Friday, December 23, 2011

Five Things To Do Everyday

When it comes to day to day life, I find that many people are willing to factor in everything from work to family stuff to socializing, except health. But living a healthy life isn't something that will just happen. You have to make a conscious effort everyday. And hopefully, those efforts will soon turn into habits and you'll find yourself doing them without thinking. I make an effort to do a number of small things related to my health everyday. I find that doing these things daily not only brightens my day or/and attitude, but also keeps me wanting to make better decisions for my body and mind overall. 

                                                                                    Get moving
Me running my first race. 
When it comes to working out, my philosophy is of the 'do what you can' sort. I don't believe the gym is right or realistic for everyone. Some people I know love it and need that sort of discipline. Others wouldn't be caught dead in one. The are lots of ways you can get active. Yesterday I wasn't able to find a cab for almost a half hour, so I just started walking in the direction I was supposed to go. Frustrated, I kept looking back over my shoulder to see if a free cab was approaching. Then, I decided that I would give up on looking for a cab and just walk the distance (it was about another half hour) instead. I hadn't had a chance to work out that day anyway, and this way, I got some much needed activity into my day. Point is, you don't necessarily have to go to a class or yoga or whatever; there are ways to move more on a daily basis. When the opportunity presents itself, take it. I could very well have just stood there, waiting, angry, and missed out on a nice easy workout. If all you can do is some lunges or crunches in your office, do it. On those lazy days when you can't get out of bed, trick yourself. I say, 'okay, just do 10 minutes, then you can stop'. Often by the time I reach 10 minutes, I find myself wanting to do more. 

  Hug someone
It has been proven time and again how important physical contact is to our well-being. There are days in New York when I'm home alone all day cooking or working and by the evening, I find myself in a funk. Then I'll head over to my friend's house, give them a hug and spend the evening catching up. I am someone who needs physical contact, and I don't mean it in the way you think. I am always putting my arms around my friends or touching their arms or whatever. This sounds super weird written down but the point I'm trying to make is that it's important to have contact with people. And I think hugging is seriously underrated. A fun fact: a hug that lasts under 6 seconds doesn't allow you to reap the awesome, healing properties that one more than 6 seconds does. So hug a little longer than seems normal; not uncomfortably so, but you know what I mean. 

Photo credit.
Drink green tea
I try to drink a mug of green tea everyday. Now I'm a major coffee person. It's how I start my mornings and how I end my dinners (with a caffeine-free espresso). I love coffee, and yes it has many heart-healthy properties, but green tea is a nutritional powerhouse. It has powerful antioxidants, is good for your heart, helps you control your weight, wards off diabetes (Type 2), helps you control your blood sugar and much more. If you don't like the taste, try a different kind. There are lots of different blends to choose from and it just might be a matter of finding the right one (I like Mint Green Tea). You'll be doing your body a favor. 

Eat your fruits and veg
There's really no way around this one. Eat your damn fruits and veg! Whatever it takes, whatever you have to say to yourself to make this happen, do it. Add half a grapefruit to your breakfast routine, add some sautéed spinach or mushrooms to your morning eggs, throw an apple in your purse for a mid-afternoon snack, slice up a delicious kiwi onto your ice-cream or yogurt after dinner, keep crudite in the fridge to munch on in between meals. Today I found that by lunch, I hadn't had any fruit yet, so I capped off my veg-heavy lunch with an apple. I didn't feel like it, but I did it anyway. Why? Other than all the amazing reasons fruit and veg are good for you, getting your servings in guarantees that you will receive all the micronutrients necessary for the day. What happens when you don't get these? Your hunger signal never turns off! That's why on days where you've eaten mostly processed foods you are oddly never full- it's because your body is sending out the hunger signal in hopes that you'll consume those nutrients. So this rule is especially important if you are struggling with weight loss

                                                                     Take your vitamins
Photo credit.
This is something I can afford to be better at as well. Everyday I try to take a multivitamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and something to strengthen my hair and nails. I have been slacking recently but taking your vitamins is the best way to ensure that you are getting everything your body needs, especially if you are not the healthiest eater. Vitamin D deficiency is serious; if you haven't read my blog entry about it, go here to do so. Your body can react in strange ways when its not getting the vitamins it needs. You can put on weight, feel sluggish or even start losing your hair if you aren't getting the right combination of vitamins, so I at least recommend you take a multivitamin everyday

These are 5 things I try to do everyday. I'm not always perfect, and there are some days when I do none of them, but it's worth an effort. The days when I manage to do all of these are my best days, mentally and physically, so give it a try. Do you do these things? What do you like to do everyday to make yourself feel healthy? 

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