We live in a busy world. Our minds are always running and there are constant to-do’s. When talking about ways to better your health, the number one excuse I hear is time. Trust me, I get it. I, too, often blame time. What if there were 5 things you could do throughout your day that wouldn’t take more than a few minutes? Our excuse of not having enough time no longer holds its value then.
1. Take 5 breaths before each meal.
Have you ever heard of the parasympathetic nervous systems? This is the part of the autonomic nervous system known as the “rest and digest” response. To better digest the food we put into our bodies, we need to get into the parasympathetic state. To do this, sit down in front of your food, close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths. Breath fully into your tummy on the inhale, and release all of the stale air out of your body on the exhale. Taking this time to slow down may also slow how quickly you eat. Slowing down while you eat may allow you to completely chew and enjoy your food, feeling full sooner. Over time this could lead to weight-loss.
2. Remove technology devices from your bedroom.
This is something I started doing a few months ago when I first starting using WHOOP to track my sleep (among other things). I cannot express how big of a difference this has made in my sleep. Now any time I wake up in the middle of the night, I can’t just roll over and start scrolling. I fall back asleep faster and it also forces me to get out of bed right when my alarm goes off in the morning.
3. Start your day by saying something positive.
The first few minutes you are awake can have a huge impact on the rest of your day. If you wake up and the first thought you have is, “Ugh, I’m so tired, I don’t want to get up,” you are starting your day off in a negative mindset. Don’t downplay how much your mental health can affect your overall well-being. Say something encouraging to yourself or your loved one as soon as you wake up. “Today is going to be a great day.” “I love you.” “I am grateful to be alive.” – all great options.
4. Stay hydrated.
Dehydration can drain your energy and make you feel tired. Water helps you get rid of wastes in your body, improves your skin and joint health and regulates your body temperature. Last week I set a goal to drink 5 30 oz Yetis per day. After doing this for 7 days straight, I felt great! Things I noticed: I snacked less and ate less at each meal, I slept absolutely amazing and I performed better in my workouts. There is no one-size fits all approach to how much water you need. Evaluate your current intake, calculate in how much you sweat (whether through exercise or just being in a hot environment), your current state of health, etc. Set a goal and stick to it. What helped me was having check points throughout my day. Each morning I tried to drink one Yeti before I ate breakfast. I would drink one in between meals and one at each meal.
5. Move your body.
No matter what your occupation is or how you spend your day, it is always a good idea to stretch throughout your day. I have been studying posture and how our every day movements can cause stress on the body and even lead to injury over time. Every hour, take even just 30 seconds to stretch your body. If you sit at a computer all day, do a quick shoulder opening stretch. If you’re running around all day, pause and stretch those legs. Even wiggling your body can be beneficial as it allows you to vary your movements.