With all the health and fitness info out there, things can become confusing. You may be paralyzed about which approach to take and you may be overwhelmed about which source to believe. To Keep It Simple Stupid:
Move more! A combination of increased steps in a day and strength training works wonders. When I first got my Garmin and looked at how many steps I was getting in a day, I was shocked! I was only at ~2,000 steps. When we are at a desk or sitting most of the day unless we are proactive, we will not get the recommended 10,000 steps in a day. Strength training is great to help build muscle, maintain bone density, boost mood, and so much more. Want to keep it simple? Get a coach who will design a training program for your goals and you won’t have to waste that mentally energy in the gym.
Include protein and veggies with each meal! Protein is crucial to our health. From maintaining lean muscle as we lose weight to having a strong immune system, protein plays a role in so many of our body’s functions. In case you missed our blog a few weeks ago, you can check out all the benefits of protein and how much we need in a day here. Veggies have so many benefits as well. From providing antioxidants to helping create a healthy microbiome, veggies are so important to include on a regular basis. Aim for about half a plate of veggies at your meals in a variety of colors.
Get adequate sleep. That means 7-9 hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep for most people. This is the time when our body and mind recovers from the stress of the day. Lack of sleep can impact your mood, ability to focus, coordination, appetite, memory, immune system, and more. If you have trouble sleeping, go outside for 10-20 minutes every morning to help set your circadian rhythm. Staying off screens and dimming lights an hour before bed, and keeping your bedroom cool and completely dark can help.
Drink water. From brain function and performance to lubricating joints and aiding in digestion drinking enough water is important for our health. A general guideline is to drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. You can tell if you are hydrated by the color of your urine. It should be a light yellow. Start your day off with a glass of water to get the momentum going and rehydrate after a night of sleeping.
Manage stress. Whether it’s mental, emotional, or physical, stress it wears on our body. While some stress can be good, chronic stress can take a toll. It can increase our disease risk, decrease our sex drive, cause trouble sleeping, create digestion problems, cause fatigue, and so much more. Managing stress can look different for different people. Better time management, saying “no” to things you don’t have time for, incorporating exercise, talking to a friend or therapist, practicing yoga or meditation, and looking at realistic expectations can all help.
These things are always easier said than done, but if you want change something has to change. Start small and with one habit. What will that be for you?