Today I’m sharing three things you can do for yourself to improve your health and fitness for your mind, body and spirit in less than 800 words.
Determine to include yourself in your life. I saw this card (below) by an artist named “Leigh” (http://www.curlygirldesign.com/) at a fancy boutique in Connecticut in 2006 right after my husband was laid-off from his job.
We went on a weeklong vacation and stayed with family at their home. It was a very scary time for us and although I knew my husband had the chops to find another awesome job, the specter of only eight weeks’ salary to cover our mortgage and health insurance for a family of five was terrifying. The card was a piece of art and it cost $6; its sentiment is empowering. I bought it. I enlarged it and hangs in my office.
We came home from that trip determined to make it through the layoff with optimism, not obsession, and to come out better than we went going in and we did. He started his new job on my 39th birthday with not one day to spare.
What has already happened to you in life is done and over. Decide to do something now for yourself today that is good. Do it again tomorrow and the day after that and own it like a boss.
Body: Get Up, Get Down, Repeat.
I started working out again Sunday and my mood instantly elevated and has stayed there. I have an extensive personal background and interest in fitness, health and nutrition. Yes, you can love Cap’n Crunch and be healthy. I have a lot of gear, but that’s because I love exercise gear. Do you have a question? Throw it at me in comments.
Here’s an awesome FREE! app for keeping track of your diet and exercise. “MyFitnessPal” <– click there for link. My SIL lost all her baby weight using that app in three months. I’ve been using it and I adore it. The sense of awareness and accountability it instills is amazing. It confirmed for me this: I don’t eat enough. More on that later.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is get up right now. Stand up, inhale, lift your hands over your head, exhale and lower your hands back to your sides and sit back down.
Do it again.
One more time.
Feel that thumpa-thumpa? That’s you. You just burned probably 3 calories.
I do all sorts of things: aerobics, strength (mostly floor work and for many of us our own body weight and gravity pose enough resistance) and yoga.
Sunday I worked on the elliptical trainer. I did High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). To keep this description high level, it goes from a “0” being sitting to a “10” being an all-out sprint from a rhino or chasing after a baby-napper every two minutes (two slow, one high).
I have a heart-rate monitor (HRM), I use it. Is an HRM essential? No, but it keeps me honest. Just starting is essential. I will write about the benefits of exercise soon.
Start small, finish BIG.
I’m a weirdo: sometimes I do squats when I unload the dishwasher. I double up the stairs, I stand on one leg when brushing my teeth. I’m not normal, but I’m also not at all overweight.
Keep a journal, write this stuff down; you don’t have to step on the scale now. Numbers don’t matter, how you feel is what matters. When you write it down, you commit.
Cravings last 14 minutes. Beat the 14 minutes and you beat the craving.
Be sure you’re eating enough. Sounds like a nice problem to have unless your body does what it’s supposed to do: goes for the muscle (lean body mass / LBM) first for fuel because LBM burns calories the best. You definitely don’t want that, because you will lose your tone. I know this personally.
Drink lots of water. Your skin will love you for it.
Spirit: Gratitude. Express it Often.
Thank your body for what it always does: functions even if you think it’s dysfunctional. And especially if you stood up and raised your arms. Thank your awesome legs, your amazing hips, your kick-ass shoulders and your freakin’ lungs for getting you through every day. Do you stop, ever, to contemplate what a MIRACLE it is to simply be alive? The genius that goes into all our cellular functioning? It’s mind-boggling.
Thank your laugh lines for keeping you sane. Go ahead: look in the mirror and say, “I LOVE YOU LAUGH LINES” and mean it.
As I always say, “the quickest facelift is a smile.”