Moving into the New Year, many look for ways to start getting serious again with everything they either need to stop (bad habits) and everything they need to do better (good habits). Here is a quick and easy motivator and mantra you can try to help you with maintaining discipline to be better at exercising, eating better (and less), sleeping better, and learning ways to mitigate stress:
Move More, Eat Less, Sleep Better, Less Stress
Move More - Get moving again with a beginner workout plan. Sometimes it is just a good idea to treat yourself like a beginner if you have taken too many months in between workouts. Even if moving more means walking, do it daily. If you cannot carve a 30-45 minute time block into your day, try breaking it up during the day into 10-15 minutes blocks that can be done after meals throughout the day or on a work break.
Eat Less – If weight loss is your goal, eating better foods is the number one goal, but eating smaller portions that you maybe used to is just as important. Reducing the daily intake of calories can be a tricky thing to do so do not starve yourself. Take note of all your foods and drinks you consume each day for a week, and figure out what you need to reduce (snacks, cookies, sugar drinks, etc).
Sleep Better – We have discussed the importance of sleep over the years, as well as the need for sleep to truly recover from hard workouts, stressful work days, and other stresses we encounter as humans. Learning to create a calm and soothing environment prior to bed time along with rituals / good habits to help you get even better over time with the number one recovery tool we have – SLEEP.
Less Stress – The three above elements of better health are critical to creating a way the body can naturally burn off, metabolize, and recover from stress. This will therefore make stress manageable and overflow into a complete physical, mental, or emotional breakdown. Learning the skills such as box breathing where you can INHALE for four seconds, hold for four seconds, EXHALE for four seconds, hold for four seconds. Repeat multiple times when feeling anxious, stressed out, and even before sleep.
Think of physical, mental, and emotional stresses of life on one side of a balance scale. On the other side of the balance scale is exercise, nutrition, and recovery / sleep. When any of these are out of whack the stress levels can increase to a point of where there is little to no recovery and the snow ball can get bigger and bigger until stress is chronic.
Good luck this year and take this opportunity for a start fresh and build good habits, break bad habits, and get disciplined doing the things that will undoubtedly make you feel better, perform better, and you may even see healthier blood screening numbers.
“Move more, eat less, sleep better, less stress” might just be the thing when spoken daily to help you when motivation is low to keep doing something that helps you move toward any or all of the elements of health.
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