As we all head into the New Year we are all looking for ways to improve our health, fitness and general well-being. Today I have a guest post from personal trainer blogger Samantha Olivier. You can check out her blog: Ripped.me, of follow her on Twitter.
As we step into the first weeks of 2018, still recovering from the food fiestas of the holiday season, most of us are wondering if it’s at all possible to go back to, or start introducing healthier habits into our lives? And while the mocha cupcakes and eggnog make it almost impossible to think about broccoli and kale as the alternative that will ultimately make us happier, there are a few smaller, simpler ways you can sneak in some health into your day.
The goal will be to think and act in baby steps, because tiny little changes can make a tremendous difference in the long run, and instead of going cold turkey when it comes to your eating momentum and instantly hitting the gym (we all know that won’t work), you can make a huge change one small decision at a time!
If you’ve promised yourself to finally get off autopilot and be more present in the now, it doesn’t have to include a trip to a Tibetan monastery and a summer-long seclusion from the modern world. Although that’s not a bad idea at all. Start with ten minutes of breathing and mindful meditation when you wake up and before sleep – that will help you unwind, prepare for the day ahead and lower your cortisol levels.
One step at a time
Just like you can commit to ten-minute mindful intervals that will in time rewire your brain to be more present and calm at all times, include ten-minute walking session into every one of your days. It can be just a walk to the nearby store to pick up your groceries, or a portion of your travel to work, take your pick, as long as you keep active and keep increasing those ten minutes to become 30, an hour, and so on.
Sign up for a fitness class
It’s practically impossible to stick to a goal if you have no clear parameters to follow, and that goes for your fitness aspirations as well. So, find a nearby class you’d enjoy, pay in advance, look for comfy and stylish gym wear online to keep you motivated, and make exercise a part of your weekly schedule. You wouldn’t miss your dentist’s appointment, would you?
With your new levels of physical activity comes a greater need for improved hydration. In plain English, you’ll need to drink more water, and not rely solely on coffee and tea to muscle through the day. If you’re having a hard time monitoring your hydration, get an insulated water bottle and make sure to keep it by your side at all times. Or count in extra two glasses of water by starting your morning with lemon-infused lukewarm water on an empty belly, that can work as well.
Swap sweets with fruits…but not always
If chocolate-covered raisins are your deliciously guilty pleasure, or something equally devilish, you don’t have to give them up altogether if your health is not in jeopardy. Instead, swap them for fresh fruit salads, like a mix of apples, bananas and kiwis, sprinkle them with some dark chocolate and you’ll have one of your daily five and a dash of sweet. And if you want, eat your fresh fruit salad chocolate-free and then reward yourself with a Snickers bar. As long as you mind your wellbeing in general, an occasional indulgence is not a bad idea at all.
Ditch digital before bed
Every single article on healthy living encourages more sleep, and better sleeping habits. And ironically, you cannot change your sleeping habits overnight. It takes time and commitment, and while you’re doing your best, certain small adjustments can instantly improve the quality of your sleep. For instance, in the two hours before bedtime, stop using your phone, watching TV or staring at a screen of any sort. That way, you’ll give your body and mind some time to prepare.
One chapter every day
While we’re at it, a brilliant way to include a stress detox into your day is to read more, and you can do that just before bed, instead of reaching for your Instagram app to scroll aimlessly down into oblivion. Use this time to catch up on your favorite book, and it will simultaneously get your brain into sleep-mode, which will in turn improve your sleep and boost your creativity and focus for the upcoming day.
I hope you enjoyed this post from Samantha Olivier. Make sure you add your email and click the follow button at the top of the page to ensure you don’t miss any.
Thanks for reading.