Hi friends! Happy 2018!
As we wrap up January, and contemplate our resolutions for the new year, I've got a few tips for making the most out of your health and fitness. (My YouTube video is at the end of this post-- I go MUCH deeper into these topics there).
1. SLEEP MORE: This one is tough! Studies show that a lack of sleep, not just quality but quantity, affects your health in serious ways. Even those of you who "don't need sleep," are affected in ways you don't feel until their cumulative effects catch up with you. Aim for an hour more sleep a night, but work up to it gradually. Start with 15 minutes earlier than normal-- lights out, tucked in-- and work up from there. Give yourself a break, especially if your sleep time is affected by others in the home, and make it happen when you can. You'll feel more refreshed, energized, you'll have a clearer mind, your moods will be more stable, and your immune system will be stronger. 7-8 hours is the goal for most adults. (Click HERE for my video on better sleep).
2. COOK AT HOME: Making meals at home is a fantastic way to control what food you're consuming. Assuming you're buying healthy ingredients, making meals from scratch is better for you than most restaurant fare (plus, it saves $$$). Aim to cook at home one more time a week, then work up to more. Could you go a week without eating out? Your waistline and wallet will thank you. (eMeals and RealPlans are two meal planning services I love).
More info: https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-a-livable-future/news-room/News-Releases/2014/Study-Suggests-Home-Cooking-Main-Ingredient-in-Healthier-Diet.html
3. DRINK MORE WATER: The goal is half your body weight in ounces of water every day. So if you weigh 200 lbs you would drink 100 ounces of water every day. I find that filling up my bottles the night before helps, so I always know how much I've consumed and how much further I need to go. **NOTE: Please use only stainless steel or glass containers as water bottles. Plastic (even BPA-free) contains estrogen-mimickers and other hormone disruptors. Best to keep those out of your body. (Click HERE for tips to make hydrating easier).
4. BREATHE/MEDITATE: We've talked about this before, but meditation and breathing exercises are a cheap, relatively easy way to decrease stress, moderate anxiety, increase creativity, and boost health. As little as 5 minutes, several times a week is shown to provide benefit. The goal is to work up to some form of meditation every day. (Click HERE for simple tips to get started meditating).
5. FAST: Going without food once in a while isn't necessarily disordered eating-- it can be a fantastic way to jump-start your metabolism and get the fat burning revved. Whether you fast once a week for 24-hours or once a month, or maybe you eat your first meal of the day at lunch and then stop eating at 7 or 8, all forms of fasting are beneficial. (Yes, skipping breakfast is okay, contrary to what we've been taught all these years). The key is not caloric restriction, but eating those same calories in a designated window of time. Every body is different, so experimenting with what's best for you is always key.
Here's my YouTube video where I talk about this stuff and more!
It makes me so happy hearing about the steps you're taking to love the body you live in! Thanks for your comments, questions, and support.