As we head toward the end of the year, I know that this year has been a struggle on my body. It’s not just the lack of going places, but the stress that I find myself holding onto in my neck and shoulders.
Lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve been telling myself “I’ll do yoga next week. Or I’ll cut down on foods that don’t make my body feel good “soon”. And then I realize that it’s almost New Years so maybe I should just wait until then…
Until yesterday. My feet have been feeling so sore from my other job, my back is so tight, and it seems like for every single meal, I want the comfort of fast food. So yesterday I decided to start working on those things. One small step at a time. I invested in new shoes. I put fruits and veggies on the shopping list, and I’m going to try my hardest to fit yoga in at least once a week, even if I’m doing it in bed.
It’s not too late in the year to be a little kinder to your body (and to yourself!). Those baby steps count, even when we feel like we aren’t making progress, we are.
Different Ways To Move Through Your Day
One of the issues many people find when they want to add more movement into their day, is that they don’t like traditional exercise. It becomes a chore because it’s not enjoyable or something that you look forward to.
That’s why it’s so important to try everything until you find your thing. Kickboxing, ice skating, hiking, rowing, long walks, running, frisbee, rollerblading, lawn bowling, dancing, hooping, gardening, snowshoeing, martial arts – the possibilities are endless. I used to love jogging, but with my sore feet, I stopped loving it. I recently found kukuwa fitness (African dance combined workouts) and I absolutely love it. It’s all about finding what works for you.
You can also try to add it into your day naturally. If you usually drive to work, could you walk, run, or cycle instead? You can park farther away or you can use the stairs, or take walks on your lunch breaks. I’ll even walk up and down the stairs at my front porch a few extra times just because it feels good. There are opportunities for movement everywhere.
Make Peace with Food
We all know that eating well and enjoying a healthy, well-balanced diet is crucial. The key is well-balanced. So often we buy into the thought that we have to restrict ourselves with dieting when what we really need to do is make choices that make us feel good mentally, physically, and emotionally.
It’s all about loving our bodies and not falling into believing that food is the enemy. The biggest problem many people find when they start making healthier choices is difficulty with cravings. Sometimes you might struggle with craving control and that’s natural. The brain becomes addicted to foods that instantly make it feel good and it can be difficult to rewire those cravings.
My goal is to always eat more of the rainbow. (Obviously because I’m obsessed with rainbows) but eat more greens and purples and reds. They might not have the same instant gratitude to the emotional-eating part of our brains, but they are so good.
Sleep is Important
Your health will become much better if you can sleep well. A good night’s sleep won’t just make you feel more productive and happier, but it will give you more energy, your memory will improve, and you mental and physical health will be more positive too.
To have a good night’s sleep, you should start to stick to a specific bedtime and wake up time. Stick to these times even at weekends, and your body will eventually become used to this new routine and sleep will become easier so you can enjoy the benefits.