. Our mind needs at least 20 minutes of rest a day.

Shower: A cold shower as soon as we get up is toning and energizing for the body. Rafa Nadal has a cold shower before every match. A warm shower is recommended before going to bed. 

Mini Habits: Start adding mini-habits to your daily routine, such as doing 10 push ups every day, eating a fruit a day, stretching in the mornings and not drinking soft drink, etc. Gradually you will feel you need to increase these and you will lead a healthier life.