When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, you probably had a resolution for 2018 in mind. If you’re like a lot of people, that resolution likely involved your health. Maybe you were determined to lose a certain amount of weight or take the steps to resolve a health issue that’s been plaguing you. Or perhaps the resolution was more general: you simply wanted to be better to your body this year.
If you’re determined to treat your body like a temple in 2018, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few simple ways to work toward holistic living, one step at a time. If you follow these tips, by the time 2019 rolls around, you’ll be a happier and healthier you.
Exercise three or four times a week. It seems like a simple enough commitment to make, but when the pace of life picks up, it’s all too easy to skip the gym. Don’t. Regular exercise is integral to healthy living in more ways than one. First and foremost, a consistent fitness routine helps to keep your body strong, which could help to prevent injury or even stave off diseases associated with sedentary lifestyles, like diabetes.
Secondly, exercise may actually improve your mental health. It’s a great way to alleviate stress after a long day at the office or ease anxiety the morning before a big meeting. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals known as endorphins that serve as a natural sort of upper. They can help to keep your mood even and make you more relaxed, two things that the temple that is your body sorely deserves.
Get Better Sleep
A solid eight hours of sleep is also an important aspect of keeping your body running like a finely tuned machine. However, much like hitting the gym, sleep often gets pushed to the wayside in favor of working later hours or hanging out with friends. While work and socializing aren’t innately harmful things, they can become detrimental to your health when they start to spill over into time that should be spent snoozing.
This year, resolve to say no to anything that could keep you from getting to bed at a decent hour, particularly when you have to work in the morning. Do you tend to toss and turn even when you do hit the hay by 9 p.m.? Then maybe you need to improve your sleeping habits. One of the most beneficial things you can do for a better night’s sleep is to turn off your phone about an hour before bedtime. The light it emits can mess with your sleep cycle, so read a book instead.
If your body is sacred, then you should obviously care as much about what you’re putting into it as the amount of exercise or sleep it receives. So, when you decide to treat your body better, nutrition obviously must factor into the equation. With so much misinformation out there about healthy eating, however, this is easier said than done.
For instance, Jelly Belly currently faces legal action for marketing a new line of Sports Beans as powerful fuel for athletic endeavors, as opposed to sugary candies — and the latter is actually much more accurate. So how do you know what really is healthy? Read nutrition labels carefully, looking for ingredients that mean added sugar, such as “evaporated cane juice” or “dextrose.” When in doubt, eat more fruits and vegetables or really any food with one ingredient, like an apple or salmon.
So, you have the exercise routine in place. You seem to be hitting a solid eight hours of sleep each night. You’re planning meals with more plants. To truly treat your body well, there’s just one more thing you should try: meditation. Meditation has the power to relax your body and mind, regardless of the circumstances that surround you, which means you can maintain a state of zen no matter what comes your way.
If you’re new to meditation, get some help with a smartphone app like Headspace. The application starts you off at just a few minutes of meditation per day and provides step-by-step guidance to help you achieve a deep sense of calm. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, meditate before bed to unwind and improve your sleep.
Now that you have the knowledge you need, it’s just a matter of putting these suggestions into practice. This is the year to break free from the excuses that sabotage your efforts. Really commit to hitting the gym more, snoozing as much as you need, eating a balanced diet and incorporating meditation into your everyday. Your body will thank you for it!