Research has proven that just 30 minutes of exercise a day can help lower your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, elevate your mood, and help you maintain your range of motion. When it comes to your overall health and well-being, though, it’s not the be-all-end-all we once thought. In fact, the benefits of fitness are greatly diminished without proper self-care. Read on to learn how to balance your fitness routine with your overall self-care.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Without enough sleep, you can’t function properly. Not only does it make you feel irritable and groggy, but you can also end up with weight gain and a compromised immune system. If that doesn’t motivate you to get more sleep, read here for what just one week of bad sleep does to your body! Creating a relaxation regimen at bedtime sets the stage for getting a good night’s rest, but so does creating a calming sleep environment. First of all, your room needs to be dark. Darkness produces melatonin, which sends a signal to your brain that it’s time for rest. You’ll also want to protect yourself from unwanted noise. White noise machines can greatly help. To find the best one for you, read reviews of all the different machines available. Even having the right pillow can make all the difference in the world.
Watch Your Diet
To a certain extent, you are what you eat and drink. A simple rule to remember is that the more colorful the food on your plate, the more nutrients. You’ll also want to avoid processed foods and sugar, excess caffeine, and/or alcohol.
Slow Things Down
Take time to slow down every day. One of the best ways to do this is with meditation. The great thing is that meditation doesn’t require any special equipment, and you don’t need any formal training. The benefits can be found simply by sitting down every day in a quiet place (preferably inside your home) and focusing on your breath. Breathe in, breathe out, and repeat. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to focusing on your breath. Start with just three minutes per day. The more you practice, the easier it becomes.
Create a special space in your home for meditation, one that you’ll look forward to spending time in every day. All you need is somewhere to sit like your yoga mat, a chair, or meditation cushion. You choose the rest to set the mood — perhaps some candles, a few spiritual objects of meaning to you, soothing music, or an aromatherapy diffuser.
Take Care of Your Mind and Spirit
Practice positive thinking. Be mindful of your thoughts, and get in the habit of immediately changing any negative self-talk into positive. Also, remember to feed your soul every day. This might mean spending time with a good book or getting together with friends. What’s important is that you do something that makes you happy every day, whether it’s taking a walk, keeping a journal, listening to uplifting music, or watching a good movie.
It’s also very important to identify and establish your boundaries. Good time management is key. Schedule times to exercise, plan healthy meals, and meditate. Say “no” to anything that conflicts with your health goals. Think of exercise and self-care as the oxygen mask of your life: Without it, you will not be in a position to help anyone else.
No matter how busy you are and whether you work out from home or at a gym, you can do this. As you schedule regular times for exercise, meal prep, meditation, sleep, etc., you’ll be well on your way to creating positive habits that will change your life. With motivation and consistency, you’ll find ways to balance it all. Welcome to the best fitness routine and health of your life!