Good Mindfulness Monday to you all! Today we want to talk about how we can be really good to our bodies each and every day. Often we think that being really good to our bodies requires extreme measures like juice cleanses or yoga challenges or being vegan or paleo or sugar free or dairy free or, or, or! But in fact, there are a handful of simple things that we can do everyday that can have really powerful positive impacts on our health. Here are our top 5:
1) Sleep: sleep is crucial to our well-being. Sleep allows our body to repair any damage and to regulate our hormones. Getting enough sleep will help you feel better and look better because your body will be operating at its optimal capacity.
2) Hydrate: hydration is so important and its importance is often underrated. True, everyone thinks "I know I should drink more water", but you really should! Dehydration can affect everything from optimal organ function to weight gain and mood swings. So, make sure you are drinking your minimum of 8 glasses a day (you may need more if you do a lot of exercise where you sweat a lot) and your body will thank you.
3) Nourish: nourish your body with all the nutrition it needs. We will not get into specific details of what to eat because we are all different and all of our bodies react differently to different foods, but the key is to be mindful of what you eat, and be sure to eat with the intention of nourishing and fueling your body. Try to eat nutrient rich foods like fruits and vegetables, certain fish, legumes etc. And if your body is telling you it wants chocolate or red wine, eat that too! Try as much for whole foods wit simple ingredients and most importantly, enjoy what you eat!
4) Move: get your blood flowing! Whether you go for a 10K run or a brisk walk, the key is to get your body moving. Choose your favorite activity or activities and commit to doing it everyday for at least 15 minutes. Getting into a physical activity will do everything from help decrease blood pressure, increase flexibility and strength and decrease stress. So move! Some ideas: bike to and from work instead of driving, get a skipping rope and start skipping, turn on your favorite songs and dance like no one is watching! Possibilities are endless, think outside the gym ;)
5) Breathe: deep breathing is scientifically proven to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which in turn reduces stress. So, we know it sounds crazy, but do not forget to breathe. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed in a situation, step back and take 10 deep, long inhales and exhales. If you are lying in bed and you cannot fall asleep, turn your focus towards your breathing and focus on breathing deeply. Your entire body will relax and calm will set in.
See, it's not so hard right? Be good to yourselves and have an amazing week!
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.