4 Ways to Treat Your Body Right
It’s 6am, the alarm is going off, and the last thing you want to do is leave your nice warm bed. The day ahead just doesn't seem worth getting up for. You get up anyways, struggle through the morning, and want to make a run back to bed by the early afternoon. We’ve all been there. But what if that wasn’t the way we were meant to function?
I’ve got news - it isn’t the way we’re supposed to function. Chances are if you’re feeling like this most of the time, your body and mind aren’t getting the proper care they deserve. So, how do you fix it? Googling ‘how to feel better’ will lead you down an endless rabbit hole that may be more overwhelming than helpful. So, I’ve compiled a “beginners” list of four ways you can start doing right by your body.
Eat Nutritiously. If you want to start with just one healthy habit, this is the one. Fueling our bodies properly sets us up for success in every other area of wellness. Now, I’m not saying you can never eat tacos or pizza - in fact, I personally enjoy these favorites a couple of times a month. What I’m saying is you can’t eat tacos and pizza every single day. Filling up on processed grains and sugar is a quick way to decline in health (and fade into the after lunch lull).
Try giving the 80/20 rule a go. 80 percent of the time eat clean, and 20 percent of the time treat yourself to something you would usually pass on, because, let’s be honest - it’s almost impossible to have an extremely strict sustainable diet. If you’ve found yourself off-track after winter, try heading to your local spring farmers market. Seeing a variety of the new fresh fruits and veggies in season can be inspiring - and it’ll help shake up your not-so-healthy comfort meals.
I also highly recommend seeing a nutritionist - they can help you figure out a long term plan that is right for your unique body.
Exercise Regularly. Don’t have a dog who forces you to take multiple walks a day? That’s ok, there are plenty of other reasons to get moving. For example, losing weight, boosting energy, and sleeping better. A simple way to start is by walking every day. If you fly a desk for a living, this is extremely important. Set aside 20-30 minutes of your lunch break to take a few laps around the building. You’ll notice that by starting off this way, soon you’ll be craving higher levels of activity that really get your heart rate up.
Too cold to go outside? A gym membership can be a great next step, especially for winter and early spring. You may be worried about lack of motivation, but trust me - few things are more motivating than money. If you find a health club with many amenities (hot tub, group classes, fancy coffee bar, etc.), chances are the monthly price will be higher than the Anytime Fitness down the street. But look at it this way - that hot tub and sauna will sure come in handy when it feels like (or is) negative 25 outside. To cut down on cost, try keeping your membership during the colder months and then utilize the great outdoors during summer!
If a generalized “gym” isn’t your thing, looking into alternative fitness studios like cycling or yoga might strike your fancy! Once you’re spending your hard earned cash to be healthy, chances are, you’ll want to take advantage of the facility you’re paying for. For an even cheaper fix, invest in an exercise mat and try a total body workout in the comfort of your home.
Do Fun Things. Spending time and money on what you love matters. Do you enjoy painting? Hiking? Going to the movie theater? Do more of it! A lot of the time, we feel too busy or strapped for cash to really “get out there” and enjoy ourselves. The cool thing is, fun things don’t have to take up a lot of time or money.
Sometimes, you may not even need to leave your house to have a good time. Homemade popcorn and a movie from Redbox will cost about $5. There are also plenty of cheap ways to enjoy the outdoors aside from a regular old walk - biking and electric scootering are my personal favorites when the weather is nice. In the winter, board games save my sanity! I suggest giving Catan a try (if you haven't already become obsessed).
Relax. I have two words for you - bath time. I don’t care if you wrestle crocodiles for a living - everyone can enjoy a nice hot bath at home (don’t try to deny it). But if baths really aren’t your favorite, try cozying up next to the fireplace with a cup of tea and a good book (or good music). Little beats that on a chilly spring night!
All things considered, there are many more ways to relax alongside heat inductions. Have you tried stretching every evening before bed? For those of you “yoga skeptics”, this is a great alternative to being discovered as inflexible in an awkward position. There are also many studies like this one that show how deep breathing enhances a relaxation response. This probably won’t come as a surprise, but many are even using apps like Calm to unwind.
We are designed to thrive while working. We are meant to be inspired while traveling. We were created as relational beings. Why not give your body the love it deserves to make the most out of life?