While many of us have grand plans to be healthy, we all falter. What keeps me on track? Consistent workouts, ounces and ounces of water, solid sleep and clean eating.
Health experts agree nutrition, exercise and sleep make up the cornerstone of healthy living.
Together, these practices help reduce stress and lead to more energy that lasts throughout the day. More importantly, they just make us feel better, from head to toe. Here’s what I focus on daily:
I try to get as much sleep as I can and some days I do better than others. I strive for seven hours or more; experts recommend seven to nine hours a night for adults. When I can get eight, I feel amazing in the morning. Conversely, less sleep means a slower start to my day.
However, it’s not just quantity but also quality that’s important. Tips to ensure a good night’s sleep include exercising 20 to 30 minutes a day at least two hours before going to bed and winding down to settle the mind with meditation, a good book or warm shower.
Whole foods are unprocessed, rich in nutrients and free of chemical additives. They improve brain function and lower the risk of a multitude of health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.
Luckily, we cook all the time at home. Recently I realized I used one of our cooking pots five times in one day! Rolled oats, eggs, rice, avocado, spinach, fruits and veggies are regular favorites. Since we make soup every Sunday, fresh onions, carrots and celery are essential.
Seasonally I love root vegetables including beets and squash in the fall and winter, and leafy greens in the spring and summer. A weekly trip to the local farmer’s market often inspires our daily menu.
My water goal is a gallon per day, and closer to 150 oz. in the summer months. I use a water tracking app that records the amount I take in throughout the day. It’s a good reminder that I need to keep going to hit my daily goal.
I also know that I need to drink more at the beginning and middle of my day so that I don’t have to go to the bathroom late at night while sleeping. There are definitely days when I drink less, typically when I don’t use the water tracking app, and my body often feels achy, especially in the morning.
Strength training is the one thing that everyone would benefit from doing regularly. Strength training helps build lean muscles, increases bone density, protects joints from injury and burns calories more efficiently.
The strength training class I teach focuses on getting muscle and movement strong—plus kicks up the heart rate and gets the adrenaline flowing.
What is your key to healthy living?
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