In keeping with the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, we’ve asked Kerri Simon from FITstl for easy tips in creating a happy and healthy life.
Take Time For Yourself
It’s okay to be selfish and treat yourself to a little “me” time. Whether it’s reading a book over lunch, leaving the office for coffee, or shopping on the internet, we need to set aside time for ourselves. Life is stressful and we’re pulled many directions, including work, family, kids, church, or community events. Taking time to do what YOU want to do should be a priority for YOU. It’s an escape from the stresses of life, and that’s always healthy.
We’re constantly using our minds, whether crunching numbers, running reports, drafting emails, or researching the internet for our 7th grader’s American Civil War paper. Having an active mind is healthy, but like our bodies, it needs its rest. A good night’s sleep helps our brains recuperate from the day’s activities. It’s also beneficial to take a few moments each day to isolate ourselves and meditate. Escape to a quiet room for ten minutes or sit alone in your car. Close your eyes, relax, and just breathe naturally. Clear your mind and concentrate on your breathing and how your body reacts, specifically the movement in your chest, shoulders, and stomach. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breathing.
I always encourage people to create a set schedule every week for physical fitness, something on a regular basis. This is easier said than done, I know. So don’t get discouraged if you can’t always workout or get to the gym. Small changes throughout your day can get the heart pumping. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or ride your bike to work, take the dog for a walk, take yourself for a walk. When traveling, there are numerous exercises you can do in your hotel room in only a few minutes, such as planks, push-ups, sit-ups, and abdominal crunches. A little bit goes a long way, and the more you get up and get moving, the more your body will love you back.
Maintaining a healthy diet is hard and challenging at times. Creating menus, shopping, and preparing meals takes planning and time. Again, think small changes and not a large diet overhauls. Drink water instead of soda. An orange is a better snack than potato chips. Eliminate french fries and substitute green vegetables. Small changes in your diet will lead to big results. Most people who try to completely overhaul their diet all at once, usually end up reverting back to old habits and gaining weight. Pick one aspect of your eating you’d like to change and change it. Your body will respond and you’ll feel better.
Set A Goal
We’re constantly organizing our lives, making lists and filling our calendars with appointments. It’s not difficult to set a healthy goal for anything I’ve described above. The key is holding yourself accountable. If you don’t have the discipline to monitor yourself, request help from someone else. Maybe a co-worker or a family member, anyone you see on a daily basis that will hold your feet to the fire. Even better, have the other person set health goals that you can monitor. Goals, no matter how big or small, are the best way to track a healthy lifestyle.
Kindness, like wild fire, spreads quickly. When we’re busy and wrapped up in our own worlds, we often forget how kindness affects one another. Doing a good deed for someone else not only makes them feel better, but you as well. It doesn’t take much effort at all. Offer to help a co-worker on a project, hold the door for a stranger, volunteer your time at a non-profit. Giving a little of yourself for someone else goes a long way. The world can always use more kindness.
Learn more about Kerri Simon and her training programs at www.fitstl.net.