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Guest post by Dana Brown
No matter how busy our schedules might be these days, putting aside time to focus on our health is not just important, it’s a necessity. One can survive without eating well, exercising, and relaxing, but one cannot truly thrive. If you are looking for ways to recommit to your health, both physically and mentally, here is what you need to know.
Often, we eat what is convenient, what tastes good, and what is fast. Without time to invest in cooking healthy meals, what else can we do? However, this can lead to issues such as obesity and depression. Mindful eating is one way to fight this behavior. Eating with intention can transform our relationship with food. Eat because you are hungry, not because you’re looking for a distraction or trying to fill an emotional void. You should choose food you like to eat, but also food that is good for your health. Part of this is learning how to stop eating when your body is satisfied, not when your plate is clean. Remind yourself that no matter how tasty your dish is, this is not your last time to enjoy it. You will eat it again, and there is no pressure to finish every crumb. By all means, eat the food you truly love -- just make sure you don’t overeat it.
No matter what, you should try to set aside time for yourself each day to unwind. Relaxing entails anything you find particularly soothing. It might mean sipping a cup of herbal tea while listening to calming music. Relaxation might mean treating yourself to an at-home spa day. You can get a face mask, or make one yourself since most require what many of us keep in our fridges. Turn off all of your technology; no phones, no tablets, no computers -- just time for yourself. Also, you might even try a hot rock massage. Anything healthy that you enjoy can be indulged as a way to let go of worries and stress.
Unfortunately, most American adults do not get the amount of physical activity we need to support good health. Inactivity can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even issues with mental health. Every week, we should engage in moderate exercise for about 2.5 hours. That’s anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes a day. If you are pressed for time, there are still ways to get your daily allotment in. One fantastic way to get your exercise done quickly is called interval training. It consists of short bursts of activity and giving that exercise 100 percent of yourself. It combines weight work and aerobics, which is great for your heart and health. You can also do more little things throughout your day. Park farther away from your work and do a little extra walking. Find time to do brief stints of exercise, such as squats while your shower heats up, or lunges while your dinner cooks. Every little bit adds up.
Commit to Sleep
Sleep is vital to our well-being, and you need more than you probably get. The average adult needs roughly seven to eight hours a night to stay on top of their health. When you don’t sleep well, you may find yourself feeling hungrier, tired, sick, and may have a difficult time focusing on any given task. Not only does this make it harder to work, but it also makes driving downright dangerous. If you curtail your sleep for extra time to work, socialize, or even exercise, you may be doing your mind and body a disservice. Instead, stick to a sleep schedule, not only to ensure you get eight hours but to help your body fall and stay asleep.
The importance of these things cannot be overstated. Eating well, sleeping enough, working out, and taking time to relax are all essentials to feeling great each day. Now is the best time to dedicate your days to yourself, and living your best life.
I'm a life coach in California. Contact me if you have any questions.