How healthy are you right now? Do you have a little excess baggage around your middle? Are your arms flabby? Do you feel 80 even though you are 45? Are you procrastinating on your health goals?
The new year resolutions are a distant memory to most. Once the festivities are done and the months start going by, we tend to forget some of those important decisions we took on those last days, last year. Your health, my friend, is one of the most important goals that we forget in the first three months of the year.
We procrastinate because we are afraid of failing again. And yet, doing nothing is the same as failing because we are not doing any better than before. So for all of you who are still struggling to make your goal a priority I give you a few tips and some steps to take today to improve your life and get healthy.
1) Start small. Making things complicated, hard, and massive may apply to many goals, yet not to your health. We are so used to eating the way we do and moving the way we do that creating a new routine or starting with a big change feels unnatural and we don’t adopt the positive change. Several ways where you can start small include:
– drink more water (if you drink a lot of soda, substitute one with a glass of water)
– walk for 10 minutes a day, every day, this week
– make one meal at home each day
– meditate for five minutes every morning
This is how it works. You make one small change and implement it for a week. Once you get used to it, you add a little more. In the case of walking, once you get used to 10 minutes, add five more. Then next week add five more until you go up to half an hour a day. Once you get used to half an hour a day, start building speed.
2) Give yourself a reward. You made it through the week and you made the change every day. How about a new book, a warm bath or a massage? The reward depends on your budget and how hard it was for you to make the change. Do not make the reward about food.
3) Get some rest. We live in a society of sleep deprived people. I used to sell mattresses for a living and I did not realize how important sleep and a good bed where until I worked there. The research is overwhelming. According to the National Sleep Foundation, getting a good night’s rest influences not only your mood, it helps with your blood pressure and other ailments that we normally don’t associate with our sleeping habits. A few tips about this:
– stop watching the news at least an hour before you go to bed. Watch something inspirational or funny to get your blood pressure down
– make the room quiet, dark and cold. It has been proven that warmer environments inhibit a restful sleep.
– get comfy clothes or clothing optional. Whatever works, I’m not judging ;)
– no liquids for an hour before you go to sleep. You really don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night.
– get a good bed, and don’t look at the price. It always surprises me that we would rather spend tons of money on the car we drive and we balk at spending $1,000 on a bed. Yet, we spend one third of our lives in bed. Shouldn’t we invest in comfort and rest?
4) Read on health, nutrition and exercise and don’t overwhelm yourself. There is such a thing as too much information. We know that many doctors disagree on how to get healthier meals. How about being more inclusive and just applying moderation? I am not a vegetarian and yet I love a lot of meatless choices. I know that sugar is bad for me, if it is added it is not welcome. There is plenty of natural sugars in fruits and veggies. Add more of those to your diet and leave the chocolate cake for a once-in-a-while indulgence.
Becoming healthy is not hard. What is hard is sticking to better choices. You have to weight the long term health goal against the immediate satisfaction and make the choice. You will be much happier, healthier and beautiful when you make the right one. Procrastinate tomorrow, get healthy today.