The beginning of each year often inspires us to make healthy life changes that will shape us to be the best versions of ourselves. The first week of January is usually off to a good start, then the middle of the month rolls around. Cold weather (in the Midwest) stirs up a lack of motivation and a general feeling of "blah", making it hard to get moving. However, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make to combat the cold, grey weather, and to feel like a million bucks. Read on to see some of our favorite ways to stay happy and healthy during this time of year.
- Drink filtered, alkaline, or spring water throughout each day - The feeling of fatigue and sluggishness can often times be a sign of dehydration. It’s recommended that you drink 8 glasses of water per day. This may seem like a lot, but once you incorporate this amount of water into your diet, you’ll begin to crave it.
- Start each day with a glass of warm water & lemon - Drinking warm water with lemon, upon waking, flushes your system and gets your digestive system moving. Not to mention, lemon is super refreshing and a great way to start your day. We like to drink water with lemon before coffee and even before we brush our teeth.
- Eat fruits & vegetables that are in
season - Right now, citrus fruits are at the
height of their season! Citrus
fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, & mandarins are warm in color which can boost our moods and bring some much needed vibrancy in these gray times.
- Incorporate healthy fats into your diet - Eating an avocado or having a handful of nuts, that are rich in good fats, not only tastes good, but keep you full longer. When your appetite is satisfied, you’re less likely to reach for processed foods that will leave you feeling crummy later on.
- Walk it out - Walking during the cold months doesn’t have
to leave you feeling like a human icicle. Many gyms and workout facilities, with indoor tracks, offer discounted
memberships for people that just want to walk. Check out your local YMCA or fitness club to see if they have a walking
membership. You can get a fantastic
walking workout at your local mall. Or,
join a walking club in your community and meet like-minded individuals who are
interested in similar types of exercise.
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- Do strength training exercises that don't require weights - Working out doesn’t have to be done in a gym. Lunges, planks, squats, push-ups, chairs dips, jumping jacks, etc. don’t require any weights other than your own body. There are fantastic online resources that will teach you how to do these result-producing exercises in the comfort of your own home.
- Yoga & Pilates - Again, there are a ton of FREE online resources for yoga & Pilates. Yoga focuses on poses and meditation while Pilates strengthens your core. Both are wonderful ways to feel strong and of sound mind.
- Stretch upon waking and before going to sleep - Stretching may seem simple, but it greatly benefits your body by releasing muscle tension, relaxing your body, and improving circulation by increasing blood flow.
- Practice mindfulness - Simply put, mindfulness is the process of bringing yourself to be in the present moment. When we draw our attention to the present moment, we are not able to focus on worrying about what lingers in our future or what may have happened in the past. Practicing mindfulness can bring peace and harmony to our minds and bodies. Ways to practice mindfulness include meditation, paying attention to your breathing, and taking a walk in nature while observing your beautiful surroundings.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator - This is a no-brainer, but it can have a great impact on the way you feel. Taking the stairs gets your blood flowing and exercises your heart.
- Cut down on screen time - Computers and cell phones are an integral part of everyday life. Without them we would be lost. However, it’s important to “unplug” from these devices for our eyes, our brains, and for the sake of interacting with other human beings.
- Read a book - Put the phone down and read a book! Exercise your noggin and read some
thought-provoking literature. There are
still brick and mortar bookstores out there, so let’s support them. There’s nothing better than getting lost in a good book!
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- Make sleep a priority - Getting enough sleep is one of the most important ways you can take care of yourself. Every single person needs sleep, it's just a matter of finding how much sleep is crucial for your body. When we're well-rested, we're better at performing everyday tasks. Eliminating sugar before bed, using an essential oil diffuser, cutting down on screen time, and drinking tea are four ways that can help you get a good night of sleep.
Feeling good is important because when we feel better, we do better. Let’s make 2018 a happy, healthy, loving time to be alive. Ask a friend or relative if they want to make healthy lifestyle changes with you and then hold each other accountable. Getting on track is more fun with a buddy, anyways. Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!