It’s smack-dab in the middle of Wellness Week, y’all! Time to check in and see how you’re treating yourself — body and mind. Are you putting good, clean fuel into your body? Are you speaking kindly to yourself in the hallowed halls of your own head?
In honor of Wellness Week, I’ve put together a smattering of a few favorite tips, resources, and tools for being your best, healthiest self every day. Enjoy!
My #1 All-Time Favorite: Get moving!
There are so many ways to add more activity to your life. There are trainers out there for every conceivable need, schedule, and preference. Karen Schrier teaches super-intense Pilates-style workouts. At Pinnacle Fitness, certain classes offer childcare! MODO Fitness is an adaptable bootcamp that has a class AFTER work, instead of at the crack of dawn. Or you can get the whole family in on the action by signing up for a fun and casual race like Beat the Street for Little Feet, aka the Pete The Cat 5k. Remember that ANY activity counts — even a walk around the block in the longer daytime hours after dinner.
Choose organic — sometimes, and wisely.
There are pages I could write about the merits of organic food versus conventionally-grown. I’ll spare you the soapbox for now. I realize it’s not always practical or even possible to buy organic. Here’s my personal rule of thumb: if it’s an animal product or by-product, if it’s one of the so-called Dirty Dozen, or if it’s something we eat more than twice a week, it’s worth some extra effort and expense to get organic. Otherwise, I weigh the option like this: if only conventional is available, would I rather avoid this food completely OR eat it, figuring that the nutrients in this case outweigh the risks? (This generally means I’ll say yes to a vegetable and no to meats and/or junk food.)
Yes, it’s another reminder to work exercise in to every possible opportunity, every day. Stop taking the easy way out — don’t give in to the culture of convenience. You’ve surely heard the tip about parking far from the door, but there may be a few you haven’t yet considered.
You’ve heard the advice before, but have you actually TRIED it? The difference it makes is surprising. Even if you’re the only one who will ever see the journal, the simple act of recording what you eat and what exercise you get is eye-opening and motivating. There are tons of free resources online — FitDay, SparkPeople, and MyFitnessPal are just a few. Google “free online food exercise journal” and you’ll turn up plenty. Same goes for wearing a pedometer — even the most basic-basic model will truly get you moving more every day, just to see the numbers jump. Promise.
Take water breaks like your life depends on it — because, apparently, it does.
Oh, wait — this one is about exercise again. Imagine that. Are you picking up on a theme here? Yup, that’s how important it is to move your body. The American Cancer Society says that in a recent study, women who sat consistently for six hours or more daily were 34% more likely to die in the 11-year study period than those who took tiny walking breaks — regardless of the other activity in their daily lives. The antidote to early death: get up and walk around for a few minutes every half-hour. Simple, effective, life-saving. [There will be a lengthier analysis of this study in upcoming blog posts -- stay tuned.]
Make a fist.
That’s not a typo. Clench your fists when you need willpower. Staring down a box of doughnuts at your morning meeting? Make a fist and focus on how great it feels to put clean fuel in your body. Recent research shows that simply clenching your fist for a few seconds while gathering your resolve makes you more likely to stick to it. Go figure!
My #2 All-Time Favorite: Take care of yourself.
That goes without saying, right? But what I mean is to take extra care. Get a massage. Heal what’s hurting you. Get your head together. Find your happy place. There are so many wonderful resources available nowadays — kind and caring professionals to help you get the life you really want to live. From wellness provacateur Grace Quantock to holistic kicker Lindsey Tibesar; from nutrition, supplementation & lifestyle expert Carmel D’Arenzio to body image expert Kimberly Riggins; from rolfer Erin Herdina to root worker Bri Saussy; from yogi Tracy Matthews to healing expert Pamela LaBelle – you can find someone to address any need. Ask your friends. Ask me — I’m so grateful to know a ton of wonderful people who’d love nothing more than to help you.
These are just a few of the many, many ideas out there. Rest assured — more are coming your way soon! Happy Springtime — now get off your chair and go DO something!
How will you celebrate Wellness Week?