I enjoy the holidays, but to be honest, I’m relieved when they’re over. I love all the activity, family and friends, but after a few weeks I miss my routine. It’s happily upended by:
- hanging out with my college kids,
- eating big meals,
- running extra errands,
- attending parties,
- skipping exercise,
- getting up early,
- staying up late…
I purposely scaled back this year and had an epiphany:
The excitement and anticipation of the holidays wears me out!
Many of us make resolutions about health and fitness goals, but they’re among the first to be broken. What if we just added a couple of healthy habits to our routines?
You already know what to do: move more. But do you realize the benefits of stretching?
Depending on your fitness level, try a series of easy stretches. Increase as you’re comfortable but never stretch to the point of pain. A sustained stretch will increase range of motion, decrease pain, and improve your posture, circulation & flexibility.
This interesting Livestrong article explains some benefits of stretching.
You already know this, too: cut down on all things fried, sweetened, caffeinated, processed and carbonated. Think whole, fresh and lean.
Get plenty of it. Do things that help you relax, and do them earlier than normal. Take a shower, read a book, enjoy a warm drink, and turn off the television. Give your body time to wind down before you snuggle beneath the sheets.
(Ladies: start your routine AT LEAST 1 hour ahead. This will give you time to pick up whatever is in the floor, load the dishwasher, fold laundry, and lay out things for the next morning. We’re all familiar with how this works.)
You’re doing it, aren’t you? Good. Americans are a society of shallow breathers, which may contribute to our stress and health problems. The more oxygen you take in, the better your body will function to release toxins and speed healing.
The Benefit Of Breathing is another good Livestrong article.
Water comprises over 60% of our bodies and more than 70% of our brains. When we don’t drink enough water, headaches and fatigue follow. Unfortunately, many of us reach for a soda or coffee, which provide very little hydration. I’ve found it helpful to sip water throughout the day; however, my VERY BEST tip:
Drink 16-20 oz of water as soon as you wake up.
(That’s the size of a standard water bottle)
I keep it on the bathroom counter so it’s handy, and drink it at room temperature. (Research shows it’s more quickly absorbed.) I started doing this last year and it’s made a big difference in my alertness and energy level.
Livestrong (my new favorite site) has a list of articles explaining the benefits of various temperatures and infusions, as well as information about bottled vs boiled vs filtered, etc. Check out The Benefits Of Drinking Water.
Too many of us fail at our fitness resolutions because we set unrealistic goals. As you begin 2013, why not just add one or two healthy habits?
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you…
Therefore honor God with your body.”
~1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Lord has a good work for each of us, and He deserves a tip-top temple!