Stretching improves your circulation, releases tension and increases energy levels.
Stretching improves your circulation, releases tension and increases energy levels. Think Stock

Wellness: Are you getting enough?

YOU'RE either for or against supplements, but I'm for. Unless you have a fresh, varied, low-chemical diet, with just the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, antioxidants, minerals and more, chances are you're not getting all the nutrients you need to stay well.

I take USANA, but I'd also recommend Lifestream, Blackmores, Ethical Nutrients, Swisse and some of the many quality brands now available in chemists and health food shops. Or, of course, you can always buy professional ranges such as Metagenics through a natural health practitioner.

I asked Sheila Zhou, a scientist at USANA, for her tips on staying well year round.

1.Take your shoes off inside. They often carry harmful residues, such as chemical pesticides, so when they are worn or brought inside they can expose us to damaging toxins.

2. Having a giggle is one of the best things you can do when it comes to staying healthy. Laughing alone boosts immunity, strengthens the heart, and improves lung function - along with numerous other healthy benefits. On a more long-term scale, laughter actually releases neuropeptides which help fight stress and potentially more serious illnesses, so the more you laugh the better.

3. Supplements, such as vitamin D, are simple and effective ways to ensure our immune system is able to ward off illnesses, and when consumed with a balanced diet, they make for a winning combination.

4. Exposure to cold water is known to increase metabolic rate. Once cold water hits your skin, it stimulates certain brain activities. Brief cold showers reduce production of serotonin and feeling of fatigue.

5. Changing up your workout routine is a great way to keep both your body and mind functioning at its best.

6. If intensive exercise routines aren't for you, never fear, stretching also goes a long way in keeping you safe from sickness. Not only does stretching prevent injury by lengthening your muscles and tendons, but it also improves your circulation, releases tension and increases energy levels.

Helen Hawkes is a life and wellness coach. Contact her through or on 0403 805 001.