Health and Wellness Today for a Better Tomorrow
by Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com
If your daily routine includes counting calories but not exercise, it may be time to shift your priorities. Health is not strictly defined by what we put into our bodies but is shaped through a combination of daily activities that include self-care and physical activity.
While you may argue that you simply don’t have time to exercise, the truth is that a fitness routine can easily fit into your day if you’re willing to make accommodations and tweak your schedule.
Motivation begins with mindset
The Huffington Post explains that the key to a healthy lifestyle is changing your mindset. For adults, we often cite a busy schedule as the reason we aren’t taking care of ourselves. But it should not be that way. In reality, the time spent now focusing on health and wellness will equate to a better quality of life later down the road. Taking care of yourself in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond may even extend your life by number of years.
Fitness is hiding in unexpected places
We will admit that it’s sometimes difficult to commit to a regimented gym-based workout. But you don’t have to go to the gym to sideline your sedentary ways. You can find exercise opportunities hidden in everyday activities. Plexus explains that there are plenty of opportunities to exercise even if you’re stuck behind a desk all day. Invest in a desk bike, take a walk around the office at lunch, or start taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Other ideas that combine fitness and recreation include swimming, hiking, and participating in league sports, the latter of which will also enhance your social life – another important facet in overall health. If you prefer guided exercise, there are numerous quick workouts. The main thing is to pick an activity you enjoy, otherwise you can tell yourself to do it but ultimately your lack of interest will overtake your mental motivation.
Here’s an interesting thing to consider, too: sleep is part of a healthy fitness routine. When you’re physically active, your body undergoes stress. Even though this is the good kind of stress, your muscles and soft tissue are still subject to tiny tears and fissures, which are necessary for healthy growth. When you sleep, your body has the opportunity to heal so that you can continue to be active. Harvard University also reports that getting enough sleep will keep your reflexes and response time sharp and may help circumvent anxiety and depression.
Diet plays a part, too
Another major player in your overall health and wellness routine is the food you eat. The old belief was that maintaining a healthy weight was simply a mathematical equation of calories in and calories out. While there’s some truth to that, it isn’t quite as simple. Your body needs the right kind of calories – the right kinds of food – in order to function properly. You can’t just watch the number of calories you consume. Think about it this way, a small bag of chips and a large banana are each approximately 120 calories. Your body can put the banana to use creating energy by utilizing its balance of carbohydrates, natural sugars, dietary fibers, and range of vitamins. Potato chips are a processed food weighed down by oil and saturated fats, which are more difficult to digest and can also make you feel sluggish and tired. Remember, food is fuel so stick to the best.
Diet, exercise, and self-care should be built into your daily schedule. If that seems difficult, consider getting up half an hour early each morning to knock a few chores off your schedule and pencil yourself in an hour of time devoted to building your body today for a healthier tomorrow.