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Starting Each Day With a Healthy Mind and Body

April 11, 2024

by brittany cotton, guest contributor

The present moment presents an ideal opportunity to embark on the journey of nurturing a healthier body and mind. While we might be lamenting New Year's Resolutions gone by the wayside, we're going to release ourselves from dwelling on missed opportunities, instead channeling our energy into kickstarting this phase with essential goals for health and wellness. Whether it's adopting a nutritious diet, prioritizing physical activity, or practicing mindfulness, committing to these changes now lays the foundation for a healthier future. With determination and perseverance, you'll pave the way for a more fulfilling and vibrant life ahead!

Focus on New Experiences

Many people fail to stick to plans for healthy living because "healthy choices" feel stale. Getting healthy shouldn't feel punishingly mundane. If you struggle with healthy eating, focus on developing a passion for nutritious cooking that allows you to experiment with new ingredients and flavors using new cookbooks or recipe apps. If the ordinary gym experience feels mundane to you, embark on a journey to pursue endorphins using exercise. For example, many people get absolutely hooked on the feel-good benefits of infrared-heat workouts that include isometric workouts or 15-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions to recharge and detoxify the body.

Get Serious About Sticking to an Exercise Regimen

Whether the New Year and all its implications have come and gone or it's literally any other day of the year, today is the perfect day to adopt some new habits. Though the holidays are known for busyness and no small amount of stress, it's not like every day after is an endless string of easy-breeziness. Life happens on the daily. These tips aim to boost our chances of sticking with a plan: 

  • Commit to a certain number of workout minutes per week.
  • Get an accountability partner to help you stay on track.
  • Focus on exercises that help you feel results quickly to trigger your brain's reward system. Most people find that the endorphin rush that comes from sweating it out leaves them counting down the minutes until the next workout instead of dreading it!
  • Set reasonable goals for intensity and frequency based on where your health and energy levels are right now.

Remember that consistency is more important than anything! Going in with a plan is always helpful for staying on track. For many people, committing to a gym membership helps with accountability and commitment compared to trying to do workouts at home. Attempting to exercise in the same place where you watch television, eat, or do work can really zap you of your motivation!

Make This the Year of Great Sleep

Starting a healthier lifestyle for your brain and body is so much harder when you're not getting enough sleep! Good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and overall health. When we aren't getting enough sleep, we actually increase our risks for many different types of diseases and disorders that range from heart attack to dementia. It's also simply hard to do your best work at work, at the gym, or in your personal life when you're not properly rested. The difference can be much subtler than people realize. Adults who sleep less than seven hours a night may actually have more issues compared to adults who get seven or more hours of shuteye per night. Ideally, a healthy adult should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

Reassess Your Stress

Reducing stress is easier said than done. While we can't always control the stress factors in our lives, we can take steps to manage stress in healthier ways. This often starts with simply assessing which stressors we can walk away from day to day. Next, it's time to evaluate any unhealthy coping mechanisms we may be using to deal with stress. Do you find yourself turning to food, tobacco, alcohol, or other substances to "zone out" after a tough day at work? Do you watch television until you fall asleep instead of working out because you simply want to feel "numbed out" after a stressful day? Working on replacing automatic habits with positive habits can make a huge difference for our physical health and mental well-being.

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