Wellness is generally used to mean a “healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being.” As I mentioned in last week’s #WellnessWednesday blog, over the next couple of weeks, we’ll do a 30-day challenge every Wednesday, to help those of you focusing on achieving holistic wellness goals in our 52-day course dubbed #Mission52, which began on 21st of September and ends on the 11th of November.
Sitting too long makes you tired, can cause brain fog, increases your insulin levels, and slows down your metabolism
Last week, we focused more on your intake – what you eat. This week, we focus on what to do – activities. So here it goes…
Week Two: Activity Tips
1. Aim for a 20-30 Minute Walk or Jog
This might sound difficult but it is easier than we all think. Getting up just 30 minutes earlier in the morning will give you plenty of time to get in a good walk (or jog). If you like to run, even better, but walking is great too. Moving first thing in the day boosts your serotonin levels, provides energy to the body, and also helps you focus better throughout the day. It is also an easy way to improve your metabolism to help manage your weight. I also skip rope, which helps spike the heartbeat, and kick start metabolism before I begin my day.
2. Lift Something Heavy for 5 Minutes Every Day
How many of you have ever thought, “I don’t have time to lift weights,” or maybe you know you have time, but just don’t enjoy it. Whatever the case, here’s an easy way to combat that issue: Pick something heavy, whether it be a kettle-bell, a dumbbell, or even a household item you can grasp in your hands that is heavy but still light enough to pick up. Lift one of these items for just five minutes a day, preferably over your head like you would if you were in the gym, to work your arms. Hold this while you do a few squats too. Resistance training not only improves your metabolism, but also boosts testosterone in the body that improves your sense of motivation, focus, and even energy.
Sitting too much can even lead to a bad mood, and antsy nature
It also aids in strengthening the body, in just five minutes. If you have time for more time, great, if not, five minutes is enough to get you out of breath just enough to get good results. If you can do this three different times throughout the day, you would have lifted weights for 15 minutes without realizing it.
3. Don’t Just Sit There!
Sitting is not as evil as it’s being made out to be now, but it is tremendously important that we don’t “over sit” our welcome. We need to stand more throughout the day, even if that’s while chatting with friends, talking on the phone, or just getting up in between nightly relaxing activities before bed. If you like to watch television, be sure not to sit there for hours on end while doing so. If you work at a computer all day, like me, get up and move around or try to stand and work however possible. Sitting too long makes you tired, can cause brain fog, increases your insulin levels, and slows down your metabolism. It can even lead to a bad mood, and antsy nature. The body likes to move; give it what it needs!
4. Practice Active Errands and Commutes
When commuting to work throughout the day, running errands or the like, it’s important to be active during those activities when you can. For instance, if you can take the stairs more often, do it. If you can walk to work, do it. If you can park further away at the store, do it. You get the idea. Working in a large city makes it easy for most people, but those that rely on cars and public transportation may have to keep this in mind to prevent easy access to more sitting and less activity. I can count, on one hand, how many times I take a cab in a month. I’m always walking 🙂
5. Do Some Sort of Stretching Per Day
Stretching is one of the most overlooked exercises that improves your mood. It releases muscle tension, prevents muscle cramps, improves lymphatic flow and blood flow that can make you happier and also keep digestion working well. It also prevents muscle stagnation that can just make you feel nappy. Stretch a little in the morning and a little more at night before bed. Even just a couple of minutes will make you feel better — try it! Helps me sleep better, given my insomnia issues and all!
6. Spend a Little Time Outside Daily
Take a stroll around your neighborhood or walk through a local park each day if you live near one. If you have a dog, take them for a five-minute spin down the street. Or, maybe if you have the option to exercise outside — try it; it’s rejuvenating compared to indoor treadmills! Being active outside, even just for a few minutes, is a great way to enlighten your spirits without even trying. It puts you in touch with nature, which studies show can actually benefit our brains, prevent depression, and it exposes us to the most natural source of vitamin D available to us: the sun. 🙂
7. Try Yoga
And finally, MY personal favorite!! Not everyone enjoys yoga, but get this; its many benefits are so profound that we should all at least give it a shot. Don’t let yoga intimidate you if it seems out of reach or strange. It’s actually just a fluid way of moving your body, stretching everything out, and being kinder to your body through movement.
While a grueling workout at the gym is great for pumping muscles, yoga is a nice change of pace that reduces cortisol in the body. This lowers stress around the clock and reduces insulin spikes that are caused by elevated cortisol levels. Yoga also stimulates lymphatic flow – key to keeping your body feeling well in more ways than one.
Try some beginner You Tube videos; I started with ’30 Days of Yoga with Adrienne’ a little over a year ago. I tell you, even just 10 minutes is a great place to start! She makes it so doable and fun! 🙂
NOTE: They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, and 21 more to get used to it. That leaves you with 10 more days to achieve your physical wellness goals in our 52-day course, #Mission52. So let’s do this!! 🙂