Habits for Healthier Living
Returning to the Daily Grind
With the world returning to a semblance of normal after being shut down for what felt like a lifetime, every day might bring a new set of challenges. Those challenges are so overwhelming at times that your health and wellness may fall by the wayside.
Perhaps you've noticed that you seem to find yourself a member of the convenience store lunch club, or a connoisseur of drive-through meal deals and dollar menus. The amount of sleep we get, foods and liquids we put in our bodies, and the physical movement we do every day all affect our health and how we feel. Here are some small things you can do to improve your overall wellness.
Meal Planning for Better Nutrition
Meal Planning is a simple way to save time, money, and calories. Yes, it does take a bit of time in the beginning. However, once you get the hang of the planning and prepping process, you can prepare the exact amount that you will eat for the week or the next few days. Preparation will be so easy you'll ask yourself why you did not do this sooner.
On your health journey, you may have logged your food on an app on your phone or kept a food journal. For many, being reminded of their nutritional downfalls in black and white daily is not appealing. By meal planning, you can add those calories up in advance since you will know exactly what your nutrition looks like for that day.
Imagine you've slept through your alarm, and one or more of your children are not being the angels that you told the neighbors they were, and the youngest one has a barbie brush so tangled in her hair you are afraid you are going to have to use an entire bottle of your best conditioner to get it out. To top it off, you need to get yourself ready for work. In all that mess, the one thing you don't have to worry about is packing your lunch. That task is already done. Boom, look at you go! One less thing to worry about.
More Water Less Caffeine
A sizable portion of the U.S. population would say that they can't even function in the mornings until their second or third cup of coffee or until they get halfway through that thirty-two-ounce soda. The Mayo Clinic reports that too much caffeine can cause detrimental effects to your body like digestive issues, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and fatigue.
How About Some Sleep?
Some of you might even be asking what is sleep? You've heard of it, but the concept escapes you completely. Your lack of sleep may be a direct result of too much caffeine. You’ve been extremely tired all day, but as soon as your head hits the pillow, your mind runs into overtime and won’t allow an ounce of rest.
Not getting enough sleep can result in mind and body repercussions such as poor problem-solving skills, poor appetite control, and weight gain. Are you having problems concentrating and maintaining focus at work or school? Both are results of poor sleep or lack of sleep. If you work out and use pre-workout powders, try getting more sleep and leaving the pre-workout for a later time. Make a plan, set a time, turn off all your electronics, put your phone on silent, set your alarm, and get ready to drift off to dreamland.
Move That Body
How many times have you heard someone refer to themselves as "being chained to their desks”? Sitting or staying stationary too long can have serious negative effects on our bodies. The Mayo Clinic reports that sitting too long can cause obesity, fat gain around the midriff area, higher blood pressure, and higher levels of blood sugar than normal.
The benefits of exercise are endless. Exercise and physical movement have been used to alleviate symptoms associated with depression, grief issues, personality disorders, addiction issues, and stress. Exercise and physical movement can also help lighten a bad mood and improve self-esteem. Individuals that start their day out with exercise report that they have better concentration, focus, and an overall improved mood.
Exercise does not have to be a strenuous activity that will make you cry or not be able to walk right the next day. It can be as simple as walking your dog or doing yoga. There are many workouts and workout formats on YouTube and other apps that benefit those working out at home. No motivation to work out at home? No problem, call your friends and family. Either someone will want to join you, or you'll talk someone into working out with you once they hear you say that exercise is a great tool for healthier living.
In these demanding times of appointments, activities, and adjustments, it is hard to make any time for ourselves. Commit to one activity a day that benefits your physical health. Eat an apple instead of drinking that soda. Park your car as far away from the building as you can and get more steps in or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Record your favorite show and watch it as a reward to yourself for getting all those steps in and eating healthy for the day. Have you tried every diet yet you can’t stop losing and gaining the same twenty pounds? It is okay to ask for help when it comes to learning new ways to look at nutrition. At Achieve Medical Center, we provide comprehensive and compassionate wellness services to children, adolescents, and adults. If you are struggling on your weight loss journey, Achieve Medical Center has the tools and experience to help.