I don’t know about you, but I tend to re-evaluate my health and fitness routine whenever I fall off my health kick wagon.
Maybe I go a day too long without going to the gym, or maybe I overindulge a little too much one weekend.
Regardless, it got me to thinking about the ways I could be more proactive about feeling healthy — and acting it — every day.
Here’s your Ultimate Guide to being proactive with your health.
1. Eat right
It’s a no brainer, right? But did you know that the food (read: fuel) you put into your body is one of the biggest factors if you’re looking to lose weight or tone up? In fact, it’s even more important than exercise. So…
Get all the nutrients your body needs…and plenty of them.
There is plenty on the Internet about what mix of protein/carbs/veggies your body needs. Suffice it to say, that you can’t skimp on any of them!
Starving yourself will not give you the body you want.
It may feel like skipping meals will help you shed pounds; but in fact, it will do the opposite.
When you starve your body, it will actually go into starvation mode: and retain fat in order to prepare for (what it feels could be) harsh times ahead. Guess where that fat is stored? You guessed it…some major problem areas like your belly.
Watch your portions.
One of the best tips I’ve ever gotten diet-wise was portion control. Feel free to eat throughout the day (with 3 meals and 2-3 snacks), but watch how much you place on your plate!
2. Get plenty of exercise
Even when you’re eating right, it’s still important to incorporate exercise into your weekly routine. If not to keep your body fit, but also to keep your heart healthy!
Do exercise that you enjoy.
I enjoy things like weight training and doing classes like Bootcamp and Kickboxing, but also cardio activities like running and swimming. My parents get most of their exercise by gardening and working in the yard. Many of my friends enjoy doing Zumba classes or going for walks.
Make exercise something you enjoy, not that you dread!
Mix it up with cardio and weight training.
I recently read (and unfortunately the source escapes me) that you should get the same number of minutes of cardio exercise per week as you weigh.
For example, I weigh 125 pounds, so I need to get 2 hours and 5 minutes of cardio per week. To offset that, mix up your routine with weight lifting and other exercise, like yoga.
“Don’t have the time?” No problem.
Take 20 minutes and go for a walk or run a few miles, do this easy at-home workout, or hit the beach for a little bootcamp session. There’s no excuse for not clocking the exercise hours.
3. Drink plenty of water
Oh, oh, H2O! This is one of my naughtiest habits…I’m horrible at drinking water. How about you?
The basic mathematical equation is that (at the minimum) you should have half the amount of water to your weight. In other words, as a 125 lb. woman, I should drink at least 62.6 mL of water per day.
It being hot? That means more water.
Exercising? More aqua still.
Here are a few tips for getting in your water quota everyday.
Know what you like.
I’m a little weird; I like to drink warm – hot water. Since I do, I’ll drink a lot of tea. If you like to drink ice cold water, make sure you have – what else? – plenty of ice on hand!
It’s all about the vessel.
I’m a sucker for a great mug (since I like drinking hot things). On the go, though, I like to have a great big (BPA free!) travel water container. Planning ahead is a great way to make sure that you don’t end up dehydrated.
Drink before you eat.
Often, we’ll keep eating because we’re actually thirsty, not hungry. Combat this by drinking an entire glass of water before you eat a meal.
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4. Get plenty of sleep
As adults, we should be getting 7-8 hours of straight shut eye every night. Here’s how.
When you know you need to get up a certain time, make sure you count back to make sure that you have enough time to get in those 7-8 hours.
Know your bedtime routine
Does it take you a while to fall asleep? Do you have a routine before bed – put the kids to bed, have a glass of wine, get ready for the next day, take a shower? If so, make sure you account for this time as well.
Put down the electronics
Reading is ok, but watching TV or looking at your phone could prove to keep you up later or even force you to have worse sleep.
5. Take your vitamins
Many of the foods we eat don’t have enough of the good stuff our bodies need in order to function at their best. Start incorporating a multi-vitamin into your daily routine in order to make sure you get all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Already taking a multivitamin? Take it to the next level by taking supplements your specific body may need. Here are just a few of the general biggies:
- Vitamin D – perfect especially for this time of year when we don’t get as much sunshine. You’ll notice a difference in your mood almost immediately.
- Fish oil – great benefits for skin, hair, and nails.
- Probiotics – to supplement all of those good germs in our gut. This is especially important for those of us on antibiotics and for women, in general.
Bonus for being proactive with vitamins? You’ll probably find you get sick much less!
6. De-stress as much as possible
Know your body well enough to feel stress as it happens. That way, it won’t sneak up in the form of an anxiety attack or worse.
For example, I tend to get overwhelmed if I feel unorganized. So, I’ll take time nearly every day to do the dishes, plan out my work for the day, check my budget, and so on. It keeps me feeling organized.
Be proactive about de-stressing your body, as well. Doing yoga or walking on the beach are great ways to continually destress your body before you realize you have to.
Many people find that talking to people – whether it’s with friends or a counselor – is a great way to lessen stress and also solve issues.
With so many options, make sure you identify what healthy de-stressors work for you!
I hope you enjoyed this ultimate guide to creating a healthier you. Tell me what resonated and what you’re going to start with right now!